It’s Induction Weekend in Cooperstown, N.Y., but for the first time since 1996, no living players will be enshrined in the Baseball Hall of Fame. It’s a total and complete travesty.
Several players with Hall of Fame-worthy stats were passed over by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America, which controls the electoral process and is presumably trying to atone for failing to uncover and address performance enhancing drug (PED) use as it happened during the Steroid Era.
Roger Clemens, Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa and Rafael Palmeiro all had HoF-level totals, but each has been linked — or admitted to — PED use. Mike Piazza and Jeff Bagwell were held out of the Hall despite zero evidence that either used PEDs. “But, they could have!” — so goes the revisionist thinking of the writers.
Additionally, Craig Biggio failed to gain the 75 percent of the vote needed for induction despite his 3,000-plus career hits. His exclusion was presumably a case of writers demonstrating that the former Astros second baseman was not worthy of “first-ballot” honors. What a circus.
As you can see from their amateur scouting reports below, Piazza, Bagwell and Biggio were thought of as talents before their MLB careers. All were considered muscular, too. Each player will get into the Hall of Fame eventually, but only when the silly writers believe they have proven their point.
A 12-time all-star best known for his days with the Dodgers and Mets, Piazza always had a great bat. In 1986, scout Brad Kohler made the following notes about the future slugger, who was still at Phoenixville H.S. in suburban Philadelphia.
• Exel body, large arms & forearms
• Needs to imp glove
• A long way to come with overall ability but worth selection on bat & pwr.
A four-time all-star who spent his entire career in Houston, Bagwell hit 449 career home runs. In 1989, Angels scout Jon Niederer made the following observations after watching Bagwell at the University of Hartford.
• Compact, very muscular build.
• Smooth, fluid, powerful swing.
• Got a chance to hit .300 with power in any league right up to the majors.
The Astros all-time hits leader came up as a catcher, but he shifted to the outfield and then second base, where he was a six-time all-star. In 1986, Brad Kohler saw Biggio at Seton Hall and made the following comments:
• Very good runner; 4.1 at times down line
• Def. ML. with great body control, speed, arm strength
• Take charge type player
The Baseball Hall of Fame will hold ceremonies on Sunday for all-time greats Lou Gehrig and Rogers Hornsby, members of the class of 1945 who did not receive a proper ceremony due to World War II. Piazza, Bagwell and Biggio should be part of the celebration, too.