With Hirschbeck’s Backing, Roberto Alomar’s Bid To Join Hall Of Fame Looks To Be Within Spitting Distance
With Roberto Alomar’s appearance on the Hall of Fame ballot for the first time this year, if you were to only look at the second baseman’s career statistics (12-time All-Star, .300 career batting average, 2,724 hits, , 474 stolen bases, .984 fielding percentage), one could assume he would be a shoo-in to gain admittance to Cooperstown. Unfortunately, one incident has continued to plague Alomar’s reputation as one of the best second basemen to ever play the game: when he spit in the face of umpire John Hirschbeck during a heated exchange in a game in 1996.
Surprisingly, Hirschbeck ultimately forgave Alomar for his impulsive action and eventually the incident caused the two men to become friends. In fact, Alomar counts Hirschbeck as one of his biggest supporters in his bid to join the Hall of Fame.
“We became real good friends,” Alomar said yesterday. “He forgave me and I hope all the other people forgive me. Sometimes, we as human beings, we do stupid things. I regret doing that.”
“It’s real special because I got to know not only him, I got to know his family,” Alomar said. “I got to spend more time with him.”
Alomar has even become a vocal and financial supporter to bring awareness to the disease adrenoleukodystrophy, which afflicted two of Hirschbeck’s sons.
So I guess you could say that even if you do make an awful mistake and spit on someone in the heat of the moment, as long as you apologize and do what’s right, you can be forgiven in the end. Try telling that to the chick at the counter of the coffee shop this morning. I said no whipped cream, dammit. Clean out your ears, you dumb broad.
Hirschbeck backs Alomar’s HOF bid [New York Post/AP]