Harper: Not Making Guys Unanimous A "Pretentious Tradition"

Derek Jeter was not a unanimous Hall of Fame inductee, which is "silly" and "pretentious," John Harper says

The DA Show
January 22, 2020 - 10:59 am

Derek Jeter was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame on Tuesday, this after receiving 396 of 397 possible votes.

A five-time World Series champion, Jeter is the Yankees’ all-time leader in hits (3,465), games (2,747), at-bats (11,195), stolen bases (358) and doubles (544). He also ranks sixth on MLB’s all-time hit list. His greatness is indisputable.

Which is why the one non-Jeter voter is taking heat.

Should the voter’s identity be revealed? Baseball Hall of Fame voter John Harper says yes.

“I do just because we live in an age where everything’s out there now,” Harper said on The DA Show. “You’re responsible for anything you write. I remember years ago you’d write and you’d never hear from readers. Maybe an email here and there. And now everything is on Twitter. I think it’s good because you have to own up to what you wrote one way or another. I just think there should be transparency with these kind of votes.”

Jeter, with 99.7 percent of the vote, received the highest non-pitcher vote total in Hall of Fame history, surpassing Ken Griffey Jr.’s 99.3, set in 2016.

“It’s not all that important that it wasn’t unanimous,” Harper said of Jeter’s vote total, “but it’s just such a silly thing. I thought we were past that with the Rivera thing last year: years of older writers defending this pretentious tradition, going back to the days of Babe Ruth and everything else, where nobody got 100 percent. It’s just so silly. So yeah, I am kind of curious whether it’s a legitimate reason he or she had, or if it's just some kind of protest against I don’t know what. So I would like to hear from the person.”

It’s possible the voter was trying to be strategic: shun the shoo-in to give a coin flip a fighting chance. 

Harper doesn’t subscribe to that philosophy.

“No, and I’ve heard other people have done that, especially in recent years where the ballot was really crowded,” he said. “I just never saw the purpose in that. Vote for the 10 players you think were the best and move on. That just didn’t seem to make much sense to me. I wouldn’t feel comfortable withholding a vote from a guy that I really thought is deserving, which should be the case in Jeter’s case, certainly.”