Why, in an age when baseball statistics are so readily available, are Hall of Fame selections becoming dumber and dumber? Last year, the voters chose Jim Rice, one of the unworthiest players ever to be inducted. This year, it’s Andre Dawson. Forget for a moment all the other great players out there better than Dawson. Let’s leave Minnie Minoso and Ron Santo and Dick Allen and Tim Raines out of the argument. Let’s just compare Dawson to an almost exact contemporary, Roberto Alomar, Jr.
Dawson, an outfielder, played in 2,627 games from 1976 -1996 while Alomar played second base in 2,379 games from 1988-2004. Dawson bettered Alomar in exactly two statistics — home runs (438 to 210) and RBIs (1,591 to 1,134). But Alomar scored more runs (1508 to 1373), stole more bases (474 to 314), hit .300 over his career to Dawson’s .279, had a much better OBA (.371 to .273) and even a better OBA+ Slugging (.814 to Dawson’s .806).
So if Alomar was a more productive hitter and better base runner, why does Dawson get the nod?
It’s certainly not for work in the field. Andre was a fine outfielder, winning 8 Gold Gloves; Roberto was a better fielder, winning 10 Gold Gloves at a far more demanding fielding position.
Dawson made 8 All-Star teams, Alomar, 12.
So if Andre Dawson wasn’t a better player than Roberto Alomar, why is he in the Hall of Fame at least one year earlier? Man, you spit on an umpire one time in this game and they never let you forget it.
Hear Tim Kurkjian’s rant on this at ESPN.com.