Rickey Henderson was elected to the Hall of Fame, it was announced today. He got 511 out of 539 votes, and the only conclusion I can draw from that is that there are 28 members of the Baseball Writers Association of America who have absolutely no business having any influence on any aspect of the game of baseball and should have their credentials revoked forthwith. Rickey Henderson is the textbook definition of a Hall of Famer, and to not grasp that is to not remotely understand the sport of baseball. (Or, as Pete Abraham put it
: "Nice to know I share a profession with 28 dolts.")
Speaking of not understanding the sport of baseball, the same BBWAA elected Jim Rice, having bought into the "most feared hitter of his time" myth that has been perpetrated the past few years, flying the face of reality. Nobody can possibly be the most feared hitter in baseball when he has such low intentional walk totals and when he grounded into so many double plays. Plus he was only feared for a few years -- the HoF is supposed to reward longevity, and Rice had none. He stopped being a great player by the time he turned 31.
This isn't the anti-Red Sox bias of a Yankees fan -- I don't think Don Mattingly belongs in the Hall, either, and Mattingly's case is far stronger than Rice's. All electing Rice has done is lower the standards for entry into the Hall, which defeats the whole purpose of having a Hall.
But Rickey Henderson is in, and I can't think of a more deserving player. Watching Rickey play every day during his time with the Yankees and Mets was an absolute joy. He was a perfect combination of skill and entertainment. Bravo to him.