On The Ballot And In Our Hearts...No Matter What!
Today is the day for the future Hall of Famers, and Jim Ed Rice heads a class of players who are truly on the bubble. There are two shoo-in's-Cal Ripken and Tony Gwynn. We're talking landslide voter tallys. There is one big name who will not get his 75%...he will not come near it. And that would be the bloated steroid-addicted liar named Mark McGwire. No chance, not this year, maybe never. I guess you know how I feel about him, and I am not alone.There are four players "on the bubble," and I'll save Jim Ed for last.
Goose Gossage had 64.6% voting last year. Andre Dawson polled 61.0%. And Bert Blyleven garnered 53.3%. All have a chance, a real chance, but not the chance that Jim Ed Rice has. Last year he came oh so close, with voting of 68.6%. He and the other "on the bubble" guys are going to benefit from the steroid backlash, Rice especially. In a career that lasted 15 seasons, from 1974-1989, he hit .298 with a .352 on-base percentage, a .502 slugging percentage with 382 home runs. Strong numbers in an era that did not know the meaning of the word steroid. Thank you Hartford Courant for the numbers, and click on this post's title for the original article. It's good!!
So we wait. We hope. And we know that Jim will have great chances coming up the next three years. But it's this year, TODAY, that I have my heart set on. Jim Ed was in my hometown of West Hartford last night for an appearance, and the number of well-wishers shaking his hand and wishing him luck was truly heartwarming. I was one of 'em. Good luck Jim Ed. You'll always be a Hall of Famer in OUR hearts.