I’ve got a problem with how the 4 major sports handle their respective Hall of Fames and I am going to rant about it for a minute. It’s been a week since the BBWAA turned in an empty class to the Baseball Hall of Fame, the NFL just released their 2013 finalist and it looks like Chris Carter and Tim Brown will be on the outside looking in again and the cupboard for the Basketball Hall of Fame is bare. The members of the Hall of Fames are voted on by writers or analyst who seem to have no real idea about what it takes to be counted among the elite.
Some of the biggest problems I have with the selection processes is that someone can stay on the ballot after they failed to get in. After a 5 year wait players should be on the ballot for 1 year and 1 year only. This would drop all of this “Is he a first ballot Hall of Famer?” talk. If you can’t get in on your first try then you are not a Hall of Famer.
The voters should only be considering career stats, accomplishments or contributions to their sports and not considering if the guy was a pain in the ass to interview or he was rumored using a substance that your sport didn’t want to test for.
If a voter turns in a blank ballot or fails to vote on a candidate, he should lose his voting rights and should never get them back.
Using these simple guidelines would make the induction process for the major HOFs make sense and would insure the great players of a generation are inducted alongside the other great players of their generation.
Baseball: Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Tim Raines, Curt Schilling, Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa, Craig Biggio, Mike Piazza and Rafael Palmeiro
Basketball: Gary Payton and Mark Jackson
Football: Larry Allen, Michael Strahan, Warren Sapp, Will Shields, Jerome Bettis, Tim Brown, Chris Carter, Jonathon Ogden, Andre Reed and Bill Parcells ( I know it’s more than 5 guys, but having one big class would strengthen all the others)
Hockey: Chris Chelios, Paul Kariya, Eric Lindros, Scott Niedermeyer, Brendan Shanahan and Fred Shero
This would leave only Greg Maddox, Tom Glavine and Frank Thomas in the discussion for the 2014 Baseball Hall of Fame class (I know there are other eligible players, but they are the only ones who belong in the discussion.) and Randy Johnson, John Smoltz and Pedro Martinez for 2015. Alonzo Mourning should be the only true candidate for the basketball hall in 2014. The 2014 Football class would just have the likes of Tony Dungy and Marvin Harrison to induct while they waited on Walter Jones, Orlando Pace, Kurt Warner and Brett Favre to become eligible. The Hockey Hall of Fame would have Peter Forsberg, Mike Modano, Dominik Hasek and Mark Recchi to induct in 2014.
This makes it a much cleaner selection process and doesn’t leave the list cluttered with guys that are never going to get in like Kevin Greene and Don Mattingly.