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Yesterday, MNB took note of the newly announced Baseball Hall of Fame inductees yesterday, and that Mariano Rivera, the career leader in saves, became the first player ever elected unanimously to the Hall.

I commented:

Nobody is going to argue with Mariano Rivera’s career or Hall of Fame credentials. But I must admit that I have a problem that he somehow managed to be the first player ever elected unanimously. Not Ted Williams or Joe DiMaggio. Not Mickey Mantle or Willie Mays or Sandy Koufax. Not Babe Ruth or Lou Gehrig. Not Jackie Robinson. Not Stan Musial. Or any one of dozens of legendary players.

Give me a break.

Rivera was a great player and competitor - the best closer of all time. From all reports, he is a good man and role model. I’m glad when people like him get recognition, and happy that the Hall of Fame continues to reject players like Barry Bonds and Roger Clemons that have been tainted by the steroids scandal.

But the first one to be elected unanimously? Hard to accept that one.

MNB reader Marty Salerno responded:

Spoken like a true Mets fan.

Maybe. But I totally respect Rivera … even though he was a Yankee.

One MNB reader wrote:

Isn’t it more a statement on what must’ve been some awfully curmudgeonly writers in the past?

Maybe. Though it isn’t my impression that modern baseball writers are a gentle, accommodating bunch.

And finally, from MNB reader Roy St.Clair:

Not only did the HOF voters not elect Joe DiMaggio unanimously, I’m pretty sure that they did not elect him in his first year of eligibility.
Can you believe that?
These folks with HOF votes (writers and members?) are fickle, to say the least.

That was something I didn’t know, so I did a little research … and in fact, DiMaggio was elected two years after he was first eligible. (That must’ve really annoyed him. DiMaggio was known as a prickly individual, whose various contracts always called for him to be introduced as “the greatest living baseball player.”)

Now, if I understand it right, the delay had more to do with a change in eligibility requirements (it went from a one-year wait to a five-year wait, though DiMaggio was exempted) and timing issues that had a number of great players lined up ahead of him.

Still, it is remarkable that he had to wait.

I love the fact that I got so much email about this (MNB readers are terrific!), and that I learned something I didn’t know before (which happens every day).
KC's View: