Today's Hall of Fame announcement didn't really contain any surprises, with Paul Molitor and Dennis Eckersley claiming their place in Cooperstown. Molitor got 85% of the vote, and Eckersley got 83. Molitor ranks eighth all-time in hits, which came as a bit of a surprise to me as I looked over his numbers. My memories of him primarily concern his amazingly quite approach at the plate, and his terrific performance in the 1993 World Series for the Blue Jays. I got the chance to meet him once, and he seemed to be a nice, genuine guy.
Eck was as good as anyone who ever closed a game. Has a pitcher ever had a more dominating season, starter or reliever, than he did in 1990, when he allowed 41 hits and 4 walks in his 73.3 innings, giving up only 5 earned runs? He also pitched a no-hitter for Cleveland in 1977, long before he reinvented himself closing games. They're two worthy choices, that's for sure.
As for those left out, Ryne Sandberg still isn't getting much love. He was the next highest vote-getter, with 61% of the vote. Seventy-five percent is required for election.
I don't understand what is keeping Sandberg out of the Hall, and I hope that I'm not saying that just because he was my favorite player. When you have the discussion about the best modern second basemen, it starts and ends with Sandberg and Joe Morgan. I think that Sandberg will eventually get in, but I'm surprised it's taking this long. Of course, Lee Smith got more votes than Bert Blyleven, so what do I know?