In an announcement this afternoon, it was revealed that Mike Piazza did not appear on 75 percent of the Hall of Fame ballots, meaning that the greatest hitting catcher of all time has been denied entry to Cooperstown for a second straight year.
Granted entry to the hall were Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, and Frank Thomas.
Piazza received 62.2 percent of the vote, a modest increase over last year.
Late last night, after a huge number of ballots had trickled out during the day, the guys at Baseball Think Factory had Piazza’s percentage at 69.2 percent with just about 32 percent of the ballots counted.
Because of the sneak peek most have been getting over the last few weeks, Piazza missing out on the Hall didn’t come as a surprise. That doesn’t mean, though, that Piazza being denied entry again isn’t an absolute joke.
Piazza, 45, is viewed by most as not only the greatest hitting catcher ever, but one of the best hitters ever, period.
As Dan Haefeli wrote last week, there is absolutely no evidence linking Piazza to illegal PED’s, and there’s nothing about his career arc that should lead anyone to suspect him of being a user.
When he received less than 60 percent of the vote last year, there were many writers who noted that they had withheld their vote because they wanted to see what Piazza had to say about PED allegations in his book that had yet to be released.
In that book, Piazza denied ever using illegal performing enhancing drugs, and I wrote right around that time that the writers who left him off their ballots could right a wrong by getting him in this year. Too bad they didn’t make things right.
There were lots of voters who didn’t think it was wise to vote for Piazza. What was the reasoning for writers keeping Piazza out of the Hall?
Dan Shaughnessy thought Piazza “didn’t look right.”
Rob Parker said that Piazza didn’t have any “magic numbers.” Using his logic, none of the catchers who are in the Hall of Fame deserve to be there, since Piazza is the best offensive player among all who have ever played the position.
Ken Gurnick made a fool of himself by voting for only Jack Morris. His reasoning was that he wouldn’t vote for anyone who played during the steroid era. The problem with that? Morris (who retired after 1994) played during the steroid era.
Jon Heyman didn’t vote for Piazza, and claimed that he voted for 10 “surely clean” players, a statement he can’t ever prove.
Joel Sherman was the only writer from the New York Post who didn’t vote for Piazza, and provided no explanation as to why.
Marty Noble said that he only voted for three players in part because he didn’t want the induction ceremony to be long.
If the voters have the right to their opinion and their vote (which they certainly do), we have the right to question and be disgusted by the majority of those who didn’t vote for Piazza.
This much is simple…
Mike Piazza deserves to be in the Hall of Fame. When he does make it, the plaque should be of Piazza with a Mets cap on.
It didn’t happen last year. It didn’t happen this year. Perhaps next year, the voters will finally get this right.