Hey baseball fans!
The Veteran's Committee recently voted in two guys into the Baseball Hall of Fame. One of them, Lee Smith, definitely deserved it. The other one, Harold Baines, possibly didn't. Here's why.
Baines played for 22 seasons from 1980-2001, most famously with the White Sox and Orioles. During that 22-year span, Baines batted .289 with 384 home runs and 1,628 RBIs. To some, these numbers might be worthy of the Hall of Fame, but to most people, this is not the case. My personal problem with Baines being in the Hall of Fame is his seasonal averages. He played for 22 years, so for a guy with a .289 lifetime batting average, one would expect him to have over 3,000 career hits. However, he only averaged about 130 hits per season, which is way lower than the 150 hits per 20 years that are required for 3,000 career hits. 384 homers and 1,628 RBIs over 22 years comes out to only 17 home runs and 74 RBIs a season. The 74 RBIs are Baines's most respectable per-year statistic, which isn't saying much. Baines's Hall of Fame case is a close call, for sure, and I'm not denying him being a great player, but even the BBWAA didn't think he was a Hall of Famer; he never reached a double-digit voting percentage while on the BBWAA ballot.
Many people, including myself, are claiming that with Baines's induction into the Hall of Fame, Hall of Fame standards will have to be lowered. The reason why this is a problem is that out of the four major professional American sports' halls of fame, Cooperstown is the hardest to get into. Some people might view Hall of Fame voting as completely arbitrary and that it doesn't really matter for baseball. But those people have to understand that a tough Hall of Fame gives its sport more credibility and in an age when baseball isn't the most popular American sport anymore, that credibility is more important now than it was ever before.
I highly recommend you read some articles on what BBWAA voters are saying about the Baines' election, because my opinion is shared with quite a number of people. This is a very big deal for the Hall of Fame and will change a lot of voters' opinions about future elections. The only thing to do now is to see how this all unfolds in a few years and watch as new arguments erupt about Hall of Fame elections that had previously been dormant for decades. Thanks for reading this post and I hope you enjoyed it. Check back soon for more of "all the buzz on what wuzz."