Mets fans might be happy to know that a former Mets pitcher will be inducted to the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown in 2014, and that there is a very strong possibility that another former Mets pitcher will get the induction call in 2015.
Tom Glavine was one of three players who received the necessary votes to be inducted this summer. Next year, Pedro Martinez’ name will appear on the ballot for the first time, and it would seem very likely that Martinez—a better, and far more dominant pitcher than Glavine was—will roll on in on his first try if Glavine (who was rarely even considered the best pitcher on his own team during his career) managed to get the votes in his first year on the ballot.
Meanwhile, Mike Piazza was passed over again in this, his second year on the ballot. Piazza received just under 63 percent of the vote. In a year where three players—Glavine, Greg Maddux and Frank Thomas—made it, Piazza received the second-most votes of the players who missed (trailing Craig Biggio).
Glavine making the Hall of Fame before Piazza did is the latest figurative slap in the face Mets fans who follow Cooperstown proceedings have received in recent years. It’s doubtful that too many Mets fans made the trek to upstate New York when Roberto Alomar was inducted a few years ago, and Glavine isn’t likely to engender very much blue and orange support for his ceremonial speech next July, either.
Glavine spent five years in a Mets uniform. In the last of those, he gained his 300th career victory in Wrigley Field while wearing a Mets uniform. But Tom Glavine was never a Met, not really. His plaque won’t be topped by a Mets cap, and no Mets fan would be clamoring for him to.
Right now, there are more players enshrined in the Hall of Fame wearing Montreal Expos caps than there are ones depicted in New York Mets caps—even though the Expos don’t even exist anymore, and have no fan base. No one here is saying that one of those two enshrined Expos, Gary Carter, should have had his plaque adorned with a Mets cap, even though Carter was very much a symbolic figure on that 1986 World Champion Mets team that was the last National League outfit to win as many as 108 games.
But, it really remains almost unconscionable that, in their 52nd year in existence, the Mets have nobody besides Tom Seaver enshrined in the Hall as a Met. And, of course, there’s no guarantee that Piazza, if and when he receives the necessary support to get his own Cooperstown plaque, will go in as a Met, either. It’s really a 50-50 proposition whether he gets enshrined as a Dodger—for whom he won a batting title and an MVP award—or as a Met—for whom he was the face of the franchise for seven years and was embraced wholly by Mets fans even if he was not, necessarily, by the media or even, perhaps, by all of his teammates.
In an age where there is so much scrutiny among voters toward not only the players who clearly were implicated as steroid or PED-users, but toward any player who might have even aroused any such suspicion, candidates like Glavine, Maddux and Pedro Martinez—physically unimposing pitchers who succeeded as much with tremendous guile and pitching genius as they did with exceptional physical skills—appeal greatly to voters, while candidates who were power hitters with an imposing physical presence get viewed with a jaundiced eye, whether or not there was ever any proof they “cheated” with performance-enhancers.
So Mike Piazza, and Mets fans, wait. Will Piazza get inducted? Would he go in as a Met? And when will another Met ever be enshrined with a Met cap atop his artistically rendered figure on a plaque?