Well, the day we feared has come. The illustrious knuckleheads of the Baseball Writers Association of America have decided not to send Trevor Hoffman to Cooperstown, with only 67.3% of voters putting him on their ballots. Some of the voting members had their reasons. "Closers don't belong." "Saves are a poor statistic." "Mariano Rivera needs to go in first." Make no mistake; these are all terrible reasons that only bad people come up with. But this is what they will tell you when they say that the greatest closer in National League history wasn't worthy of their Hall of Fame vote.
Trevor Hoffman obliterated Lee Smith's all-time saves record and became the first closer to reach 600 saves. His changeup is the pitch old hitters tell scary stories to their children about. But there may be no greater indication that he belongs in the Hall of Fame than the fact that his name adorns the award given to the best reliever in the National League each fall. So Cooperstown and the BBWAA can deny it all they want, but every year until we'll be reminded that Trevor was among the best to ever play the game, Cooperstown or not. You can't unring Hell's Bells.
"First and foremost, I want to congratulate Ken Griffey Jr. and Mike Piazza. This is a class of tremendous players and people, both deserving of the title Hall of Famer. While the news today wasn't the news I was hoping for, I am humbled and honored to have been on the ballot and in the conversation with players of this caliber. If and when the day comes that I receive the ultimate honor in our game, I look forward to sharing it with my family, friends, teammates, the Padres organization, and most importantly, the fans."