01/05/11 5:24 PM EST
Mets thrilled for Alomar after Hall election
By Anthony DiComo / MLB.com
Former Mets second baseman Roberto Alomar has been elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame's Class of 2011, the Hall announced Wednesday. Alomar, who spent parts of two seasons with the Mets last decade, received 523 votes -- or 90 percent of the total vote -- to become the third Mets player to gain induction in the last three years. Rickey Henderson was previously inducted in 2009.
"All of us at the Mets congratulate Roberto Alomar on baseball's most prestigious honor, his well-deserved election into the Hall of Fame," Mets COO Jeff Wilpon said in a statement.
The only other candidate to earn more than 75 percent of the vote was pitcher Bert Blyleven, who won 287 games and spent roughly half his 22-year career with the Twins. Alomar and Blyleven will join former Phillies, Blue Jays and Mariners executive Pat Gillick -- who was inducted by the Hall's Veterans Committee last month -- during Cooperstown's annual induction ceremony on July 24.
A 12-time All-Star, Alomar batted .300 and won 10 Gold Glove Awards over a 17-year career, though he hit only .265 during his abbreviated stint in New York.
"[There was a] lot of speculation about people saying I didn't care about playing in New York, that I was dogging it," Alomar said. "I really cared, I really love New York and the organization was great to me. The team and me didn't click together -- we tried a little bit too much -- not that I didn't care."
The son of former Mets bench coach Sandy Alomar Sr. and the brother of former Mets player and catching instructor Sandy Alomar Jr., Alomar appeared on the Hall of Fame ballot for the first time last season, receiving 73.7 percent of the vote to fall just eight votes shy of election -- the highest percentage for a first-ballot player who was not elected.
"I'm thrilled for Robbie," said countryman and current Mets outfielder Carlos Beltran. "He's a personal friend. No one played his position better -- just look at his numbers and accomplishments. As a native of Puerto Rico, I'm also honored for my country that such a distinguished player will be in the Hall of Fame."
The three other Mets on the ballot, all first-timers, did not receive the 75 percent of the vote necessary to gain induction. Former closer John Franco received 27 votes, good for 4.6 percent of the total balloting. Starting pitcher Al Leiter received four votes, good for 0.7 percent. And first baseman John Olerud also received four votes, or 0.7 percent. Because those three all received less than five percent of the total vote, they will no longer be eligible for election on future Baseball Writers' Association of America ballots.
Though 11 former Mets are currently in the Hall of Fame, only one -- Tom Seaver -- was inducted with a Mets cap on his plaque. Alomar, who spent the majority of his career with the Blue Jays and Orioles, will not join Seaver in that regard.