Congratulations are due to the greatest leadoff hitter ever to play the game, Rickey Henderson, as it was announced yesterday that he was voted into the Hall of Fame. You can see his stats here; as statistician Bill James once said, "If you could split him in two, you'd have two Hall of Famers."
Of course, Rickey didn't just produce runs on the field; he produced excitement. And anecdotes. And quotes. My favorite from that wonderful collection was a message he left to San Diego General Manager Kevin Towers:
"Kevin, this is Rickey. Calling on behalf of Rickey. Rickey wants to play baseball."The only sour note on Rickey's story is that the Baseball Writers Association of America still has 28 voters (out of 539 cast) who saw fit to turn in a ballot without Rickey's name on it. Are these people insane, completely ignorant of baseball, sore losers who resent his ego, or are they just contrarian jerks who have a weird sense of honor about not letting anybody in unanimously?
If you ask me, that's the voting equivalent of a player throwing a game. As a voter, you're charged with voting honestly for people whom you feel have earned their place in the Hall. Leaving someone off your ballot "just because" is idiotic and should get your right to vote revoked.