INCREDULITY. Shock. Despair. Anger.
They’re just some of my emotions right now after those voters given the right to declare who merits a plaque in that elite museum in that small, nondescript town in upstate New York decreed that Trevor Hoffman doesn’t.
Oh, I’ve no doubt that one special day – hopefully 12 months from now – the greatest-ever closer in the history of the National League will earn his place at Cooperstown and become that rare breed of former San Diego Padres players elected into the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame.
But for now, the result stinks. Plain and simple.
I find it ironic and something of a perverse joke that the annual award for the best reliever in the Senior Circuit named in honour of the great #51 is given without him having secured a more than rightful place in Cooperstown.
And you have to ask the burning question – why not?
More than 600 saves in an outstanding career where pressure was on him every single time he went to the mound to lock down a win for a teammate.
Is that not enough?
Well, clearly for some short-sighted voters, it wasn’t.
Of course, Trevor wasn’t perfect in his job. But hey, neither was the greatest closer in the history of the game, Mariano Rivera. Anyone care to recall what happened against the Diamondbacks in 2001? Or the Red Sox in 2004, come to think of it.
But overall, Trevor’s numbers were more than enough to earn him a place at Cooperstown at the first time of asking.
Finishing fifth on the ballot makes it even more of a joke.
But there’s plenty of San Diego Padres fans who ain’t laughing today.
Mind you, you have to wonder about the mentality of some of the voters who didn’t think Tony Gwynn deserved a place when he was first on the ballot for the Hall back in 2007. He only got 97.6% when it should have been the full ton.
Obviously a .338 lifetime batting average, 3,141 hits, five Gold Gloves, 15 times All-Star selection and, oh, yeah, eight batting titles weren’t enough credentials to have his ticket punched for some voters.
I hope the Padres honour Trevor in some way this coming season and show how he more than deserves a place at Cooperstown – and show up the voters who, for whatever ridiculous reason, think he doesn’t.
And I hope to goodness I’m not forced to write an even angrier version of this story in January, 2017.
Meanwhile, don’t get me started on ‘Shoeless’ Joe Jackson…