As we had anticipated the BBWAA blew it. Jeff Bagwell failed to secure enough votes to gain entry to the Hall of Fame today, in his second year of eligibility. But the news wasn’t all bad for Bagwell. The Astros slugging first-baseman was named on 56% of the ballots, an increase from 41.7% last year. Former Reds shortstop Barry Larkin was the only player to make the cut today and will be inducted this summer along with Ron Santo, who was approved by the Veterans Committee.
Larkin was a standout in the Queen City for 19 seasons. Blog Red Machine did a nice writeup on Larkin today. Larkin, in his third year of eligibility, made a big jump from being named on 61% of the ballots last year to an impressive 86% this time around. That could be another good sign for Bagwell.
For Astros fans it is hard to understand what sort of logic a voter could possibly be using to leave Bagwell off the ballot. We’ve seen all the stats published over the last couple of weeks and the majority of us were fortunate enough to witness Bagwell’s domination on the diamond for years. But if you’ve been on a deserted island for the last twenty years Astros.com beat writer Brian McTaggart posted the latest in a slew of compelling articles recommending Bagwell for the Hall.
Unfortunately, the voters didn’t get it right this time. Astros County gives us a geographical breakdown of those who didn’t vote for Bagwell. Chicago area writers in particular seem to be “out to lunch.” What did Bagwell ever do to Chicago? Well, he did hit 37 homers against the Cubs, and nine more against the White Sox in only 12 games. Still, no reason to hold a grudge.
Yes it was a disappointing day for Jeff Bagwell and his fans. Not the result we were looking for but, hang in there everyone, I have a feeling next year will be different.