For the first time since 1996, and just the eighth time ever, the Baseball Writers Association of America failed to elect any players into the Baseball Hall of Fame during the annual voting Wednesday.
Now, you may be asking, “Shouldn’t this be on the baseball blog?” or “What does this have to do with basketball?” I’ll tell you.
Of the 37 candidates on the ballot this year was former New York Yankee, and Armonk resident Bernie Williams, whose daughter, Beatriz, graduated from Byram Hills after leading the Bobcats to the section quarterfinals last year.
Williams, who was a recent inductee into the Westchester Hall of Fame earlier this season, received just 3.3 percent of the 75 percent needed to be enshrined in Cooperstown, a dip from the 9.6 percent he received last year in his first time on the ballot.
Because Williams did not receive the necessary five percent of votes needed to even stay on the ballot, he is now off.
Players can be on the ballot up to 15 years before they are taken off, so long as they receive at least five percent of votes in the previous year.
Over the course of his 16-year career, Williams hit 287 home runs, drove in 1,257 runs, scored 1,366 times, and compiled a lifetime average of .297 during regular season play.
His accolades included four gold gloves (1997-2000), a batting title (1998), a Silver Slugger award (2002), and five all-star game selections (1997-2001).
At the time of his retirement, Williams left the game as one of the best postseason players in MLB history.
In 121 career postseason games, Williams hit 22 home runs, drove in 80 runs, had 71 walks, all of which were MLB records at the time of his retirement. While some of his past records have been broken, mostly by former teammate Derek Jeter, Williams still ranks among the leaders in nearly every statistical category of playoff numbers.
Over the years, the debate of how much a candidate’s postseason accolades should weigh in his selection to the Hall of Fame. Unfortunately for Williams, he will not live (metaphorically) to see another season on the ballot.
The only chance Williams now has of ever being enshrined in Cooperstown is if he is elected by a Veterans Committee, which votes every other year.
Williams was in the unfortunate position of being on the ballot with several of the “poster boys” of the Steroid Era of the 1990’s and early 2000’s, such as Barry Bonds, Sammy Sosa, Mark McGwire, Roger Clemens, among others, which obviously did not help his cause.
Williams has never been linked to steroids during the course of his career.