Henderson, Rice Inducted Into Hall of Fame

Rickey Henderson and Jim Rice were the only two players inducted into baseball’s Hall of Fame today, with Henderson receiving 94.8% of the vote and Jim Rice, in his final year of eligibility, at long last receiving over 75% with 76.4% this year.  Congratulations to both for their well-deserved inclusion and, for Rice, one that was long overdue.  Andre Dawson is on the cusp on induction, perhaps next year, receiving 67% this year.  Bert Blyleven received 62.7% and is another candidate for the magic 75% mark next January.  However, Roberto Alomar’s first year of eligibility in 2010 might make things tough for either Dawson or Blyleven, or both.  Alomar is without question a first ballot Hall of Fame player–210 HR, 1,134 RBI, .300/.371 career, 2,724 hits, 474 SB, 12-time All-Star (12 consecutive years), 10-time Gold Glove (6 straight from 1991-1996, then 4 more straight from 1998-2001).  He was every bit as good as Ryne Sandberg if not better, and far and away the benchmark for AL second basemen in the last 30 years.  Yet Dawson, a tremendous two-way player who among other accomplishments won a Gold Glove in nine straight seasons, should be in with him in 2010.

In the category of unconscionable, Tim Raines only received 22.6% of the vote this year after receiving 24.3% last year.  Raines is a Hall of Famer to me–5th all time in stolen bases with 808, career .294 AVG/.385 OBP, #49 all-time with 1,571 runs, seven-time All-Star with Montreal–where he played next to Dawson.  Raines was one of the best, most dangerous lead-off hitters in the history of the game.  That he failed to receive one in four votes this year is a travesty.

For more on Henderson, check out this poignant piece from Cliff Corcoran at Alex Belth’s Bronx Banter.  Very good stuff.

[Edit: Speaking of people who should be in the Hall of Fame, Colts head coach Tony Dungy retired today.  A defensive back for the Steelers and 49ers before retiring with the Giants, Dungy served as a defensive backs coach for three teams and a defensive coordinator for the Steelers and Vikings–the youngest ever assistant and youngest ever coordinator. (I knew he was the youngest coordinator ever, not the youngest assistant.)  He became head coach of Tampa Bay, bringing the team to success behind a nasty defense before becoming head coach of the Colts.  With the Colts, he led the team to the playoffs in all seven season he was the coach, and after the 2006 season became the first African American head coach to win the Super Bowl.  A quiet man, he was unlike most histrionic coaches with his calm demeanor.  In this as well as his defensive innovations, he reminded me of Tom Landry.  Dungy should be in the Hall as a coach, no question in my mind.]

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Published in: on January 12, 2009 at 7:43 pm  Comments (2)  

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Completely agree on all counts, Jason. I’d like to see Robbie’s percentage next year. One of the greatest 2B ever.

  2. Nice piece on Bronx Banter. Can’t wait to hear Rickey’s induction speech. He’s one of baseball’s great characters.


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