• Joe Soccoa

Mr. 100%

We no longer have to hear in the great hall of fame debate that, "If Babe Ruth didn't get in at 100% no one will." First and foremost, it would be a moronic reasoning as put so politely by the great Bob Costas on MLB Network's hall of fame debate and two, times have changed and writers back then compared to writers today aren't the same breed.

In the hall of fame history (the first class was 1936), not one person ever had been voted by the writers unanimously until January 22, 2019. It took 83 years for it to finally happened and it happened to the player, when no matter which way you looked at it, that most deserved it. Mariano Rivera became that first player and there was no greater feeling then being able to witness it. Think about it for a minute, where were you the day the hall of fame writers elected the first ever player unanimously? It's a surreal feeling to know you were around for it and now it may open the door to future players to achieve that goal but it would take a lot for sure.

We are already looking down the road to who can be the next one and it could come as early as next year when Derek Jeter hits the ballot for the first time. Could we look even further when the time comes for one of today's best, Mike Trout finally hits that ballot years from now? It's wonderful to think about now that the writers have gotten that monkey off their back.

The question is however, does the 100% mark also open the door for the new "modern" day writers try go get another issue off their back which would be allowing players who have been clouded by PED use to finally get it? The baseball hall of fame voting process gets killed on a yearly basis and given the results from this year's election, it seems as if some of the writers who have still hung on to the notion PED use is unacceptable, the numbers haven't moved for both Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens. In fact both Clemens and Bonds moved just 3% closer than last year which makes their chances fade as they approach their final three years on the ballot. Although it would be a long shot, some of the writers who hadn't voted for both players in the past, seem to have softened and began placing them on their ballots. The next three years for sure will be interesting for those players but one can wonder if this will be the trend now that the first domino of an unanimous vote has fallen.

Whatever the case may be, the hall of fame debate will continue to press on and continue to be controversial but the one thing is for sure, Rivera will always be known as the first player to ever be voted in unanimously and that is something that should never be debated about.

Mariano Rivera - picture courtesy of WABC

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