Roberto Alomar deserves the Hall ….

It was one moment of uncontrollable action in an otherwise stellar, steady career. Roberto Alomar’s moment came in Toronto, Sept. 27, 1996, while as a member of the Baltimore Orioles, in a flash of blind rage and runaway temper, he spat on umpire John Hirschbeck.

ALOMAR: In better times.

ALOMAR: In better times.

It was stupidity and immaturity, and the moment hung over him the rest of his career, which began in San Diego, and included stops in Toronto (where he won two World Series rings, Baltimore, Cleveland, the Mets and Tampa Bay.

However, it shouldn’t keep him out of the Hall of Fame, nor should his brief, unproductive, seemingly mailed-in performance with the Mets.

I covered Alomar for two seasons in Baltimore, and this was a five-tool second baseman who could dominate a game as well as any slugger.

In a game against Boston, he homered, beat out a bunt and stole a base, made a scintillating back-handed diving catch of a line drive, and made a throw I still envision. He was about 70 feet down the right field line for the cutoff, but knowing he had no chance at the runner at home, threw behind the runner rounding third to nail him.

ALOMAR: Ten Gold Gloves.

ALOMAR: Ten Gold Gloves.

He made plays like that all the time and with the game on the line I wanted him up as much as anybody.

Said former teammate Pat Hentgen: “He was just so good at everything. He ran the bases well, he was a clutch hitter, he hit for power, he played tremendous defense, and he made everyone around him better defensively. Just a clutch performer. He always rose to the occasion.”

Except that day in Toronto.

There are several criteria for being a Hall of Famer, but they are subjective to the voter. Alomar gets mine because he dominated his position for over a decade. There was no better second baseman. He went to 12 All-Star Games and won ten Gold Gloves.

Numbers wise, among second basemen, he ranks first in steals, sixth in hits and seventh in runs scored. Just numbers, but when the game was in the balance he dominated.

He’ll get my vote.

13 thoughts on “Roberto Alomar deserves the Hall ….

  1. I find your comments concerning the spitting as “stupidity and immaturity” interesting to say the least. When Milledge high fived the fans down the right field line he was pilloried by the press and when F Mart didn’t run out a ball after his call up he was pilloried. But Alomar, who had been in the bigs for several years was merely immature and stupid? Credit goes to the ump who didn’t start punching Alomar after that. You want to vote for him, OK, I agree the spitting shouldn’t keep him out. Whomping a guy with a bat didn’t keep Marichal out. But don’t whitewash Alomar’s disgusting act to help justify your vote. You justified your vote with his numbers, which is what the HOF is really about.

  2. Harry (1): You don’t think Alomar wasn’t torched by the incident? The point I was making was one bad act shouldn’t cancel out a career. Of course, the exception is when that bad act is steroids or gambling. I wasn’t justifying my vote. I was simply saying I won’t buy that as a reason to keep him out.-JD

  3. I am torn about Roberto for the HOF. It has nothing to do with the spitting incident, but the fact that his career ended so abruptly at age 34 and especially in an era where players last a lot longer than he did as a productive player it seemed a little odd. He compares very favorably to Ryan Sandburg and other 2nd basemen in the hall, but I am just torn on the overall arc of his career.

    He is a player that I would not be that upset if he got in or that upset if he gets left out.

  4. And I will admit, as a Met fan, those last two years are a bit of a factor in my opinion of him, hard to set those two years out :)

    I remember how excited I was that we managed to “dump” Kent from the team and brought in ROBERTO ALOMAR. I mean just WOW!!! How wrong I was :)

  5. James, There was 6 years between Kent and Alomar. Kent went for Baerga, another guy who forgot how to hit when he put on a Mets uniform. Then Fonzie played several years at second. I agree he should be in the hall. He was a regular on sportscenter, mostly for his fielding gems. That whole 2002 Met team was full of dissapoining players like Alomar, Burnitz and Mo. Piazza began his slide that year too. Funny thing is how fast a team can go from the world series to a doormat.

  6. JamesSC (3): I would have liked for him to have played longer, too. But, he had back and vision problems. When a guy can’t see straight it is time to hang them up.-JD

  7. Ray (5): It was an abrupt spiral. But, at the time all the moves were praised, especially the one with Alomar. Mo’s weight was already making him a detriment. It’s a big reason why Boston was willing to let him go.-JD

  8. 7,8 JD, The funny thing is Mo was the most productive of the big 3 they brought in, at least in 02. Alomar was the biggest surprise as he was coming off an MVP type season and was still young. As far as the yankee fans, Im just glad I dont live in NYC anymore.

  9. Thanks for reminding me about the horrid Carlos Baerga, I knew something was wrong with that statement about Alomar but I guess my brain wouldn’t let me remember Carlos to protect myself :)

    Damn Cleveland and their second basement, never touch another one of them :)

  10. 2. I got ya. I just didn’t like giving him the immature line when it should be used for kids like F Mart when they really do immature things like follow the lead of stars and not run out balls.
    Sadecki: Bringing up Carlos Baerga is a very bad thing to do. Of all the guys that couldn’t perform once becoming a Met I think his inability to anything as a Met is # 1 on that pole.

  11. 11, Chiti, Im sure you remember Joe Foy. How about Jim Fregosi? At least Baerga didnt cost Nolan Ryan. Of course they gave away a pretty sure Hall of famer in Kent. Thank you, Joe McIlvane.