Not really news: Derek Jeter is inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame
Unfortunately news: Derek Jeter is inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame, but is denied the honor of unanimous induction by one vote
A year ago, when Mariano Rivera was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame, as the first man in history to get a 100% unanimous induction, I figured the doors had been blown off, and that we were going to start seeing more guys getting in unanimously.
Prior to Rivera, such a distinction was basically a pipe dream, and throughout the years, fans have witnessed year after year, legend after legend, fail to garner that hallowed 100% vote, no matter who they were. Cal Ripken, Jr. Tony Gwynn. Ken Griffey, Jr. Greg Maddux. These were all guys that were no-brainer locks to make the Hall of Fame, and I have to ask why if they’re such no-brainers, why none of them ever got to 100% unanimous?
Even guys like Chipper Jones, Randy Johnson, and Pedro Martinez, they were champions, pulled in tons of hardware, put up gaudy career stats; everyone knew they were going to get into the Hall of Fame in their first years of eligibility, but why couldn’t any of these guys get a unanimous selection?
I love Mo, as a pitcher and as a human being, but it’s no secret that the BBWAA hasn’t been kind to relief pitchers historically. In my opinion, Rivera was definitely worthy of a first-ballot induction, but I’m admittedly surprised that he was the first guy to ever get the 100% unanimous.
Was it because he was such a class-act and a known humanitarian? Just about every baseball fan knew as fierce of a competitor on the field he was, he was as much of a humble and gracious human being off of it. But that being said, so were guys like Ripken and Gwynn.
Regardless, with Rivera having broken the mold, I figured that there were still a just a few guys left out there that had the chance to also reach the promised land of 100%, with the first one most definitely being Derek Jeter.
I’m no Yankees fan, despite my wife being one, but you’d have to be braindead to not at least recognize the baseball player that Derek Jeter was. The guy won five World Series for the Yankees in his career, and was an All-Star 14 times throughout his career. He was a Rookie of the Year, won numerous Silver Slugger awards as well as Gold Gloves, regardless of how much criticism his fielding abilities lauded him.
Like stats? He notched over 3,000 hits in his career, over 200 home runs, and had a career batting average of .310 with an OPS of .817. For the nerds who put all their faith in WAR, Jeets was worth 72.4 bWAR in his career, which extrapolated over 20 years puts him as an above average player basically every year.
You didn’t have to like the Yankees or didn’t even have to like Derek Jeter. But there was no denying that he was a pretty legendary talent, and if there were ever a guy who should be a unanimous choice to go into the Hall of Fame, it was him.
But he didn’t. Out of the 397 ballots, one person, who has managed to remain unknown to this point, did not vote for Derek Jeter. Obviously, I among many disagree with this judgment, but what’s done is done, and the record books will show that Derek Jeter did not get inducted into the Hall of Fame, unanimously.
What’s really obnoxious about this is that in the end, the one guy who didn’t vote for Jeets did such, solely for the attention. There’s no such thing as bad attention, as the old saying goes, and it’s one that this writer definitely subscribes to. They saw an opportunity to get their existence up in lights, regardless of the kind of shitty means necessary to get there, and there’s no real believable way to justify not voting for Derek Jeter other than trying to get talked about. I mean, I’m brogging about it, as have hundreds of others out there; some praising them because they’re just clueless Yankee/Jeets haters, and others as annoyed as I am that someone is so desperately seeking attention, at the expense of rarified history.
And so what’s going to happen, and is probably already happening, is that slowly but surely, all 397 ballots are going to be sought after and those with the privilege of voting will be emerging from the woodwork here and there to take accountability for their choices. Some voters will or have already gone on social media to post their ballots to absolve themselves of possibly being accused of being the prick who didn’t vote for Jeets. By process of elimination, people will become closer and closer to identifying the tryhard, and eventually before they’re discovered, they’ll out themselves, so that they can get the maximum amount of attention on their own terms, and spew some bullshit rhetoric about the integrity of the BBWAA and the Hall of Fame, and how no person shouldn’t be above it, etcetera, etcetera.
Fans will wish their credentials are revoked, which probably won’t happen, and the tryhard gets off on having held the baseball fan community hostage with their antics, reveling in the attention, paying no mind that the vast majority of it are people who hate their guts.
Ironically, the one guy who probably gives no fucks about all of this is probably Derek Jeter himself. He knew he was getting in, and given the history of the BBWAA, probably assumed it wasn’t going to be 100%, regardless of Rivera’s success the year prior. But he’s such a cool cat, and has so much else on his plate like his swimsuit model wife, or the fact that he owns the Miami Marlins, to be worrying about such trivial shit like 0.3% percentage points.
Anyway, if Derek Jeter can’t get a unanimous vote, then Ichiro Suzuki, another guy I figured would be a lock for 100%, is pretty much fucked. I can’t imagine that there’s not at least 75 old white sportswriters harboring varying degrees of racism towards a Japanese guy, no matter how many hits he has between MLB and NPB. But that inevitable shit show isn’t going to happen until 2024.