On Monday afternoon former Boston Red Sox outfielder Jim Rice was finally -- after 15 years of waiting -- voted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. Rickey Henderson, who is arguably considered the greatest lead off hitter of all time, was also voted in. It is Henderson's first year of eligibility. Below is a collection of thoughts from around baseball on the Cooperstown selections.
Lynn Henning of the Detroit News says the voters got it half right, with Rice being the player who he says is still undeserving. He also implies that pitcher Bert Blyleven deserved more than his 62.7 percent of the votes.
Allyson Footer of MLB.com says Astros manager Cecil Cooper, a lifelong friend of Rice, was the first person the new Hall of famer called with the good news.
Chad Finn of the Boston Globe writes that Rice's final crack at being elected to the hall of fame by the writers was like his final career at bat: he hit a home run.
Pete Abraham of the Journal News in New York may have had one of the best responses to Rice's election when he asked former Yankee pitcher Ron Guidry about it:
For what it’s worth, I once asked Ron Guidry whether he thought Rice should be in the Hall of Fame and he looked at me like I was crazy. “Of course he should be,” Guidry said. “Guy scared the crap out of every pitcher in the league.”
Kelly Thesier of MLB.com says that in Blyleven's 12th year of consideration he is inching closer to the Hall of Fame. He has three more years to earn an induction.
Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com says that the former Pittsburgh Pirate Blyleven is gaining steam for future admittance, while other former Pirates -Dan Plesac, Dave Parker and Jay Bell -- received little votes.
San Francisco Giants beat writer Henry Schulman released his Hall of Fame ballot as well as made a pitch for Tommy John, who received just 31.7 percent of votes. this season.
Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune has a couple of interesting tidbits about the Hall of Fame. He says Former Chicago Cub Andre Dawson, who finished third with 67 percent of the votes, should get in on the 2010 vote.
He based his opinion on voting trends and what he calls a weaker class with Roberto Alomar, Fred McGriff, Edgar Martinez and Robin Ventura heading the list.
Sullivan also writes that Rice's selection should give Ron Santo hope.
Ken Gurnick of MLB.com says that Tommy John's chances of being elected now rest with the veteran's comittee.
Jason Beck of MLB.com says that the only member of the Detroit Tigers 1984 World Championship to be elected to the hall is still manager Sparky Anderson. Neither pitcher Jack Morris or infielder Alan Trammell were able to earn enough votes for election. Beck breaks down the questions with each player.
John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer said he voted for Rice and Henderson, as well as Lee Smith and Andre Dawson. Blyleven was a vote he looked long and hard at and he said Tim Raines and Jack Morris both make a "compelling" argument.
Fay also had this to say about Mark Mcgwire:
If he moved beyond his "I'm not going to talk about the past" stance, I'd consider him as well.
Matthew Leach of MLB.com says that voting trends aren't looking promising for McGwire.