McGwire's Tepid Hall of Fame Support Remains

So far, Mark McGwire's impending return from self-driven exile has done nothing for his Hall of Fame candidacy other than restore his lost ground from 2008 to 2009.

In the 2010 voting results for Baseball's Hall of Fame announced Wednesday, former St. Louis Cardinals first baseman Mark McGwire received 128 votes, 23.7 percent out of a possible 405. The good news is that McGwire's support is up ten voters from the year prior. The bad news is that it simply returned him to the level at which he sat in 2007 and 2008.

Hall of Fame votes and percentages, Mark McGwire (75% required for election)

Mark McGwire  Votes  % 
2007 128 23.5
2008 128 23.6
2009 118 21.9
2010 128 23.7

At the October 26 press conference announcing Tony La Russa's return for a 15th season with St. Louis, McGwire's hiring as hitting coach was also unveiled. McGwire was neither in attendance nor on the phone. His press conference to address questions of past steroids use was said to be coming "sooner, rather than later" at the time and "imminent" over a month ago.

Based on this tepid response, it seems clear the vast majority of Hall voters are waiting to see what McGwire has to say before considering whether to cast votes in his favor. It is unknown how many voters' minds could not be changed no matter what, but certainly the events of the upcoming 12 months should alter Big Mac's Hall trajectory somehow.

Former Montreal and Cubs star outfielder Andre Dawson was the only player elected and will join manager Whitey Herzog and umpire Doug Harvey in Cooperstown induction ceremonies on July 25.

Other ex-Cardinals on the 2010 ballot

2010 ex-Cardinals Votes %
Lee Smith 255 47.3
Andres Galarraga 22 4.1
Pat Hentgen 1 0.2
Todd Zeile 0 0
Ray Lankford 0 0

The latter four, all first-timers, did not receive the mandatory five percent to remain on future ballots. In his eighth of 15 allowable years on the regular ballot, former closer Lee Smith improved from 44.5 percent in 2009, but remains far short of the 75 percent minimum.

For commentary on potential reasons behind McGwire's slowness in speaking up, check out "Theories for McGwire's delay" at TheCardinalNationblog.com.



Brian Walton can be reached via email at brian@thecardinalnationblog.com. Catch his daily commentary at TheCardinalNationBlog.com. Follow Brian on Twitter.

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