Most of the talk surrounding the 2013 Baseball Hall of Fame voting is centering around the list of first-time eligible players, which includes Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens and Sammy Sosa. Of course the debate regarding those three players centers around their alleged use of performance-enhancing drugs and just how the baseball writers will treat them and other players from the “Steroid Era” going forward.
Jack Morris is in his 14th year on the Hall of Fame ballot, and received 66.7 percent of the vote last year. A player must be listed on 75 percent of ballots to be elected, and Morris fell just 48 votes short last year. Assuming another jump in votes this time around, he should be close to a lock to be elected in his second to last year on the regular ballot.
Let’s look at Morris’ Hall of Fame resume:
Other Notable Numbers:
549 games pitched (527 starts); 3,824 innings pitched; 175 complete games; 28 shutouts
11 Seasons with at least 34 starts made and 200 innings pitched; including seven straight seasons reaching both milestones from 1982-1988
5-Time All-Star (1981, 1984, 1985, 1987, 1991)
Had the most wins for any starting pitcher in both leagues during the 1980′s (162)
Three 20-win seasons (1983, 1986, 1992)
Four-Time World Series Champion (1984, 1991, 1992, 1993)
Career Postseason Record: 7-4, 3.80 ERA (13 starts-92.1 innings)
Among the knocks on Morris that have kept him from gaining induction into the Hall of Fame include a fairly elevated career ERA (3.90), the fact he never finished higher than third in any Cy Young Award voting and a pedestrian career regular season win percentage (.577). But his ability to show up in big moments, most notably in Game 7 of the 1991 World Series for the Twins when he pitched 10 shutout innings, separates him from his peers and he was a top of the rotation ace for three World Series winners.
I feel it’s time for Morris to be elected to the Hall of Fame, and it should not take another year for voters that have not voted for him to realize he is worthy. It would be a shame to see him go off the ballot after next year, then go to the Veteran’s Committee the next time it convenes to consider players from his era in 2017. At that point it’s anyone’s guess when Morris would become a Hall of Famer, if ever.