Braves: Andruw Jones continues to make progress in Hall of Fame voting


On the heels of a year of baseball that is too much to explain, we find ourselves once again knocking on the door to Cooperstown.

The Hall of Fame vote serves to many fans as a reminder that baseball is a mere days away. Seeing our once-beloved (and still beloved) stars walking the stage to Cooperstown always seems to get us introspective; we see those superstars-turned-legends and think about our current stars, envisioning the fabled day when they may walk across the stage. Each year, the promise of baseball less than a month away always eventuated that feeling, adding in with it a level of excitement and anticipation that can only be rivaled by that of Christmas morning.

On the long journey that is the offseason, the Hall of Fame vote is like that of a preliminary landing announcement; we’re not QUITE there, but we’re making the descent.

Sadly, it seems this year’s journey has some traffic on the runway.

The Long and Short of It

While talks between MLB and the MLB Players Association are improving, according to what was reported today, we’re still well in the throws of the lockout. Right now, the only hope we have is that the talks between the two parties progress and that we don’t see any of our spring training games cut.

But, since that’s still all up in the air, the only thing we can do is wait.

So, let’s talk about this year’s Hall of Fame class; it’ll be pretty easy to remember.

In arguably one of the most controversial ballots in Hall of Fame history, David Ortiz finds himself the lone recipient of enshrinement. Ortiz finished with 77.9 percent of the vote, and while he finds himself on the lower end of first-time ballot percentages, he’s on the road to Cooperstown, nonetheless.

The two marquee names that made the ballot so controversial because of their parts played in the steroid era, Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens, now only face enshrinement if the Today’s Game Committee find them appropriate enough for the Hall.

Now, we could sit here all day and talk about Barry Bonds and his case for the Hall of Fame. We could talk about his stats pre-1998 (when his involvement allegedly started) for hours and flesh out the inner workings of ethics and the very fabric of the great game of baseball itself.

We very well could…but we won’t.

There’s only one guy we’re here to talk about; he worked in tandem with a certain Hall of Fame third baseman during his time with the Braves.

Andruw Jones

No, if you’ve gotten this far, Andruw Jones did not gain enough votes for the Hall of Fame this year. His vote totals certainly went up, mind you, but not enough to find his space on the wall just yet. Mark Bowman shared his voting percentage results shortly following the general announcement.

As you can see, the campaign to elect Andruw Jones caught a lot of fire over the last two seasons of voting, seeing his totals raise more than 22%; a spike that shouldn’t be taken with a grain of salt.

The Hall of Fame voters each year take a look at a lot of different factors when it comes to voting: statistics, awards, postseason performance, and so on. Essentially, they want to know one thing: how big of an impact did you make on the game?

That’s the million dollar question right there, isn’t it?

Well…did he?

Spoiler alert: yes.

Absolutely, he did.

Andruw, who totaled 434 HR with a career 111 OPS+ and .337 OBP, was a force at the plate, hitting to all fields with power.

It should also be mentioned that Andruw is the last Braves player to tally 50 or more home runs in a single season.

Yes, we saw his offense productivity take a relative decline after his tenure with the Braves. His time in LA was, to put it lightly, experimental at best.

But as great as his offensive capabilities were, his real skill and the fuel behind his campaign of election is that of his defense.

Jones’ 10 Gold Gloves and 50 career errors in 17 seasons of work captivated audiences and shocked thousands with his ability to run down any ball that was hit within eye shot. His raw talent and abilities aren’t a pleasure we get to witness in today’s game and, personally, I don’t think we’ll see anything like it again.

That raw and unhinged approach to sacrifice everything for the sake of the out can’t be taught. It can be tried, but without the instincts that Andruw possessed, it ultimately will amount to nothing.

Maybe I’m a bit old-fashioned; there are all kinds of different ways to measure a players abilities nowadays, with science being more and more accepted in sports. I just think a gut instinct like Andruw’s is something you can’t measure.

Andruw Jones was the greatest center fielder of his generation. It’s possible he was the best defensive center fielder of all-time. He belongs in the Hall of Fame. Hopefully, the substantial rise in votes we’ve seen over the last two years is just the beginning.





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  1. Pingback: Braves: Andruw Jones Continues To Make Progress In Hall Of Fame Voting - ATL Blaze Radio

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