MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Sports writer and ESPN host Dan LeBatard was stripped of his baseball Hall of Fame vote after he allowed fans of the website Deadspin to fill out the ballot. LeBatard’s move was to point out the hypocrisy of organization, which may have worked on multiple levels.
LeBatard said he allowed Deadspin to fill out his ballot with no compensation for him, essentially crowd-sourcing his Hall of Fame vote. Deadspin said the point was to draw attention to “the ridiculous election process” that it believes “has diminished the Hall of Fame’s ability to honor great ball players.”
Deadspin said in its defense that no player in history has ever been a unanimous selection to the baseball hall of fame. None. Even some of the greatest players ever like Willie Mays, Babe Ruth, Mickey Mantle, Joe DiMaggio, even Jackie Robinson.
The senior baseball writers involved were incensed at LeBatard’s move to allow fans to fill out his ballot and stripped LeBatard of his vote. But, as LeBatard and Deadspin wanted to point out the failures of the organization; USA Today helped fill in more details about the hypocrisy.
According to USA Today, Jose de Jesus Ortiz of the Houston Chronicle (current vice-president of the Baseball Writers Association Of America) has “crowd-sourced his ballot for years, in a very public manner.”
Ortiz allowed fans to help him fill out the ballot at a Mexican restaurant in 2007 and in 2006 had lawyers, a Supreme Court judge, and his father-in-law help him fill out the ballot, according to USA Today’s For the Win.
After setting out to shine a spotlight on the hypocrisy of some writers who make the voting more about themselves than the Hall of Fame and to expose the problems in the system, LeBatard and Deadspin look like they have accomplished their goal.