I knew it wasn't going to matter. I knew that this year's Hall of Fame vote was set to break our hearts.
It did it anyway.
As Craig Biggio's vote total fell, then rose, then fell on Baseball Think Factory's Gizmo, I steeled myself for the inevitability that he'd fall short in his bid to be elected in his second year of eligibility. When it happened, though, the actual total made it so much worse.
Two bleeping votes.
That's what kept the first Astro from entering the Hall of Fame. Granted, there are players in the Hall who played for the Astros, but none wearing an Astros cap. Biggio and/or Bagwell would have been the first. Instead, two votes kept that from happening.
It's funny how a slight change in the outcome can completely shift perception. Steeled for disappointment, seeing the margin so small made things worse. You start to change the past. If we had more time, could we have convinced two more voters? If the electorate had been broadened, would he have gotten in? If there were no 10-player limit, would he be going into Cooperstown?
It doesn't really matter.
We weren't going to change the minds of PED scolds like Murray Chass, Ken Gurnick and Jeff Pearlman. We might have changed the minds of people like Jon Tomase, who voted some PED-era guys in but not Biggio. Maybe we could have moved heaven and earth to get him in.
Because we saw him play. All the same, tired arguments for guys like Jack Morris can be used here. We knew he was great, why don't all of you?
But, that doesn't change the facts. Biggio may very well get into the Hall of Fame next year. If not then, at some point in the next 15 years, he'll be in. Bagwell's drop in percentage, to 54 percent, is more troubling, since he might get caught into that limbo that Jack Morris rode for years.
Eventually, though, one or both will get in. The Astros will have their first Hall of Famer and it won't matter which ballot he got in on. It'll just matter he's there.
Until then, a huge part of baseball history in Houston feels ignored.
Outrage turns to somberness. Read the Chronicle's coverage of this year's vote. Biggio was put up as a symbol for the city. He wanted to get in, not just for himself of his family, but the entire community of Astros fans. It meant more than just another notch on an accomplished career. It meant something bigger to the city. Baseball fans here have endured the premature end of Jeff Bagwell's career, three straight 100-loss seasons and more. The city, the fans needed some hope.
Will he still get in? Sure, probably. Will it be just as meaningful? Yep.
It doesn't change this vote, though.
Two bleeping votes.
When do pitchers and catchers report? Maybe there's hope in the 2014 season. Tell me more about Brent Strom and Max Stassi, Jeff Luhnow.
- Baseball Hall of Fame: Biggio, Bagwell shut out again
- Baseball Hall of Fame: A morning roundup of calm before the storm
- Baseball Hall of Fame 2014: Craig Biggio, Jeff Bagwell fill a crowded ballot
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