Expand beyond baseball writers: Kenny, Costas, Olbermann should have Hall of Fame votes

I have written many times that journalists shouldn’t be voting for Hall of Fames or awards in all sports. Journalists cover the news; they don’t make the news.

Once again, baseball writers reported on the news they made yesterday with their Hall of Fame votes.

However, I am not going to go on that soapbox today. I have a different issue.

I was watching MLB Network’s fine coverage of the Hall of Fame announcement yesterday. Brian Kenny, in particular, was killing it. He was coming up with one fact after another and making numerous observations about the candidates. I like to think I know a bit about baseball, and he was telling me so much I didn’t know.

Then it dawned on me: Kenny doesn’t have a Hall of Fame vote. That’s ridiculous.

Balloting is limited to members of the Baseball Writers Association of America. This year, there were 549 voters. Here is a link to the list.

It has been reported that there are numerous voters who haven’t covered baseball in years. Again, that’s a story for another day.

In the early days of the Hall, baseball writers were given the responsibility of conducting the vote because they were the primary reporters on the game. ESPN, sports talk radio, and local TV sports networks still were light years away.

Obviously that isn’t the case anymore. Now, the press box is full of sports TV and radio reporters in all markets who see virtually every game each year. In my town, Chicago, Bruce Levine, David Schuster, Jesse Rogers are among the radio heads who live at the ballparks.

Shouldn’t they have a Hall of Fame vote?

Naturally, MLB Network has many people besides Kenny who should be voting for the Hall. That includes you, Chris Russo. At ESPN, who watches and talks about more baseball than Karl Ravech?

And who has a better understanding about the history and context of the game than Bob Costas and Keith Olbermann?

It isn’t 1940. It is 2015. It’s time to include all forms of media who cover the game if the Hall wants the most qualified people voting on the players who will have plaques in Cooperstown.



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