Each year the Baseball Hall of Fame list grows by a few deserving players, umpires and office executives. The 2008 Baseball Hall of Fame added just one player to Cooperstown, despite a deep pool of nominees. The Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA) votes each year to choose which players make it to the hallowed hall.
The lone entrant in the baseball hall of fame players category in 2008 is Rich “Goose” Gossage. Earning the nickname “Goose” as a pun on his last name, he played for a variety of teams over his twenty two year pitching career. Known as one of the greatest relief pitchers in major league history he still sits near the top of the record book despite having last pitched in 1994. His greatest years were with the New York Yankees and then the San Diego Padres. He amassed over 300 saves in his career, and finished in the top three in history for relievers for most games pitched, most strikeouts, and in wins.
In 2008, there were several strong candidates that were passed over. The notables considered but that were not elected included greats Jim Rice, Andre Dawson, Tommy John, Mark McGwire, Don Mattingly and Chuck Finley. McGwire, like Bonds and now Clemens to follow, will face a very suspicious writers corps since they believe that he likely used steroids to capture the home run title during his memorable showdown with Sammy Sosa. Jim Rice, the longtime Boston Red Sox slugger who batter a career .297, was getting close to the cutoff since he retired 20 years ago. Nominees for the hall are only considered from 5 to 21 years after they retire. After that they cannot be nominated through normal channels (though the Veteran’s Association could consider them in the future).
Brand new nominees to the hall this year included David Justice and Chuck Knoblauch. Though both were Rookies of the Year in the respective professional debuts, the BBWAA was not as kind. The tandem only made it on less than 1% of writer’s ballots. In 2007, however, the BBWAA voted two first-time nominees into the hall. Both Cal Ripken Jr. and Tony Gwynn were elected with a near consensus 98.5 and 97.6, respectively. To be elected a player must be on 75% of voter’s ballots. Ripken Jr. holds the MLB record for most games played in a row without a break.
The winners for 2009 entry into the baseball hall of fame were announced in January of 2009 and some players got redemption. The BBWAA elected Rickey Henderson and a very relieved Jim Rice for inclusion in a ceremony in to be held in July in New York and the Veterans’ Association picked Joe Gordon. All three will be inducted with past hall of fame inductees in the audience. Rickey Henderson was a shoe-in because he is considered one of the best base stealers to ever play the game. Because of this base stealing he is also among the best leadoff hitters in the history of the league, if not the very best.
So keep it locked here at Electro-Mech for all the latest in baseball news, trends, lates and greats, because we’re more than just an electronic baseball scoreboards manufacturer. We have a passion for sports, and it’s our pleasure to share that passion with you. We’ll make sure to be there when the scoreboards light up as our favorite players rack in the points.