No one in their right mind could mount a worthwhile argument that Gwynn and Ripken shouldn't be the first unanimous Hall of Famers in history. However, this jacka** from Chicago clearly is jonesing for some attention and will prevent these two greats from achieving that honor.
Of the 178 members of the BBWAA who answered the question about Ripken's induction, only one, Paul Ladewski, a columnist for the Daily Southtown in suburban Chicago, said he didn't vote for Ripken. "In an attempt to uphold the Hall of Fame standards established by their predecessors, I will not vote for anyone who played in the 1993-2004 period, which I consider to be the Steroids Era," Ladewski wrote in an e-mail to The Sun last month. "That includes Tony Gwynn, Mark McGwire and Cal Ripken Jr."The San Diego Union-Tribune did a similar poll as it applied to Gwynn's candidacy, and of the 233 responses it received, only Ladewski said he would have reservations about voting for the Padres' eight-time batting champion.Ladewski, a BBWAA member since 1984, confirmed last week that he submitted a blank ballot, which, in effect, will be counted as a "No" vote for all candidates."It's not an anti-Cal Ripken vote or an anti-Tony Gwynn vote; it's a vote about not knowing enough, in my opinion, of the Steroids Era and performance-enhancing drugs to make the kind of decision that needs to be made," Ladewski said."From my dealings with Cal Ripken Jr. in the past, he was very pleasant, a good ambassador for the game, and his numbers speak for themselves," Ladewski said. "But I don't have enough information on the [steroids] subject to make a decision."
NOT an anti-Ripken vote? NOT an anti-Gwynn vote? Sure, you're punishing two of the greatest, most respected, most revered players in baseball history for the sins of that steroid-pumping cheater McGwire...but that's not anti-Gwynn or anti-Ripken. I knew I hated suburban Chicago...and anyone from there.