Posnanski: Talking with the president of the Baseball Hall of Fame

From Joe Posnanski at Sports on Earth on January 11, 2013, with SABR member Jeff Idelson:

Jeff Idelson has learned, in his tumultuous time as President of the Baseball Hall of Fame, that you can’t ever get too caught up in the moment. The Hall of Fame is about history. History takes time. Time takes patience. He understands that people want answers and verdicts and resolution right now, right away. 

He also understands that’s not how it always works. 

“For most people,” he says, “a point in time is a single moment. But when talking about the Baseball Writers Association of America, it’s not a single election. It’s not about one year.”

We are talking one day after the BBWAA failed to vote in a single player into the Hall of Fame, despite a ballot that had two players with 3,000 hits, three other players with 500 homers, the acknowledged best-hitting catcher ever, a 300-game winner, a different 3,000-strikeout pitcher, a player who stole 800 bases, a hitter with three batting crowns, a hitter with two batting crowns, a two-time MVP …

There are other terrific players on the ballot too. Zero made it.

I ask Jeff if he was disappointed.

“Let’s put it this way,” he says. “Every year I root for someone to be elected. I’m not alone in Cooperstown in that wish. By the same token, I was fully aware that a shutout was possible and was prepared for it. We have tremendous faith in the writers’ process.”

Read the full article here: http://www.sportsonearth.com/article/40926358/

Related link: Joe Posnanski will be a featured speaker at the 2013 SABR Analytics Conference, March 7-9 in Phoenix, Arizona. Learn more at SABR.org/analytics

Originally published: January 11, 2013. Last Updated: January 11, 2013.