The Phillies legend will have to wait another year to get into Cooperstown
Allen was set to be on the Golden Days Era Committee ballot for consideration for the Baseball Hall of Fame Class of 2021.
Typically, a veteran’s committee discusses the ballot and votes in person at the Baseball Winter Meetings, but on Monday the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum announced today that its Board of Directors “voted unanimously to reschedule this winter’s two Era Committee elections as a result of uncertainties associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.”
This means that instead of potentially being elected to the Hall of Fame this winter, the 78-year-old Allen will have to wait until the winter of 2021 to know whether he’ll be a member of the Hall of Fame Class of 2022.
The Hall of Fame’s reasoning for delaying the vote, as described by Jane Forbes Clark, Chairman of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, is absurd. The museum claims that because of COVID-19, which is a legitimate concern, the committee can not meet in-person to discuss and vote on the candidates.
“The Era Committee process, which has been so effective in evaluating Hall of Fame candidates, requires an open, yet confidential conversation and an in-person dialogue involving the members of the 16-person voting committee.
Yes, COVID-19 is a big concern and I do not admonish the Hall for wanting to be cautious with this virus. However, a discussion regarding the Era Committee ballot can be held over Zoom, Skype, or teleconference, just like every other form of business has been done in the last six months.
There is no need for the Baseball Hall of Fame to delay the opportunity of men in their 70s and 80s to see themselves inducted into Cooperstown. These discussions can easily be held remotely with the technology available today.
Even if the meeting was held in person, it can be done with proper protections and social distancing. If the Baseball Hall of Fame can be open on a daily basis, why can’t they bring 16 people together for a meeting? Was the vote they had to delay the Veteran’s Committee vote done over teleconference or in-person? If that kind of decision can be made, a Veteran’s Committee vote can be too.
Allen is widely expected to be inducted when the Golden Era Committee does meet, whether it’s this year or next. With 351 career home runs, 1,119 RBI, 320 doubles, a Rookie of the Year, and an MVP award to his name, he’s one of the Hall’s biggest snubs to date.
Thankfully, the Phillies announced that they would retire Allen’s #15 even before he’s inducted into the Hall of Fame, a first in franchise history.
The Baseball Hall of Fame seriously needs to reconsider this decision. It would be a travesty if Allen or another worthy candidate is unable to fulfill a lifelong dream of standing on that stage in Cooperstown and accept their bronze plaque in front of family, friends, and teammates.