JEFF PEARLMAN

Coming October 2022: "The Last Folk Hero: The Life and Myth of Bo Jackson"

No Roberto Alomar?

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Inevitably each year, before the Hall of Fame results are announced a writer or two will say that a Hall of Famer is a Hall of Famer … that if you’re good enough to enter, you’re good enough to enter on the first try.

I agree 100 percent.

Hence, I find myself shocked that the writers failed to vote in Roberto Alomar, one of the greatest second basemen in the long history of the game. I had the pleasure of covering Alomar throughout my career, and he was unambiguously brilliant at multiple facets of the game. He could field his position as well as anyone (10 Gold Gloves don’t lie). He hit .300 over a 17-year career, stole 474 bases, was a key component of two World Series champions with Toronto.

So what exactly kept Alomar out? I guess one of the issues is that he didn’t reach the magical 3,000 hits—an antiquated standard in measuring true offensive excellence. There was also the spitting incident, which scarred his reputation for the ensuing decade. Also, sometimes we in the media tend to remember a player best by his final days. Speaking as a New Yorker, Alomar was a very disappointing Met.

Once again, I’m babbling. Can someone please give me a valid reason to exclude Alomar from the Hall.

Because I’m stumped.

PS: All that said, congratulations to Andre Dawson. As a child of the ’80s, I always grouped Dawson, Dale Murphy and Mike Schmidt together as the three National League sluggers who scared the living daylights out of me.