Thursday, January 19, 2017

Three for Cooperstown


The writers made a small dent in the growing backlog of obviously qualified Hall of Fame candidates, electing Jeff Bagwell, Tim Raines and Ivan Rodriguez.

It was quickly noted that the writers have now chosen 12 players in four years, matching the Hall's first four years for the most selections. But it's also the first time in those four years that the majority of selectees were not first-time ballotteers.

Still, one probably should not be churlish about this year's outcome. Bagwell and Raines are in, as they should be, and the plaques will not note the delays.

And Rodriguez becomes only the second catcher ever elected on the first ballot. His election was closer than it should have been, but (again) the plaque won't mention that.

There is another wave of qualfied -- even over-qualified -- candidates slated to hit the ballot next winter, with Chipper Jones, Jim Thome, Andruw Jones and -- his continuing comeback ambitions not withstanding -- Johan Santana, among others. Even with Raines and Bagwell off the backlist, it's still going to be a crowded ballot.

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