Video: Why this year's Hall of Fame class represents a change for Cooperstown

You want to know the most impressive thing about this year’s Hall of Fame class? No, it’s nothing having to do with the stats of inductees Jeff Bagwell, Tim Raines and Ivan “Pudge” Rodriguez. It has more to do with the voters.

In this week’s installment of my Open Mike video series, I’m talking about how this year’s Cooperstown class — which gets inducted Sunday — represents a change in the voting mentality that we’ve seen drag the Hall of Fame process in years past.

Bagwell was kept out for years, mainly because of whispered suspicions about PED use. He was left to wait, as an odd punishment for playing in the steroid era. Rodriguez had been connected to steroids, but never tested positive. In his first year on the ballot, voters didn’t grandstand. They let him in, first year.

Left to right: Jeff Bagwell, Tim Raines and Ivan Rodriguez are ready to take their place in the Baseball Hall of Fame. (AP)

It’s amazing because Hall of Fame voters have anointed themselves as the caretakers of baseball’s morality. A sniff — even a half-baked rumor — of PED use and some voters would deny a whole career. That didn’t happen in 2017 and rightfully so.

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Mike Oz is the editor of Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!