Yahoo! Sports columnist Jeff Passan has voted for the Baseball Hall of Fame for years. He voted for Ken Griffey Jr., a player he grew up revering, which he said was a “super-cool moment.” Passan is well-aware that being a Hall of Fame voter is one of the greatest honors that a baseball writer can have.
But he has decided to give it up. He will longer cast a ballot for induction into Cooperstown.
“As time has gone on, the Baseball Hall of Fame has taken a two-pronged stance when it comes to writers,” Passan began on Reiter Than You. “On one hand, they do not want to listen to some of the things we have to say that we believe are valid points. For example, the fact that the ballot is limited to just 10 names. We asked for 12. They said no. The second thing is we voted almost unanimously to publish the ballots and who voted for who – because the vast majority of us believe in transparency. The Hall of Fame said no to that too and gave absolutely no reason for it.”
Passan was also unhappy to receive a letter from Joe Morgan urging Hall voters to not vote for steroid users – when there are already steroid users in the Hall, not to mention a wide variety of moral miscreants. Passan felt Morgan was simply “acting as a voice for the Hall of Fame,” and he – Passan – wanted no part of it.
“The whole process to me seems not only flawed, not only backward, but not the type of thing in which I want to participate or I’m proud to participate,” he said. “While a number of very smart people have come to me and said, ‘You could do more from the inside than the outside,’ they may well be right. But I couldn’t sit there and look at all of these things that I felt like were wrong and participate in the process because I would feel like I was being complicit with something that’s just wrong. Now on the outside, I have a little bit more of a leg to stand on and to criticize the process and hopefully bring it back to the place where the Hall of Fame allows the writers to do what they’ve entrusted them to do.”