Mariano Rivera was elected to the Hall of Fame, the first player ever to appear on every single ballot. Why has this never happened? Because there are a lot of ballots and thus a lot of opportunities for glitchy idiosyncrasy. In 2007, eight voters left Cal Ripken, Jr. off. What possible justification could there be? Paul Ladewski of Chicago’s Daily Southtown was one of the eight. He turned in a blank ballot that year. He said he wouldn’t vote for anyone tainted by playing during the “Steroids Era.” In 2010, he voted for Roberto Alomar.


2 thoughts on “Unanimity

  1. My vague impression of Cal Ripkin was as a faded second rate player dragging his entire team down for one or two seasons in a completely vain (successful) attempt to get the record for the most consecutive names, thereby playing more consecutive games while being pampered on a several million dollar salary (with all of its the concomitant health benefits) than someone with friggin’ Lou Gehrig’s disease. So I wouldn’t have voted for him.

    My main memory of Mariano Rivera was a blown save in the game 7 of the 2001 World Series and consecutive blown saves in the 2004 ALCS against Boston. For those two moments alone he deserves to be in the hall.

  2. JSE says:

    You should form a new impression of Ripken as an elite hitter who was also one of the top 5 defensive players of all time. When he passed Gehrig in 1995 he was still probably the second-best position player on the Orioles. When the streak finally ended, in 1998, he had regressed from excellent to merely pretty good. And it wasn’t until his very last season, at age 40, that he was really a bad player, and at that point he retired.

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