When Jeff Bagwell got the Hall of Fame shaft last year, I wasn't pleased, but I wasn't exactly outraged. Strictly on a selfish, Beltranian level, I thought things would work out just fine in the summer of 2013 as my favorite non-Met and one of my favorite Mets, Mike Piazza, were inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame at the same time.
I was naive enough to think that might happen this year as recently as last summer, when I made my second-ever trek to Cooperstown. It was my first visit to the town in at least fifteen years, inspired by a Wilco concert at Cooperstown's Brewery Ommegang, and the museum certainly didn't let me down. The amount of baseball stuff that's on display in the museum is pretty remarkable, independent of the actual hall with all of the inductees' plaques lining the walls.
But it's looking like Bagwell and Piazza will, incredibly, be kept out of the Hall this year. I'm not sure how many years a Piazza-less Hall of Fame can maintain its allure. And it's not just Piazza and Bagwell who may not make the cut. The voters could send no new players to Cooperstown this year.
Without Bagwell and Piazza, I won't be making a trip to Cooperstown this summer, and that's quite a letdown. While my Hall of Fame dream ticket might not have worked out perfectly, I didn't think the voters might actually keep Piazza out of the hall in his first year of eligibility.
Mike Piazza is, without question, the greatest hitting catcher of all time. Jeff Bagwell can't make the same claim at first base, but he was a very good hitter, fielder, and baserunner, a relative rarity at the position. If and when each or both players get into the Hall, I'll be there, be it's a damn shame that it's looking like that won't happen this summer.