Shreveport Superstar Nominated for Baseball Hall of Fame
To say that your name and likeness appear in the Hall of Fame is likely the most sought after goal of any professional athlete.
The Major League Baseball Hall of Fame rests in Cooperstown, New York and for a former player to know that they were considered as big a part of baseball as Willie Mays, Mickey Mantle, Babe Ruth, Johnny Bench, Ted Williams or Chipper Jones, would be the greatest mark of achievement for a person's career.
This year, for the first time ever, the Contemporary Baseball Era Players Committee will get together to vote on players. The committee is made up of 16 former players, league executives and veteran writers. The Class of 2023 nominations of eight former major leaguers have just been named and will be voted on December 4 at the Baseball Winter Meetings. Anyone selected from this group, along with any electees selected by the Baseball Writer's Association of America will be announced on January 24th, 2023.
Those eight names include Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Don Mattingly, Fred McGriff, Dale Murphy, Rafael Palmeiro, Curt Schilling and Shreveport's own, Albert Belle! This group of 8 players are potential Hall of Fame players who did not get elected by the Baseball Writers Association, but still have stellar resumes that should be considered for election to the Hall.
Some would say that Albert Belle was certainly one of the most intimidating players in the history of professional baseball.
Albert (or Joey) Belle, first showed his baseball prowess at Huntington High School in Shreveport and then at Louisiana State University which made him an easy pick by the Cleveland Indians in the second round of the 1987 MLB draft.
Belle made his Major League debut on July 15, 1989, playing for the Cleveland Indians and finished his career on October 1, 2000, as he played for the Baltimore Orioles.
In 1,539 games over 12 seasons, Belle posted a .295 batting average (1726-for-5853) with 974 runs, 389 doubles, 21 triples, 381 home runs, 1239 RBI, 88 stolen bases, 683 bases on balls, .369 on-base percentage and .564 slugging percentage.
What A Stellar Career Belle Had In The Major League!
Highlights of his career are too numerous to hit all of them, but some of the big ones include:
- Belle became the fourth player to have eight straight seasons of 30 home runs and 100 RBIs, joining Babe Ruth, Jimmie Foxx and Lou Gehrig
- Led the league three times in RBIs, three times in total bases, three times in extra-base hits and twice in slugging.
- Was a five-time All-Star between 1993 and 1997
- In 1995, Belle became the first player in major league history to hit 50 home runs and 50 doubles in the same season
- Homered in the final at-bat of his major-league career, at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on October 1, 2000
However, it was Belle's disdain for the media that cost him a shot at the 1995 MVP Award and some say that same dislike of the media may cost him a shot at Hall of Fame status.
How Do They Determine Who's Inducted Into the Hall of Fame?
According to baseballhall.org, here's how Hall of Fame status is determined:
- Electors vote for no more than ten eligible candidates deemed worthy of election.
- Voting shall be based upon the player's record, playing ability, integrity, sportsmanship, character, and contributions to the team(s) on which the player played.
- Any candidate receiving votes on seventy-five percent of the ballots cast shall be elected to membership in the National Baseball Hall of Fame.
Belle has obviously got the right resume to warrant instatement into the Hall of Fame, however, some of the electors mentioned above are members of the Baseball Writers' Association of America (BBWAA), you know, "the media" that Belle disliked so much.
However, given that it's been twenty years since he played, maybe the lion share of those writers he managed to rub the wrong way have since retired or forgiven him for any issues he might have caused. Maybe, just maybe, this is his year. Plus, having former players and league executives on the board may help his cause.
After all, shouldn't his merits on the field be all that's considered? That's what the bylaws state.
I guess we'll see when the new inductees are named in December.