I’m posting this primarily because I found Michael Weiner’s take on the Hall of Fame ballot to be interesting:
The example that I’ve used – some of you have heard me use it before, but I’ll use it in a different context – is the example of George Steinbrenner. When George Steinbrenner becomes eligible to get into the Hall of Fame, he should get into the Hall of Fame the first time. No questions asked. Given the bulk, the corpus, the scope of George Steinbrenner’s career and his impact on major-league baseball.
(Note: Actually, Steinbrenner was on the 2010 Veterans Committee ballot and didn’t get inducted. He’ll likely be on next year’s Veterans Committee ballot again.)
Having said that, put aside the campaign contribution conviction or the whole Howie Spira thing. I’m not even talking about those. George Steinbrenner was found to be one of 26 major-league owners, three times, being guilty of collusion. Being guilty of trying intentionally not to win in Major League Baseball, but participating in a conspiracy where they wouldn’t bid for, you name it. Kirk Gibson, Tim Raines, Jack Morris – the best players. He was found guilty of that by a legal proceeding.
You could say, “Well, George Steinbrenner cheated the game of baseball for a substantial section of his career, and therefore, the morals clause should keep him out.” I don’t think it should. George Steinbrenner belongs in because, when you look at everything he did, he deserves to be in. And I’d like to see – again, you asked the question – I’d like to see voters take that kind of approach in looking at some of the admittedly historic players who are up for a vote this time.