If you haven’t heard of Corky Simpson, by the end of this blog you will wish you hadn’t.
Corky is this guy who is a retired writer from the Tuscon Citizen who is also a member of the Arizona Sports Journalism Hall of Fame. He was their first inductee.
He wrote for more than 30 years. Pretty impressive, right?
He’s an windbag who doesn’t know what he is talking about. In 1992, he voted the Alabama Crimson Tide to the top of the AP football poll every week of the season — the only writer in America to do so.
He also is the one who doesn’t have a good reason why he left future Hall of Famer Rickey Henderson off the ballot, even if he had two more spaces left.
In an article on December 9, Simpson listed 8 names, and explained why he chose these. He even went on to explain why he didn’t vote for Mark McGwire. Then Simpson named another 15 names, including Henderson’s and did not give reasons for these 15 omissions.
You know what’s funny? His reasons for choosing some of his votes aren’t that good. Andre Dawson? An outfielder and NL MVP. Matt Williams, a confessed HGH user, Bert Blyleven, who was a good, average pitcher…you get the picture.
But no Rickey Henderson. The same guy who has 3,055 career hits, 1,406 career stolen bases, including the season record of 130, runs (2,295, the all-time leader), 2,190 walks (2nd all-time). Seriously, this guy is a first-ballot Hall of Famer.
Would Henderson have been unanimous? Probably not. Cal Ripken, Jr. was not. Willie Mays wasn’t either (although I believe racism was a factor), Babe Ruth, Ty Cobb, Hank Aaron, Ted Williams all were not unanimous. Rickey probably would have gotten between 85% to 92% (my guess) of the vote.
What bothers me the most is that this man, the one on the right, made a dumb mistake. If you’re not going to vote for Rickey Henderson, at least explain why. You know Simpson’s reason? He’s not a Rickey guy. You know what that smacks of? Pure discrimination. Call it what you want, it looks like Simpson has something against Rickey and won’t explain it. In fact he says he’s sorry and wishes he could have added Rickey. Too late, bud. Thanks to Rob Neyer, we now know about why you voted for whom.
So, all of this got me thinking. Simpson is a honorary member of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America. How the heck did he get elected as an honorary member? Well, according to the BBWAA Constitution, you can become an honorary member by: fulfill[ing] ten years of dues-paid membership and shall have ceased to be Active members. That’s all.
To be an active member, you must be a regular baseball writer and a dues paying member for at least 10 years.
After what happened with the Edison Volquez Rookie of the Year voting fiasco, the BBWAA has taken a big hit this year.
As Simpson said in his December 9 article, “I’ve just completed my second ballot as a retired sports scribbler and lifetime honorary member of the Baseball Writers Association of America.”
I sure hope this was his last ballot.