Did the Spitting Incident Cost Roberto Alomar the Hall of Fame?

January 7, 2010 – 9:30 am by timgunter

There are nineteen second baseman enshrined in the Baseball Hall of Fame and Roberto Alomar is not one of them, yet. Alomar was snubbed of being elected to the Hall of Fame in 2010 with the only entrant being Andre Dawson. Some argue that Alomar is the best second baseman of all-time. So why did he not get in on his first-ballot? Some say it is from the 1996 spitting incident in which he spit in the face of umpire John Hirschbeck. Alomar argued the call of a third strike and the argument escalated and got so heated that Alomar chose to spit in his face. Today, Alomar and Hirschbeck are good friends and the now retired Hirschbeck publicly endorses Alomar for his election into the Baseball Hall of Fame. The thing is that the Hall of Fame voters are such tightwads they can’t let go of something like that so they have chosen to prevent or at least delay his enshrinement. You can go ahead and start reserving a place in Cooperstown for Alomar as he is a “lock” for next year.

Roberto Alomar joined ESPN Radio in New York with Michael Kay to talk about what his thoughts were when he found out that he didn’t make it to the Hall of Fame, whether he can think of anything to hold him from getting into the HOF on the first-ballot, whether he thinks it has anything to do with the incident with John Hirschbeck, and whether he called John Hirschbeck himself to tell him that it wasn’t his fault.

On what his thoughts were when he found out that he didn’t make it to the Hall of Fame:

“Well, I feel disappointed in a way. On the other hand I got a lot of votes. Stay positive and hopefully next year I can get in.”

On people saying that he is the greatest second baseman of all-time and whether he can think of anything to hold him from getting into the HOF on the first-ballot:

“I don’t know. I think voters should be answering that question. It is out of my hands. All I did is went to the field, played the way that I know how to play the game, I put the numbers up and I should be in the Hall of Fame first-ballot, but it didn’t happen”

Whether he thinks it has anything to do with the incident with John Hirschbeck:

“Well it could be. You know it is…if they can use that as an excuse. You know me and John are friends. It is so funny that you asked me about that because I just talked to John just now. He feels real disappointed the same way that I am disappointed because they are usng this as an excuse. We have moved on from this incident. It feels like some of it is right to move on and I think next year they can forget about that.”

Whether he called John Hirschbeck himself to tell him that it wasn’t his fault:

“Yes I did. John called me back and we talked. The main thing about this incident, we are good friends. Good friends with a family. Now we were talking that we are going to spend time too in Florida and John is real, real, real upset and sad at the news the same way I feel.”

Whether he had people over at the house expecting to celebrate:

“Well I got my wife with me. I have got my little boy and my friends. All of my friends were here and we all feel disappointed but on the other hand I feel good about myself. I think that I had a great career and I don’t think nobody can take that away from me. And hopefully next year we will be in.”

Robbie Alomar on disappointment of not making Hall of Fame on ESPN NY with Michael Kay

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