I was sorry to see that Jack Morris didn't make it into the Baseball Hall of Fame on his fifteenth and final ballot of the BBWAA.
Jack Morris never wanted to be the flashpoint of a heated Hall of Fame debate. All he wanted was to be on the mound with the ball in his hands every fifth day.
The dogged determination Morris displayed throughout his 18-year career was similar to his 15 years on the Hall ballot, but ultimately his persistent and relentless march fell short of the standard needed to be elected to Cooperstown.
In his final year on the ballot, Morris received 61.5% support from the Baseball Writers Association of America, falling 78 votes short of the 75% needed for induction.
Like most Twins fans, I hated the Minnesota native for most of his pro career, because he pitched for the rival Detroit Tigers. And because he amassed a 19-11 record against the Twins during that time. All was forgiven however, when he came back home in 1991 and helped the Twins win their second World Series in four years. His gritty 10-inning outing in Game 7, a 1-0 Twins win over Atlanta, is one of the greatest pitching performances in World Series history.
Morris was never able to compile the stats or the awards that would have ensured him a place in the HoF. His lifetime ERA of 3.90 would have been the highest of any other pitcher there if he had been elected. What he did manage however, was impressive:
"...254 wins, 14 Opening Day starts, five All-Star appearances, three 20-win seasons, the three World Series rings and an average of more than seven innings per start."
It seems to me that those three rings should count for more than they apparently do(He has a fourth ring actually, though he was injured and didn't play in that series). Morris was a workhorse and a leader on those teams in ways that can't be quantified by statistics or won-loss records. I think that should have been enough by itself to get him over the top in the voting. How many pitchers can claim a lead role on 3 World Champion teams?
Maybe sentimentality is clouding my judgment, or maybe most of the BBWAA members are just assholes. Or both.
Morris has another shot with the expansion-era committee in 2017. Here's hoping they do the right thing.