What do baseball’s Mariano Rivera and Derek Jeter have in common? They both are rarely-found New York Yankees. They both are #10 BCARs. And finally, they both were unanimously voted into baseball’s Hall of Fame. Well, almost. Just this week, Jeter fell one vote short. That’s 396 out of 397 votes. Wow!
“God bless the sportswriter who stared down overwhelming groupthink to deny Jeter the perfection he had been granted his entire career,” writes one journalist. To be sure, Jeter was quite the talented player, a captain who led the Yankees to five World Series victories, netted 3,465 career hits, played in 14 MLB All-Star games, and won five Silver Slugger trophies and five Golden Gloves. However, was Derek Jeter really one of the best players ever? After all, he never won an MVP award, and he never led the league in batting, on-base percentage or slugging in any of his 20 seasons. For that matter, did Rivera deserve to get into the Hall of Fame unanimously (the first ever in history)? As one author writes, “Rivera only pitched a mere inning on average per outing. That kept him from providing as much value as most of baseball’s starters in a given year.” He goes on to write, “It’s merely that he (Jeter) was always inferior to many of his less-well-regarded contemporaries: A-Rod (#5 FEIR), Ken Griffey Jr. (#1 FEAR), Barry Bonds (#1 FEAR), Adrian Beltre (#1 FEAR), Pedro Martinez (#1 FEIR) and many others were denied Jeter’s degree of attention, fame and repute despite having more productive careers.”
So what gives? Why such acclamation and acceptance for Rivera and Jeter? If we think about it, perhaps one big reason may be simply due to their likability. Not all #10 BCARs have amiable personalities (think of Tiger Woods or Kareem Abdul Jabbar), but Mariano and Derek were two unique #10s well-loved by both fans and even their enemies. To be sure, there is more to sports than talent. Personality is huge. The 397 HoF judges are human, not complete impartial officials. This is why, as many speculate, Curt Schilling (#13 FCIR) is still waiting at the famous Hall’s gates. Schilling has not shied away from expressing his political views over the years, and it’s cost him at the hands of several subjective (and liberal) baseball judges.
Also inducted alongside Jeter was Larry Walker. Mr. Walker was a rare MLB lefty #1 FEAR Caucasian gifted in both hitting and fielding. He didn’t actually think he would make it, Tweeting, “Although I believe I’m going to come up a little short today I still wanna thank all you that have been pulling for me and showing your support. I’m grateful for all of you! It’s been fun leading up to today reading everyone’s thoughts.” Yet, the phone call finally came, and thus the only two men to be inducted this year were both ‘feeling’ Animates!
Written by: Staff
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