Bernie Williams' first appearance on the Hall of Fame ballot drew just 55 votes, or less than 10 percent of the ballots cast. That does not bode well for the former Yankees center fielder's chances over the next 15 years, but as the ol' Scooter, Phil Rizzuto, found out, there's always the Veterans Committee.
Actually, Bernie's weak showing is not surprising -- his career regular-season numbers (.297/287/1257 with .858 OPS) are just slightly better than Paul O'Neill's, who got just 12 votes in his first year of eligibility (2007) and was dropped from the ballot.
If they awarded votes for being a good guy, Bernie would of course be a shoo-in. On that basis, he would have gotten my vote. I voted only for Barry Larkin (Win!) and Jack Morris (Place!).
Former Yankee Don Mattingly, in his 12th year of eligibility, got 102 votes, way up from last year's 79 but still way short of what he needs to get elected, and with just three more years of eligibility left, his chances of induction via the vote seem extremely remote.
Most disturbing note of all: Somehow, proven cheaters Mark McGwire (112 votes) and Rafael Palmeiro (72) got more votes than Bernie. Go figure.