Gary Sheffield, a decorated MLB veteran, was once again excluded from the Hall of Fame ballot for the 10th time. With a career spanning 21 years and stints with various teams, including the Milwaukee Brewers, San Diego Padres, Florida Marlins (now Miami Marlins), Los Angeles Dodgers, Atlanta Braves, New York Yankees, Detroit Tigers, and New York Mets, Sheffield boasts impressive stats—a career batting average of .292, 509 home runs, and 1,676 RBIs. Yet, he finds himself on the outside looking in when it comes to the Hall of Fame.
Sheffield expressed his frustration with the Hall of Fame voting process during an appearance on Audacy’s The Bret Boone Podcast. He questioned the credibility of reporters who vote for players they may not have followed closely and criticized biases within the system.
“If a reporter has a vote and he didn’t really know my story or watch me play on an everyday basis, then what’s the credibility of a guy voting for anybody that he didn’t watch or follow?” Sheffield said. “Or a player may not be their preference. You and I both know about this game, people have preferences. They have guys that they choose to like, and then if somebody says something about a guy that they don’t know, then they choose to dislike him without even getting to know him.”
Sheffield believes that the voting system is flawed and prone to bias, as voters may not have watched players closely throughout their careers.
“It’s a flawed system based on guys not watching you on a day-to-day basis,” Sheffield continued. “Because if they did there’s no way they could look at you with a straight face and say this guy’s better than this guy and his numbers mean more than his numbers. Just from that standpoint alone, it’s biased, and a lot of it is politics and a lot of other things when you look at it.”
He emphasized that reporters, like anyone else, are human beings and may carry biases that affect their voting decisions.
“For me, there’s no one way that is going to fix this problem, but I can tell you that reporters are human beings, and the fact that they can tell you that they’re not biased, I don’t believe that,” Sheffield said. “Whoever believes that is believing a fool because I just know for a fact that they are biased, and they do what they want to do and how they want to do it.”
Sheffield urged Major League Baseball and the Hall of Fame to address this issue, stating that the voting process tarnishes the game’s reputation.
“When it comes to like something as prestigious as The Hall Of Fame, that to me is like not just me and the writers, it’s a stain on the game as a whole,” Sheffield said. “And I don’t see how Major League Baseball can continue to let this happen. Even the Hall Of Fame should step in I think and say we don’t want people representing the Hall the way they’re representing it because there is an infection going on where these guys are just not taking care of it like they should. Guys getting in now, I guess milestones don’t mean anything no more, if I like them enough and his character is off the charts let’s just get them in.”
Gary Sheffield remains one of the prominent Hall of Fame snubs, and his absence from this year’s class is a disappointment for many baseball fans.