Two notable former Oakland Athletics were Baseball Hall of Fame ballot for 2009. They were outfielder Rickey Henderson and first baseman Mark McGwire. One is easily considered one of the all-time greats, and the other not so much. One has a career marked with various different records and successes, and the other not so much. One made it into the Hall of Fame, and the other not so much. Henderson was inducted into the Hall on the first time his name was on the ballot, receiving 95 percent of the vote. Mark McGwire on the other hand missed the mark for the third year straight, this time with less votes than he had garnered last year.
In his long and thriving career that lasted almost a quarter of a century, Rickey Henderson played for nine different teams, including four stints with his original team the Oakland Athletics. In addition to being widely considered as the best leadoff hitter that ever played the game, Henderson was also known for his longevity, that of which would come under much scrutiny toward the end of his career. Even though he played his last major league game in 2003, he’d continue to play baseball for other leagues believing to himself that he could still play. Nonetheless, he would eventually “retire” years after his last game, definitely regarded as one of the games greatest, without any question.
The same cannot be said for his Athletic counterpart, Mark McGwire. This is McGwire’s third year of being eligible, but it doesn’t look like his chances are getting better with time. Hall of Fame voters will likely hold McGwire’s status in limbo for a while, primarily due to his involvement performance enhancing drugs. Many of his career accomplishments, specifically thinking of his historic homerun chase in 1998, have come into question by many due to his involvement with steroids. He has not admitted or convicted of taking steroids, but late in his career he has been in a cloud of suspicion, which has carried over to after his career and is preventing him from going into the Hall of Fame. Technically, the numbers are there. He has surpassed many others who are in the Hall of Fame. But his induction well have to wait until at least next year and maybe forever.
Not for nothin’, there’s still the Veterans Committee. But the only three times they have met since their reformation, they have yet to select one player. Good luck Mark.