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Is Roberto Alomar a first-ballot Hall of Famer?

OK, people, I have kept this from you long enough.

But I can’t hold out any longer. I’ve got to be honest with my peeps, as the kids say.

So all drinks are 40 cents today. All beer bottles are 40 ounces today.

It just seems appropriate.

Yes, today I am confronting what the therapists call, “a milestone birthday.” We don’t need to go any further than that. Even with all of the brain cells you’ve killed in here in 20 months, my guess is most of you can figure it out (even Rich, just kidding big guy).

Anyway, I will be shutting down the bar for a week after Prediction Friday. My wife also is celebrating that certain birthday this month, and so we are taking off for a few days together. A low-key, cool celebration without our kids. Should be good.

I’ll do an entry for Friday and then check back Monday, Dec. 14 or Tuesday, Dec. 15 and we’ll be back with some Christmas cheer and hot-stove talk. I promise.

One other quick aside to Jack and a few others that complained: I know we might be making you jump through a few more hoops before you post now. But we were having some serious spam issues on the site which have been corrected thanks to the additional security measures. So thanks for putting up with that.

OK, enough personal junk. Let’s talk sports. Baseball’s annual Hall of Fame ballot came out this week and there is a new name on there that is of serious interest to old Orioles fans: Roberto Alomar.

Alomar spent three seasons at Camden Yards, and will be remembered first and foremost for spitting in the face of umpire John Hirschbeck in September 1996. That may taint his Hall worthiness for some, but I think he definitely has the credentials: In a 17-season career, he compiled 2,724 hits, 474 stolen bases, 210 homers, 1,134 RBIs, 1,508 runs scored, a .300 lifetime average and a career .371 on-base percentage.

He was a 12-time all-star and 10-time Gold Glover, finished in the Top 6 of the MVP voting five times and won two World Series rings with the Toronto Blue Jays, who have inducted him into their “Level of Excellence” ring of honor. He’ll almost surely enter Cooperstown, if he goes, as a Blue Jay.

One other nugget of consideration: Former Sun columnist and now Fox Sports baseball guru Ken Rosenthal once told me that Alomar was the greatest all-around player he ever covered in his lengthy career, and that includes Alomar’s double-play partner in Baltimore (and I’m not talking Mike Bordick).

I don’t have an official vote yet, so I can share my opinion without reservations. I think Alomar is a Hall-of-Famer. And although I am not sure he will make it on his first attempt, he is enough of a slam-dunk for me that I’d put him in there this year.

He was absolutely one of the best all-around players of his time. He may not have gotten 3,000 hits, but he came close and the other areas in which he excelled – the basepaths, in the field – push him over for me.

But how about you?

Daily Think Special: Should Roberto Alomar be a first-ballot Hall of Famer?



Comments

Hall of Famer? No doubt. First ballot Hall of Famer? No way. Two reasons: 1. First ballot Hall of Famers are slam dunks. Cal Ripken. Brooks Robinson. Jim Palmer. Tom Seaver. Nolan Ryan. Was Alomar such a great player that he should belong in this elite group? I think he's a notch below these guys, so not in my opinion. 2. The argument has raged for years whether or not Hall of Fame nominees should be judged only on the basis of what they did on the field (see, Pete Rose). All right, let's restrict it to what Alomar did on the field. What is he most remembered for? Spitting in John Hirshbeck's face. Is that the act of a first ballot Hall of Famer? Look at the recent first ballot inductees, and look at who might have been a first ballot guy, but for. Mark McGwire didn't even make 25 percent his first time around. Alomar a first ballot guy? Not in this day and age, at least IMHO.

Happy Milestone, Dan! I'll have a 40 oz draft to help celebrate. And it will remind me of my recent visit to Bourbon Street and the Huge beers you could walk around with down there.

As you celebrate more birthdays you see things change. For one, you get crankier about changes, such as enhanced spam filters. Also about what appears to be the watering down of HOF standards. It used to be that there were first ballot guys, guys that you knew should be in but didn't quite measure up to the highest of high level of the first ballot guys, and the ones that you argued about whether they were Hall-worthy as their window for induction began to close. Mays, Aaron, Mantle, Clemente - those were no question first ballot players. Guys like Sutton - long career, good stats, but was never as dominant as other Dodger pitchers like Koufax or Drysdale - they could get in but had to wait a little while.

Robbie Alomar is a definite Hall of Famer. For me, second year at the latest. If I had a vote it would be tough. I'd probably penalize him one year for his Hirshbeck incident (no matter how much he was provoked) and vote him in the second year. But he helped revolutionize his position as much as Ripken did at SS. Other than the non-playing issues he's a first ballot guy. He wasn't just good, he was premier in his day.

Welcom to the CCSB over 40 club. CSB Jack is Prez and Rich is Prez Emeritus, I'm Treasurer. Just another day in my book.

To answer the question, Alomar SHOULD be 1 1st ballot HOF'er. They key word being should. You outlined all the reasons why he should get it but sometimes this vote has certain intangibles to it. Call it morals or call it proper behavior, we know that the voters like to teach the arrogant player a lesson....we all remember what RA did that caused a huge blemish on his reputation. You just don't spit on an umpire.

Even still, I'd vote him in on his first ballot.

Dan, happy birthday. I love this topic. Alomar is a first ballot hall of famer in my opinion. Even though his numbers alone would probably be enough, what seals the deal is the fact that he was a second baseman, Compare his numbers to Joe Morgan.

And what about Bert Blylevin? Was does this guy get screwed every year? I hope he gets in. The other person I would vote for if I could is Andre "The Hawk" Dawson. His careeer numbers make a compelling case. Compare him to Jim Rice and tell me why Rice gets in and Dawson does not.

without a doubt....

"The Spit" was 1996 (so maybe you're actually turning 30?) ... a truly repulsive act but long enough ago that it won't prevent the first ballot

Barkeep's Reply: Wow, I knew the mind slips after 40, but I didn't know it was so immediate. I even looked up the exact date of the spit, because I have this accuracy gene going in everything I do, and then I whiffed when I wrote it. Nice catch.

YES! There is no more to say...

For me the Carpet bagger Alomar/Bonilla era marks the beginning of the end of our once proud franchise. You can vote for him if you want; but, expectorate on the ballot before mailing please.

His controversy with the home plate ump may hinder his first year entry but as a player based on all around play and career stats he deserves admission in the first year.

No! This spitting incident will cost him at least 2 to 3 attempts at getting in. His play the last couple of years were below his regular standards. The only way he goes in within the first 2 to 3 years are if he has nno talented competition.

I think he's a slam dunk first ballot HOFer. He was definitely a top notch player in his prime, and his fielding was amazing to watch. He was also great at getting on base.

Is the spitting incident any worse than what Weaver used to do on a constant basis? Is it any worse than the known cheating of pitchers like Gaylord Perry? Is it any worse than the drug abuse by Molitor? My answer to all of those is no. The only thing I disliked about Alomar was his penchant to only sign with teams that were guaranteed to be in the playoffs after he left San Diego. He would only play for teams while they were playoff teams and as soon as they started going downhill, showed no loyalty and bolted. That didn't work out so well once his skills started going downhill, but for like 10 years he got away with it (TOR, BAL, CLE).

Of course, Roberto Alomar should be in the Hall of Fame.

I also don't get all the hub-bub about being a first time Hall of Famer. I realize it sometimes takes sportwriters 15 times to get it right, but that's the sportswriters.

Making someone wait an extra year or 14 after having waited five years already for something they already deserve just to make them wait is stupid and pointless.

---
Barkeep's Reply: Wasp, I agree with you on years 2-15. But I think there is a different level for that first year. I think if I am on the fence about a player, I might wait until year 2. But if I am absolutely certain he belongs -- like I am with Alomar -- I'd go first ballot.

Roberto Alomar deserves to be in the Hall of Fame on the FIRST ballot. He was a magician with the glove, a tremendously productive hitter, a sparkplug on the field and always made things happen. I haven't seen that level of enthusiasm in any Orioles uniform since he left for Cleveland.

Dan,

I've always suspected Alomar's name will be on the "steroids" list when it all comes out. His early, abrupt departure at a young age of 34 with various injuries/ailments is unfortunate. Coincidence this came after the 2003 testing? His numbers suggest a first time election, but....

Hall of Famer? YES!!!

Why is it people always try to find negative reasons or nit pick? In Alomar's case there are way more positives then negatives. First look at his offensive numbers, then look at him defensively. He was a complete player. First ballot all the way.

Congrats on the Big 4-0h Dan. Hope you and the missus enjoy the getaway! As far as Robbie Alomar goes, I think he definitely hall-worthy, but I don't think he's gonna make it the first time through. It'll be close though, and he may make it, but it's no sure thing, and in my book he's there in year somewhere from 2-4. And altho I bleed orange and black I still can't see how a guy like Harmon Killebrew, who didn't need any steriods to hit them long bombs of his, had to wait 4 years. No way should he have had to wait that long. Maybe his all around stats kept him out year 1, but year 2 should have been a slam dunk.

Without a doubt Alomar is a first ballot Hall-of-Famer. Anyone who would think that Alomar was not as good a player as Ripken needs to have his head examined. Other than Brooks, Schmidt, I. Rodriguez, there can't be many if any other players with more gold gloves.

Of course first rounder. Did you see him play folks? So what if he lost his mind once, or twice, or... My view is that athletes are athletes, not saints or gods (sorry Tiger). Their wards and scars should be displayed in their space at the Hall along side of their magic on the field. Induct Rose and Bonds too.

Robbie was from another world baseball-wise. Loved seeing him play and greatness on the Oriole fields, along with Aparicia, Robinsons, and Palmer.

Alomar's stats will certainly warrant a bust in the Hall of Fame.......eventually. I'm not feeling the "first-ballot" vote, though.

Remember, ink-stained wretches otherwise known as "sports writers" cast their votes for this particular honor, and God only knows why these folks look at their voting tasks as some sort of commission from above.

Roberto Alomar has all the credentials necessary for induction in to the Hall of Fame, but his spitting incident will cause some of these holier-than-thou writers to purposely leave him off of their ballots.

He'll get in after a year or two, just because the writers who vote don't want him to BE a "first-ballot" Hall-of-Famer."

It seems ridiculous to put The Spit in the same category as Rose's repeatedly gambling on games he managed, which some posters seem to be doing.

John -- he retired at 36. and if you think there's no difference btw 34 and 36, you must be either 18 or 74.

He definitely belongs in the top 10 all-time at his position and that's a first ballot no matter how big the loogie I say.

Alomar a Hall of Famer? I don't think so. I remember very well when he played here and afterwards. Forget the spitting incident (don't forget how Angelos stood by him though, we beat up Pete alot, but he stood by Alomar who was so grateful he quit playing on the O's at the end of the season). Was he talented? Yes very much so, but it seemed he only put up big numbers when he was motivated to play. He would take time off or just give up. If it was a contract year (he was due for a new contract) he could put up All-Star numbers or when he got shipped off to Cleveland at the end of his career he got motivated when he played with his older brother Sandy Alomar. With all due respect to guru Ken Rosenthal, Cal was better and played to the utmost unlike Robbie who played when he felt like it. I think he should be remembered like Darryl Stawberry a man of immense talent, but wasted it. Definately not a hall of famer. Let Toronto honor him, I wouldn't want him on my little league team (not just for his poor sportsmanship - spitting on an Umpire, but for his lack of effort for the team).

this is way late, but.....my one rap against Alomar is that when he seemed to want to get out of where he was, he would make his feelings felt and not purposely play bad but just somehow let management know that he didn't want to come back, so don't bother asking. He did it in San Diego and Baltimore. His stats show he wasn't a quitter but that nags at me.

I'm surprised by all the readers that think he will get voted in the Hall in his first year. The spitting incident still taints his otherwise Hall of Fame career. Realistically, he will probably get in after three or four years.

Hall of Famer ? Absolutely ! 1st ballot ?? What is that ? Never understood the obsession with it! Your a hall of famer or your not! If one has a vote , you vote for him as being hall worthy or not ! He is or he is'nt , 1st ballot or 10th ballot!

Absolutely. Dynamic player. Great defender, great hitter. Game changer. No question here.

I can't believe all of these people who want to put in the Baseball Hall of Fame on the first ballot a player who quit on his teammates. That's exactly what I saw in 1998 with Roberto Alomar. He just doesn't deserve the honor.

Roberto is no 1st ballot Hall of famer. Maybe a few years down the road. He did quit on his teammates, and "the spit" should keep him out at least for a while.

After the outrageous spitting incident, I would not put this guy in baseball's Hall of Fame, period.

I'm not even going to read these posts because I think this question is kind of ridiculous. I think that when determining if someone is Hall worthy, you should first ask yourself.... Was this player one of the top 3 players at his position for at least a dozen years? I think that you can say without question that Alomar was a top 3 second baseman for longer than that.

In the major categories - HR, RBI, OBP, SB and Fielding %, when you compare Alomar to Morgan and Sandberg, Alomar doesn't come in 1st in any category, but he is second in 4 of them. He falls to third in the HR category (210 lifetime, 162 game avg 14 per year). I think he should be in the Hall, but not on the first ballot. Even Sandberg didn't go in on the first ballot; it took a few years.

I am surprised by all the hypocrites who still harp on the spitting incident. Like you haven't done something in your life just as bad. Give me a breake. Get off your high horse!!!!

His rep as a good baserunner is an urban legend. I've seen him thrown out at third for the first or third out of an inning numerous times. He was Melvin Mora with speed.

Also, not enough longevity. Great, great skills, questionable work ethic.

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