MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Last year, the website Deadspin announced it had obtained a vote for the baseball Hall of Fame from a voter. The voter voluntarily gave the ballot to Deadspin to fill out. It turns out; the voter was CBS4 news partner the Miami Herald columnist Dan LeBatard.
Deadspin pulled the stunt because it said the Baseball Hall of Fame elections have become “ridiculous.”
“With an electorate comprising a subset of a subset of a subset of the baseball press and a 75 percent threshold for entry into the Hall, the process has been hijacked by cranks, attention-seeking trolls, and the merely perplexed—people who exercise power out of proportion to their numbers due to the perverse structure of the voting,” Deadspin said about the ballot.
Deadspin also said part of the reason was to give at least one vote to the fans; “This isn’t about the writers or bad choices, but about whether it’s legitimate for them to lord over an institution that’s supposed to be a repository of cultural memory.”
So why did LeBatard decide to go along with Deadspin’s plan?
“I feel like my vote has gotten pretty worthless in the avalanche of sanctimony that has swallowed it,” LeBatard was quoted as saying. “I hate all the moralizing we do in sports in general, but I especially hate the hypocrisy in this: Many of the gatekeeper voters denying Barry Bonds Hall Of Fame entry would have they themselves taken a magical, healing, not-tested-for-in-their-workplace elixir if it made them better at their jobs, especially if lesser talents were getting the glory and money. Lord knows I’d take the elixir for our ESPN2 TV show if I could.”
LeBatard also took time to blast the fact that no player ever, not Babe Ruth, Willie Mays, Hank Aaron, or Jackie Robinson, has ever been unanimously selected to the Hall of Fame.
“Every year the power is abused the way I’m going to be alleged to abuse it here. There’s never been a unanimous first-ballot guy? Seriously? If Ruth and Mays and Schmidt aren’t that, then what is?” LeBatard wrote.
LeBatard’s vote, as filled out by Deadspin readers, had two more players cross the 75 percent threshold for entrance into the Hall of Fame. The Deadspin vote picked: Greg Maddux, Frank Thomas, and Tom Glavine, which actually made the Hall of Fame.
In addition, the Deadspin ballot selected catcher Mike Piazza and infielder Craig Biggio to the Hall of Fame as well.
It should be noted, LeBatard wasn’t compensated by Deadspin for his vote.