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  • Tim Burke

Veterans Committee Inductees Provide Hope For Snubbed Players

The Baseball world is outraged over Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens being excluded from the Baseball Hall of Fame. They are two of the greatest to ever play the game of baseball. These results have led to a severe criticism of the Hall of Fame. Many players and fans are questioning the museum's credibility without Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens. The credibility of the Hall of Fame process needs to be questioned. However, the Veterans committee showed us that there is still hope for those the BBWAA did induct.

The Veterans Committee is made up of several Baseball Hall of Fame committees. Their purpose is to elect players, managers, executives and pioneers of the game of baseball into the Hall. This year, The Early Baseball Era Committee elected Bud Fowler and Buck O’Neil into the Baseball Hall of Fame as Pioneers of the game of baseball. A second committee called the Golden Days Era committee elected Minnie Miñoso, Gil Hodges, Jim Kaat and Tony Olivia as players. None of the inductees from the veterans committee have played in a Major League Baseball game since 1983. Years removed from the traditional Hall of Fame ballot, they will finally be inducted into the Hall of Fame. The Hall is doing a great thing in inducting pioneers of the game in Fowler and O’Neil, who’s recognition in the game of baseball is long overdue. Fowler is being inducted for being the earliest known African American born player to play in organized baseball. Buck O’Neil’s induction is long overdue. O’Neil is a Negro League’s legend and founder of the Negro League’s Baseball Hall of Fame in Kansas City.

Unfortunately, only Jim Kaat and Tony Olivia will be alive for their induction. Teammates of Tony Olivia have been campaigning for his Hall of Fame induction since his retirement in the mid 1970s. The three time American League Batting champion induction is long overdue. His route to the Hall of Fame is an unorthodox one but shows there are ways to get in beyond getting voted in by the idiotic Baseball Writers Association of America. (We’re trusting the intelligence of an organization that has baseball as two words for the BBWAA to vote for who belongs in the National Baseball Hall of Fame.) The 2022 Veterans Committee inductees show there is hope that the many snubbed baseball players will one day get the recognition they deserve. There is hope for everyone in the current voting system. Yet I hope the idiotic actions and failure of the BBWAA this past year draws attention to the Baseball world that system needs to change. The veteran committee does exist but they often act too late. Many of their inductees have not been alive to celebrate the accomplishment of being inducted. They act too late. I hope Baseball makes the right decision in the future and changes the voting process but for now we can only hope that the current system fixes the mistakes of the BBWAA.

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