It appears that Rickey Henderson and Jim Rice have been elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame.
It was Rice’s fifteenth and last time on the ballot. Now, I don’t think Rice is a Hall of Famer, but I’m not going to make that argument today. He certainly won’t be the worst player to be inducted into the Hall of Fame.
What I find interesting is that Rice finally got 75% of the votes in this, his fifteenth time on the ballot. During the last fifteen years, Rice didn’t get a single additional hit or home run, didn’t catch a single fly ball or steal a base. His Hall of Fame case is exactly the same as it was the first time Rice was nominated. Actually, it could be argued that he has a worse case now than previously, with all the advances made in baseball analysis.
Yet, for some reason, he was deemed worthy this year after being deemed not worth fourteen previous times. That’s fascinating to me. Can anyone explain how Rice is now worthy of being in the HOF, when the same people had said he wasn’t worthy in the past?
Also, I’d like to know the names of people who voted for Rice this year, but hadn’t voted for him before. How can they justify that vote?
Oh well, I’m happy for Rice and, especially, for Henderson. Good for them.
For what it’s worth, former Reds Lee Smith, Dave Parker, Greg Vaughn, and Ron Gant fell short of election.