It’s unanimous. Ken Gurnick shouldn’t be allowed to vote.
The Baseball Writers’ Association of America announces the results of its vote for the 2014 Baseball Hall of Fame class on Wednesday. Debate has surrounded the players–Curt Schilling, Jack Morris, Craig Biggio–likely to be kept out. But on the eve of the announcement, controversy has erupted over a vote on one player who most certainly will find himself in Cooperstown come summer.
Ken Gurnick of MLB.com, like 148 voting members of the BBWAA before him, publicized his ballot. Unlike the 148 other voters, Gurnick did not vote for Greg Maddux. The Los Angeles Dodgers beat writer refuses to vote for any players from the so-called “steroids era.” The reasoning struck many as peculiar given that not only is there no suggestion that Maddux took any performance-enhancing drugs, the presence of steroids in the major leagues likely harmed his career totals, as well.
Gurnick’s ballot contained a check mark next to just one player: three-time World Series winner Jack Morris. Maddux boasts 101 more wins, nearly 900 more strikeouts, an ERA .74 runs better, and four more Cy Young awards than Morris (But two fewer World Series rings).
No player has ever received unanimous election to the Baseball Hall of Fame. Pitcher Tom Seaver enjoyed the most widespread support, with 99 percent of the ballots affirming his induction. The ballots for 2014’s class made public thus far–more than a quarter of the total–indicate that Maddux could eclipse Seaver’s mark.