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Dawson elected to HOF; Alomar, Blyleven just miss

In a bit of a surprise, slugging outfielder Andre Dawson was the only player elected to baseball's Hall of Fame on Wednesday, with second baseman Roberto Alomar and pitcher Bert Blyleven each missing by fewer than 10 votes.

Dawson, 55, was listed on 420 (77.9 percent) of the 539 votes cast by 10-year members of the Baseball Writers' Association of America, with 75 percent required for election. It was Dawson's ninth year on the ballot; in his first year, 2002, he received just 45.3 percent.

Dawson's candidacy was based largely on the strength of his 438 career homers, his eight Gold Gloves and the 1987 MVP award he won for the last-place Chicago Cubs. Undoubtedly, Dawson also benefited from last year's election of Jim Rice--a comparable hitter who lacked Dawson's defensive prowess.

Blyleven, 58, came excruciatingly close in his 13th year on the ballot, receiving 400 votes, or 74.2 percent. Thus, he missed by a mere four votes. Still, Blyleven's showing bodes well for his chances in 2011; his support among voters has steadily grown from a paltry 17.5 percent in 1998, his first year on the ballot, to 62.7 percent in 2009, and finally to this year's increase -- aided largely by a grass-roots campaign on his behalf from baseball's sabermetrics community.

Alomar, in his first year on the ballot, received 397 votes, or 73.7 percent, falling eight votes short. Alomar, who turns 42 next month, was widely considered the greatest second baseman of his era and one of the best of all-time. During a 12-year stretch from 1990 to 2001, he made 12 all-star teams, won 10 Gold Gloves and finished in the top six in most valuable player voting five times.

Beyond Alomar, Jack Morris (282 votes, 52.3 percent), Barry Larkin (272, 51.6 percent), Lee Smith (255, 47.3 percent), Edgar Martinez (195, 36.2 percent) and Tim Raines (164, 30.4 percent) came closest. Mark McGwire, considered the first test-case of the so-called Steroids Era, finished with 128 votes (23.7 percent), roughly in line with his previous finishes since first appearing on the ballot in 2007.

Dawson, along with umpire Doug Harvey and former manager Whitey Herzog -- elected last month by the Veterans' Committee -- will be inducted into the Hall during a ceremony in Cooperstown, N.Y. on July 25.

By Dave Sheinin  |  January 6, 2010; 1:55 PM ET
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Next: Final thoughts on HOF vote


I hope the Hall uses an Expos cap on Dawson's plaque

Posted by: greggwiggins | January 6, 2010 2:30 PM | Report abuse


Alomar was in spitting distance?

Sorry, couldn't resist.

Congrats to the Hawk.

Posted by: kolbkl | January 6, 2010 2:56 PM | Report abuse

Alomar was the best 2B in the past 30 years and hopefully the one incident won't affect his eventual enshrinement. If Hirshbeck (sp) forgave him, so should the writers. The sad thing is that 5 ballots were not filled out. Those voters are juevenile.

Posted by: atfray | January 6, 2010 3:50 PM | Report abuse

The writers decided to balk
At Alomar's Hall of Fame lock;
He's in spitting distance
But voter resistance
Came down to enshrining The Hock.

News Short n' Sweet by JFD8

Posted by: jd121 | January 6, 2010 4:58 PM | Report abuse

Absolutely dumb, dumber, stupid, and asinine that Blyleven isn't in the HOF.

Posted by: mdpilot | January 6, 2010 5:21 PM | Report abuse

greggwiggins said "I hope the Hall uses an Expos cap on Dawson's plaque"

I'll have no objection if they do, but he will probably be depicted as Cub since that's how most people remember him. Remember that although he played more years in Montréal, he had more All-Star appearances when he was in Chicago.

I'm happy for Andre, but I'd be even happier if Joe Judge, Mickey Vernon, or Frank Howard were to be inducted by the Veterans' Committee.

Edward J. Cunningham
Rockville, MD

Posted by: femfour | January 6, 2010 5:36 PM | Report abuse

So exactly how do you determine whether or not an umpire belongs in the hall? It'd be easier to evaluate vendors. "Yeah, Bogdanovich sold more career beer at Wrigley, but Dombrowski had to deal with those steep stairs on the upper deck at Three Rivers, had to sell that Iron City swill, and seemed to have an extra gear during the postseason...."

Posted by: douglaslbarber | January 6, 2010 8:55 PM | Report abuse


Simmer down.
A. I made a joke about a long passed little thing.

B. This was Robbie's first year on the ballot. I agree he should get in, and he'll have plenty of opportunities.

C. Ryne Sandberg says 'Hi'

Posted by: kolbkl | January 6, 2010 9:25 PM | Report abuse

Late post, but what the hey...

Blyleven got rooked by the infuriatingly idiotic BBWAA gaggle of dinosaurs that are allowed to vote on this.

Someday, apparently in a decade still much more enlightened than the one we are mired in, the specious 19th-century statistic of the "pitching win" will simply be laughed at the way we now chuckle when someone brings up "bleeding" as one of the trusted medical cures from that same era. PITCHERS DON'T WIN GAMES. Teams do. When you play for a bad team, as Blyleven did virtually his whole career, you can pitch like Superman and not "win" (sic) 300 games. And then idiots like the BBWAA dinosaurs think you aren't as good as the durable guy who relatively coasted to 300 wins on great teams.

Oh, how I wish they would strip the vote from these unworthy barnacle-encrusted old white men, and give it to a learned outfit like the writers at (or really, the staff of any of a dozen other blogs would be a step up from this brain-dead bunch).

Until such time, the keyholders to the gates of Cooperstown will ere be the town fools. Shame, that.

Posted by: B2O2 | January 11, 2010 5:52 PM | Report abuse

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