Uberti: Baseball writers face moral dilemma in Hall of Fame vote

From David Uberti at the Columbia Journalism Review on January 7, 2016, with mention of SABR members Jacob Pomrenke and Jay Jaffe:

Baseball writers’ annual ritual of canonizing saints in the church of baseball—of voting players into the Hall of Fame—concluded Wednesday after weeks of typically fiery debate over who is worthy. Ken Griffey Jr., a smooth-swinging centerfielder who embodied all that is good and holy in the sport, headlined the two-man 2016 class with a record 99.3 percent of votes cast. But the induction of power-hitting catcher Mike Piazza may be more consequential for sports media still grappling with how to remember some of baseball’s darkest days. 

Journalism, the adage goes, is the first rough draft of history. But baseball writers, specifically veteran Baseball Writers’ Association of America members, have something of a final-cut privilege on how the sport is recognized in our collective consciousness. They hold the keys to Cooperstown, the power to confer upon players not only eternal baseball glory, but also a place in American mythology. But the debate in recent years over how to wield that power with respect to the Steroid Era, which spanned roughly two decades till the late-2000s, has divided writers over what the Hall of Fame is or should be.

Read the full article here: http://www.cjr.org/analysis/baseball_writers_annual_ritual_of.php

Originally published: January 7, 2016. Last Updated: January 7, 2016.