Boone talks about Edgar, Alomar and Hall voting
Bret Boone didn’t get shut out in 2011 Hall of Fame voting announced Wednesday as the former Mariners second baseman got one tally … which put him ahead of six other first-time nominees on the prestigious ballot.
In typical Boone fashion, the 41-year-old shrugged that off and immediately asked who got skunked when contacted Wednesday on a golf course near his home in San Diego.
For Boone, the good news was that fellow second baseman Roberto Alomar was overwhelmingly elected with 90 percent of the vote after narrowly missing the necessary 75 percent a year earlier in his first try and pitcher Bert Blyleven also got the nod in his 14th year of eligibliity.
“Alomar should have got 90 percent last year,” Boone said. “The silliest thing was him not getting inducted on the first ballot. He was absolutely the best at our position to ever play the game, all around.
“And good for Bert. He’s been there a long time.”
Boone, like fellow first-time nominees Tino Martinez (seven votes for 1.0 percent) and John Olerud (four votes for 0.7 percent), didn’t receive the necessary 5 percent to be included on next year’s ballot. But he understands the situation and knows being among the 19 first-time nominees on this year’s ballot was a tremendous honor.
“You’ve got to be honest with yourself as a player and what you did,” said the man who led the AL with 141 RBIs while hitting .331 with 37 home runs in 2001. “I had some unbelievable years and some tough years. I was just inconsistent.
“You look at Robbie and what he did, he just maintained it for so long. The all-around game … defense, running the bases. It’s not just numbers, it’s how you play the game. Do you get a good read on every ball hit? Do you get a good jump on pitchers? Those are the little things that are hugely important.
“I have huge respect for guys who did it at a high level for a long time. I got a taste of it for a few years. But those guys who did it for that long, I am in awe of what they did. Robbie was a major force for a decade.”
As for Edgar Martinez, his long-time teammate who drew 32.9 percent of the vote in his second year on the ballot, Boone said he understands the dilemma of a designated hitter with 2,247 career hits, 309 home runs and 1,261 RBIs
“Edgar is just a tough case for people to look at,” Boone said. “It’s tough to get around some of the numbers and can we do it for a DH. For me, playing with Edgar, he was one of my good friends in the game and just purely the best right-handed hitter I ever played with.
“Just watching him in his heyday was unbelievable. We’d sit there and say we should start him at the plate with two strikes just to make it fair. It’s unfortunate that injuries made it impossible for him to get closer to 3,000 hits or the 400 or 500 home runs people look for. But he was the consummate pro and the best right-handed hitter I was fortunate to ever play with.”
Boone made a brief stint last year as the manager of a baseball team in Victoria, B.C., but said there were too many issues with the independent league club and things didn’t work out. For now, he’s back to being a self-proclaimed “soccer dad” and looking to get back in the baseball biz soon.
“I’ve talked to a few people,” he said. “Whether it’s right now or in 6-8 months, I’d love to get back in the game in some capacity.”