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Hall of Fame elects to keep choosing the dead over the living

Big League Stew

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Looks like the Hall of Famers are enjoying their July mixers in Cooperstown just the way they are. For the eighth straight year, the HOF Veteran's Committee has elected to keep the doors sealed for players from the post-WWII era, keeping guys like Ron Santo, Joe Torre, Gil Hodges and Dick Allen out. Though some people thought Santo's wait would finally come to an end this year, he had to settle for being the leading vote-getter, being named on 60.9 percent of the 64 ballots, well short of the 75 needed for entry.

Second baseman Joe Gordon, however, got in on the pre-1943 ballot (which is voted upon by a panel of 12 people), even though he's been dead for over 30 years. Dave Brown says he likes the induction of the 1942 MVP — "He was hurt by playing in Yankee Stadium," he says — and I would tend to agree since his .268 batting average is offset by some good power numbers (253 career homers) for a second baseman. Still, I think it's silly that a WWII-era MVP is deserving while Santo (.277, 342 homers) isn't. As Steve Henson said of Gordon's election, "No more whining about Bill Mazeroski."

After it was revealed that the post-WWII drought will continue, a few members of the Chicago media seemed to take up Santo's cause and asked the panel if they were thinking of revamping the rules or procedure so that these stalemates don't keep occurring. Although each ballot contained an average of 3.3 'yes' votes, the problem is coming to a consensus.

Said Joe Morgan: "The problem is, we can't find 75 percent to agree that guy is the guy."

The vets won't vote again until 2010, but if they'd like some of these eligible players to enjoy the honor when they're, you know, actually breathing, they'll have to figure something out.


UPDATE — The Tribune has Santo's reaction: "You know what, I thought it was going to be harder to deal with, but it wasn't," Santo said by phone from his Scottsdale, Ariz. home. "I'm just kind of fed up with it. I figure, hey, it's not in the cards. But I don't want to go through this every two years. It's ridiculous."

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