Henderson Won’t Get Unanimous Election Into the HOF Thanks to Corky Simpson

January 8, 2009 at 9:58 am 9 comments


I came across this article thanks to Buster Olney over at the Four-Letter. Apparently, “retired sports scribbler and lifetime honorary member of the Baseball Writers Association of America” Corky Simpson doesn’t think Rickey Henderson is good enough to make his 10-person Hall of Fame ballot but Matt Williams is.

Here is Simpson’s ballot:

Pitcher Bert Blyleven, who ranks fifth all-time in strikeouts and ninth in shutouts.

Andre Dawson, outfielder, National League Most Valuable Player Award winner in 1987.

Tommy John, who pitched for 26 seasons, second most in major league history, won 288 games and gave his name to a surgical technique for which he was a pioneer and after which he won the National League’s Comeback Player of the Year in 1976.

Don Mattingly, who played 14 seasons, all with the New York Yankees and won nine Gold Glove Awards at first base.

Tim Raines, a seven-time All-Star outfielder, 1986 National League batting champion and four-time base-stealing champ.

Jim Rice, who played 16 seasons, all with the Boston Red Sox. Rice was the 1978 American League Most Valuable Player, and he finished his career with a .298 lifetime batting average and 382 home runs.

Alan Trammell, who shares the major league record for most years by a shortstop (20) and played all those seasons with the Detroit Tigers. He was voted to six All-Star teams and was a member of the 1984 World Series champion Tigers.

Matt Williams, my first Hall of Fame vote for an Arizona Diamondback player. Matty played 17 seasons for the Giants, Indians and Diamondbacks. Nobody ever played the game with more intensity, nor with more reverence for the sport.

He was the inspirational leader of the 2001 World Series champion D’backs.

Are you kidding me?! First off, he has some AWFUL selections on his ballot. Mattinlgly and Williams should not be considered at all. There are also a few others that I don’t agree with but at least I can see why people vote for them. But to have two ridiculous selections on your ballot and still leave two blank spots without addind Rickey Henderson is just ridiculous.

Oh, the ridiculousness doesn’t stop there. He lists a player he wishes he could’ve voted for but didn’t and it’s not even Rickey Henderson:

Of those I didn’t vote for but wish I could have, Mark McGwire tops the list. One of the greatest sluggers in baseball history, Big Mac broke Roger Maris’ record with 70 home runs in 1998 and accumulated an astounding 583 for his career. But there is doubt about whether McGwire’s career was chemically enhanced and unless — and until — that matter is taken care of, this voter won’t mark the ballot for Mark.

I can understand his reasoning for not voting for McGwire (although I would vote for him) but he has still yet to give a reason why Henderson is not on the ballot. Does he explain it in the next part?

Others honored with nomination this year and who may well be voted into the Hall of Fame, include Harold Baines, Jay Bell, David Cone, Ron Gant, Mark Grace, Rickey Henderson, Jack Morris, Dale Murphy, Jesse Orosco, Dave Parker, Dan Plesac, Lee Smith, Greg Vaughn and Mo Vaughn.

Of course not! He lumps Henderson in with the likes of Dan Pleasac, Jay Bell, and Greg Vaughn without another word uttered about Henderson, who is one of the best players to ever play the game and belongs in the Hall and on every ballot.

His voting philosophy is obviously that of a “fan” and not a person who qualifies people for his ballot by their stats.

There is no universally accepted definition of greatness in baseball, but all of the men nominated contributed enormously to the enjoyment of the game.

The hands of memory weave many blissful dreams of these boys of summer.


You don’t have to swear to the truth of a song, you merely sit back and enjoy it. Baseball is that way. The heart of the sport is uniquely woven into the dreams of long ago.

You watch a superb athlete as he develops into a star, and you follow his career through its final innings.

Then you cheer again when he joins that pantheon of knights in knickers and is voted into the Hall of Fame.

Way to go Mr. Simpson; thanks for ruining yet another ballot from a “qualified” voter.

-Jonathan C. Mitchell

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9 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Danno  |  January 8, 2009 at 11:47 am

    Great article Jonathan. But I do not consider Henderson to be one of the best players to ever play the game. He may have been the best leadoff hitter in the game. And he is a Hall of Famer. However, with that said, I think he disrespected the game, and I think that could be a reason that he won’t be a unanimous selection.

    I also think Mattingly is worthy of consideration, even if he isn’t worthy of the HOF….he is worthy of consideration. Matt Williams…I’m with you. He doesn’t deserve mention.

  • 2. Jonathan C. Mitchell  |  January 8, 2009 at 12:29 pm

    Thanks! I love his reasons for including people on his ballot. They are laugh-out-loud funny.

  • 3. Charlie Nehl  |  January 8, 2009 at 1:53 pm

    Same reason why Cal Ripken Jr. wasnt and Greg Maddux won’t.

    There’s always one dolt.

  • 4. Jonathan C. Mitchell  |  January 8, 2009 at 2:06 pm

    I know. It is so stupid! It’s usually these old timers like Simpson too. They think becuase Ruth and others weren’t unanimous then no one should. Leave the past alone and vote appropriately for crying out loud!

  • 5. Charlie Nehl  |  January 8, 2009 at 4:24 pm

    yeah, guys like cal ripken jr. deserve a 100% vote.

  • 6. Jonathan C. Mitchell  |  January 9, 2009 at 10:33 am

    Some quotes from Corky Simpson after seeing all the blogs about his ballot:

    “Rickey deserves to be in the Hall of Fame, and if I had my ballot back, he’d have a shot at unanimity — and I wouldn’t be hated by quite so many people,” Simpson said.

    This from a co-worker:

    Green Valley News sportswriter Nick Prevenas said he warned Simpson about leaving Henderson off his ballot when he filed the column, but Simpson told him he “wasn’t a Rickey guy and that he would vote for him next time.”

    More from Simpson:

    “If I had properly researched the situation, I would have voted for Rickey Henderson if for no other reason than he played for nine ball teams,” he said. “Imagine that. He’ll be the first Hall of Famer to have a bronze bust with nine caps stacked on his head.

    “Seriously, he was a wonderful player and I simply goofed. I voted for eight deserving men. I could have picked two more — and I wish to heck I had.”

  • 7. Erik  |  January 12, 2009 at 2:44 am

    Corky Simpson is the same guy that 2 years ago wasted his MVP vote on Carlos Marmol.

  • 8. Jonathan C. Mitchell  |  January 12, 2009 at 6:52 am

    You’ve gotta be kidding me!? I didn’t realize he voted fro Marmol. I think it’s time to take this guy’s BBWA card away.

  • 9. unanimous  |  January 25, 2009 at 9:52 pm


    Bookmarked your post over at Blog Bookmarker.com!


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