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Blue Jays Birthdays: Roberto Alomar

Toronto Blue Jays Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images

Roberto Alomar turns 55 today.

It is hard to know what to say about Roberto. He was a terrific player. He is also on MLB’s ineligible list because of an allegation of sexual misconduct, which MLB investigated and found credible. The last I heard, the woman isn’t planning to sue or bring criminal charges.

He’s an example of how the character clause of the Hall of Fame vote is so complicated. When he played, there weren’t many black marks against his character.

The question to me is should the Hall be able to remove a player if it is found he wouldn’t have been elected if his true character had been known at the time of the vote?

Pete Rose is on the ineligible list and hasn’t been on the Hall of Fame ballot. I agree that he should be on the ineligible list, but the timing seems to be the issue. He was kept off the ballot because he was found to be ineligible before his name made it to the ballot. Roberto goes on the ineligible list after he’s elected, so he’s in. It doesn’t seem fair.

Of course, there are people in the Hall who, I’m not sure the polite way to say this, have an incredible lack of character (what I want to say is some Hall of Famers are asshats). But then it would be hard to kick someone out of the Hall who had been elected 75 years ago when ‘character’ (or asshat) had been defined differently than it is today.

I think it is fair to say that if Alomar was up for election this year, he wouldn’t get 75% of the vote.

As a player, he was one of the best.

In five seasons with the Blue Jays, he hit .307/.382/.451 with 206 stolen bases. And he had a flair for spectacular defensive play.

In his 17-year MLB career, he hit .300/.371/.443 with 210 home runs, 474 stolen bases and a 67.0 bWAR. He made 12 All-Star teams, won 10 Gold Gloves and received MVP votes 7 times.

And he was terrific in the playoffs for us. He was MVP in the 1992 ALCS and could have been MVP in the 1993 World Series (but Paul Molitor was pretty good too). For us in the playoffs, he hit .372/.452/.492 with 18 stolen bases (caught just twice).

From the Jays, he went to the Orioles (and made the playoffs twice), Cleveland (making the playoffs twice), Mets, White Sox, Diamondbacks, and White Sox again.

He seemed to age quickly. At age 33, he put up a 7.3 bWAR with Cleveland. He never had a WAR above 1 after that.

Roberto was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2011, his second time on the ballot and went in wearing a Jays’ cap.

I have great memories of his play, and I try to separate that from what we have learned. But admiring his ability as a ball player doesn’t mean I have to admire him as a person.


Should there be a way to remove a player from the Hall of Fame if he is placed on MLB’s ineligible list?

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