While the National Baseball Hall of Fame announced its latest class of powerhouses for the hallowed halls -- Tom Glavine, Greg Maddux and Frank Thomas -- I'm not one of those haters who thinks the writers shouldn't be doing the voting.
And I also don't believe that the criteria should change. Nope -- I like it the way it's done, although there is always going to be criticism about the process.
I do believe Craig Biggio falling two votes short on his second try is disappointing, but he will get in soon -- perhaps next year.
In my world, Biggio deserved it now. Shouldn't his 3,000 hits count for something?
Frank Thomas is and was the tale of two careers. His first 10 years were about as good as I've ever seen for a hitter in all the years I've been watching the game. His batting eye was second to none, and though he hit with power early he was known more for putting the bat on the ball. You pretty much knew he would get wood on the ball.
Although he played in the steroid era, he hasn't ever been hit with the suspicion of using illegal pharmaceuticals. There are people out there that think no one (including Thomas) should escape suspicion, but I believe he did it the right way.
The two-time MVP had a career average of .301 with 521 home runs. The last seven or eight years his career were more pedestrian by his standards.
Did Big Frank have issues? Yeah, he was never really a leader for the Chicago White Sox. He broke an ankle in July 2005 and played only 37 games as the White Sox went on to win the World Series without his bat, but he still got a ring. He left an all-star game in the fifth inning once, and his differences with his general manager, Kenny Williams, are well known. His most damaging career faux pas was really not knowing the significance when asked about the great Jackie Robinson, but he did apologize for his comments.
As a designated hitter for more than half of his career, Thomas was never known for his fielding, but his numbers and awards outweigh what he was lacking.
Congratulations to Thomas on making it on a first ballot. As for Maddux and Glavine, they were no-brainers, but it does seem between the three of them there should be more than three World Series rings.
Why Craig Biggio wasn't selected escapes me. He played the full game -- he could hit, run and was a better than adequate fielder -- and he played second base, center field and catcher. Two votes shy with 3,000 hits is embarrassing for the Hall, but he will make it. To the big three: Glavine, Maddux and big Frank, I salute you.
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