Why Does Anyone Still Care About The Hall Of Fame?

Sure, Roberto Alomar is a great player, but did we need the writers to tell us that? - Jim McIsaac

We don't care what most writers say about baseball on a daily basis, so why do we care about them deciding who the best players in the sport's history are?

There are some things in life that confuse me more than the average person and it seems the Baseball Hall of Fame is one of these things. The concept makes enough sense: having a place to celebrate the greatest athletes in the sport's history gives every player something to strive for in their playing days. But that's about where the common sense ends and the confusion begins. Every year around this time there are huge controversies over who is being voted into the Hall and who is being snubbed. With writers making their ballots public on social media, there's an added wrinkle of crucifying every "idiot" who didn't vote for the "right" players. This process is obviously extremely subjective, so why do we care when writers with an agenda make silly decisions? It'd be more shocking if they got the voting correct, wouldn't it? By showing any interest in the Hall of Fame balloting, people are essentially saying they care who writers like Richard Griffin think are the best players in baseball history. I don't even care what Richard Griffin thinks is the best sports movie of all time and now I'm supposed to be intrigued by his opinion on Barry Bonds's place among the greats? I don't think so.

In an age where everyone has access to information that allows them to formulate their own opinions, we shouldn't still be relying on a select group of veteran writers to decide who was "Hall of Fame" caliber and who wasn't. People should hop on the internet and come up with their own conclusions about the potential inductees based on their stats and maybe even go back to the archives and watch the players in their prime. All Hall of Fames, but especially the baseball version, are so far from a fair representative of the best players in the sport's history that they have become more obsolete than the Sony Walkman. It shocks me when people get so up-in-arms over these ballots when it has so very little impact on their lives. A small percentage of fans will ever make the trek to Cooperstown (which I was never sure was in Pennsylvania or New York until today...) and if they do make it to the quaint village, will the sight of a bronze plaque of someone like Jack Morris really ruin their experience? In a perfect world, everyone would jump on Morris' Baseball-Reference page and see that he was an alright pitcher for a long period of time. If some writers hop on their high horses and end up electing him into the Hall of Fame then that's fine, because it doesn't matter any more.

Maybe back when nearly all of the best players got voted into the Hall of Fame regardless of the era they played in or the substances they used, it would have been a relevant discussion. But now that people are speculating on the causes of certain players' success and with the personal biases of so few having the ability to cause so much uproar, it's obvious that this process is no longer relevant. Was Barry Bonds one of the greatest players of all time? Yes. From what I can gather, the Hall of Fame is a place for the greatest players of all time to be celebrated so in that definition, Barry Bonds is a shoe-in. But whether he deserves to actually be inducted isn't for anyone other than yourselves to decide. Richard Griffin shouldn't be the one who decides if Barry Bonds is still one of the greatest players of all time, you are.

At the risk of crossing the line into full-on rant mode, I'm glad I was able to get my thoughts onto "paper" and am very interested in hearing what opinions everyone else has about the Hall of Fame. It seems that the people who are more "old school" baseball fans are the people more gripped by these inductions, and younger baseball fans (I definitely fall in this category) would rather hop on FanGraphs and decide for themselves who the best players in baseball history are. I thought that my opinions on this topic might change as players that I actually got to see play when I was alive became eligible for the ballot, but that time has passed and I still don't seem to give a damn. So with the inductees being announced today, I hope people don't tweet at the "idiot" writers about their selections and are just content with the fact that, sadly, the Hall of Fame doesn't matter any more.

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