Thursday, December 1, 2011

Bernie should get respectable Hall support

Bernie Williams is one of the great New York Yankees of recent generations, but that is probably not good enough to get into the Baseball Hall of Fame. But he should get a respectable show of support.

Williams is among 13 first-timers on this year’s Hall ballot although he is generally considered a long shot for enshrinement in Cooperstown. Bernie has respectable numbers, with a .297 lifetime batting average, 287 home runs and 1,257 ribbies.

But Bernie will get some support from writers who respect his playoff excellence, with the Yankees centerfielder being a key member of four World Series championship teams. Plus, this year’s ballot is generally considered pretty weak, with Barry Larkin and Jack Morris the only returning candidates expected to get strong support, so that bodes well for a newcomer like Bernie who is clearly the most deserving first-time candidate.

What would be a respectable number for Bernie? Players must be listed on 75% of ballots to get into the Hall of Fame. I would say anywhere between 20%-30% would be a vote total to be proud of. Anywhere above that level would be an astounding show of support and could bode well for his chances of future election. I would personally consider anything below that threshold an insult, but unfortunately I think that might be the result because several writers who have votes have already publicly called Bernie a great Yankee, but not a Hall of Famer. Plus, Bernie’s idol and former Yankees Captain Don Mattingly has never received more than 28% support even though he was considered one of the greatest players of his generation until his Hall of Fame-bound career was derailed by injuries.

How much support do you think Bernie will get his first-time on the ballot?

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