So let me get this straight. The man who sat there and turned a blind eye as Sammy Sosa and Mark McGwire took part in the great home run chase of 1998 and admired the record-setting feats of Barry Bonds in 2001 gets enshrined in Cooperstown, but every other person associated with the “steroid era” does not?
There is no justification for the Today’s Game Era committee electing former MLB commissioner Bud Selig into the Baseball Hall of Fame, especially when you leave out and ignore the accomplishments of so many all-time greats who played under Selig’s watchful eye.
With the way the voting has gone, there is very little hope for the likes of Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa, Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens, four of the greatest players to ever step foot on a baseball field, to ever get recognized for their achievements in Cooperstown.
McGwire, who smashed 70 home runs in 1998, 583 for his career and led his league in home runs five times received just 12.3 percent of the vote in 2016, 63 percentage points short of the required 75 percent needed for enshrinement. Sammy Sosa, the only player to ever hit 60 home runs or more in three seasons, and who hit 609 for his career, got even less of the vote than McGwire at five percent.
Barry Bonds, the man who surpassed McGwire as the single-season home run record holder with 73 in 2001, and the great Hank Aaron’s mark of 755 career home runs with 762 of his own, received a modest 44.3 percent of the vote.
Then there’s Roger Clemens, who received 45.2 percent of the vote. Clemens is a winner of seven Cy Young awards. The next closest player has four. He ranks third on the all-time strikeout list with 4,672 and compiled 354 wins during a stellar 24-year career.
But let’s forget everything these players accomplished on the field and let in the guy who allowed it all to happen. Selig stood there as steroids became rampant throughout baseball and the sport’s popularity soared, when he could have been addressing a problem that could have completely ruined the sport forever.
He was at the helm as a work stoppage cancelled the 1994 World Series, the only year since 1904 that a World Series was not played. It can be argued baseball has still never recovered from this.
Selig initiated one of the most foolish rules the game has ever seen when he made the All-Star Game determine which league gets home field advantage in the World Series. It’s no coincidence shortly after Selig’s reign this rule was changed.
The Baseball Hall of Fame has done a less than desirable job of making what makes someone worthy of enshrinement clear, but the hypocrisy of allowing Bud Selig into the Hall is simply too much to take.