Cal Ripken and Tony Gwynn may surpass Tom Seaver's 98.84% mark on Hall of Fame Ballots, but neither will get in unanimously. At least one member of the Baseball Writers' Association of America, Paul Ladewski, a columnist for the Daily Southtown in suburban Chicago, felt he did not have "enough information" to judge Ripken or Gwynn's candidacy.
The issue for Ladewski is steroids. While he suspects neither Ripken nor Gwynn of steroid use, he feels since he can't prove they didn't use steroids, he won't vote for either of them.
The Baltimore Sun has the following quotes from Ladewski:
"In an attempt to uphold the Hall of Fame standards established by their predecessors, I will not vote for anyone who played in the 1993-2004 period, which I consider to be the Steroids Era," Ladewski wrote in an e-mail to The Sun last month. "That includes Tony Gwynn, Mark McGwire and Cal Ripken Jr."
"It's not an anti-Cal Ripken vote or an anti-Tony Gwynn vote; it's a vote about not knowing enough, in my opinion, of the Steroids Era and performance-enhancing drugs to make the kind of decision that needs to be made," Ladewski said.
"From my dealings with Cal Ripken Jr. in the past, he was very pleasant, a good ambassador for the game, and his numbers speak for themselves," Ladewski said. "But I don't have enough information on the [steroids] subject to make a decision."
Before all you Baltimore homers get all upset about someone not voting for Cal, I would like to praise Ladewski's impeccable logic, and extend it to current Hall Of Famers who we lack enough information about to form a reliable judgment about their candidacy:
First up, since I cannot prove that Babe Ruth did not have an unfair advantage because he originally hailed from the planet Krypton and was hence unconstrained by our Earth physics, I do not believe we have enough information about him for inclusion in the Hall of Fame. Sorry Babe, maybe I'll vote for your reinstatement next year if I have more information.
Likewise, to this date no one has proven that Willie Mays didn't play with a magic baseball glove that he purchased with magic beans. I have no reason to suspect Mays of playing with a magic glove, but his continued silence on the subject speaks volumes. He should be out too.
Current vote leader Tom Seaver's numbers speak for themselves, but there were over 18,000 murders in New York City while he played for the New York Mets. In fact the murder rate more than doubled shortly after Seaver's tenure with the Mets began. This is probably just a coincidence, and I have no evidence that Tom Seaver is a serial killer, but until I can prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that Seaver did not commit each and every one of these murders, I don't think he belongs in the Hall of Fame. If we're going to keep Pete Rose out for gambling, then surely mass murder is serious enough to keep a player out of the Hall. We just don't have enough information about Seaver to make a judgment at this time. Should it later be proven Seaver was not responsible for all these murders, I would be willing to reconsider.