Ken Griffey Jr. did a lot of amazing things during his career. But five years after retiring, he should pull off the most amazing feat in baseball history on Wednesday.
He should, but he probably won't.
Griffey should become the first unanimous selection to baseball's Hall of Fame when the 2016 class is announced at 6 p.m. He probably won't because some voter somewhere has their head stuck in a historical vortex.
Griffey's stats are unassailable: 630 home runs, 10 Gold Gloves, 13 All-Star appearances. There is not a whiff of steroids or gambling or Kardashian dating.
Basically, there is no debate whether he belongs in Cooperstown. Then again, there was no question Ted Williams, Honus Wagner, Hank Aaron and a few others belonged.
Players are selected by members of the Baseball Writers' Association of America. Voters list up to 10 names. A player must be on 75 percent of the ballots to get into the Hall.
The highest percentage ever was Tom Seaver, who was named on 98.84 of the ballots in 1992. In the musty baseball ethos, the fact nobody has been a unanimous selection became a reason to keep anybody from ever being a unanimous selection.
That's not logical, but logic has never been synonymous with sportswriters. Ballots are kept secret and voting instructions on "integrity, sportsmanship and character" provide plenty of room for quirkiness.
BBWAA member Joe Posnanski of NBC Sports recently chronicled some of the voting irregularities. Williams may have hit .406 and flown combat missions over Korea, but that wasn't good enough to get him on 20 ballots in 1966.
Jackie Robinson was a batting champ, MVP and his No. 42 is retired from the entire game. He was left off 36 ballots in 1962.
Willie Mays was left off 23 ballots in 1979. That prompted BBWAA secretary Jack Lang to say, "If Jesus Christ were a candidate for the Hall of Fame, I don't believe he'd get a unanimous vote from the 12 apostles."
One voter listed only Luis Aparicio in 1982. Hank Aaron didn't even rate a mention. Mike Schmidt was left off one ballot because he was averse to giving kids his autograph.
Seaver's first year of eligibility was also the first for Pete Rose. Three voters sent in blank ballots to protest not being allowed to vote for or against the banned hit king.
One voter was facing heart surgery the day he voted and said he inadvertently forgot about Seaver. A fifth voter was stuck in the old vortex:
If Ruth, Williams or Cobb weren't unanimous, nobody should be!
I'm not saying Griffey is Babe Ruth. But Babe getting hosed in 1936 is no reason to stiff Griffey in 2016.
The good news is the BBWAA recently purged its voting roll of about 100 inactive writers. Voter names are public, and with the rise of social media, nobody can get away with voting only for an Aparicio.
About 450 ballots are expected to be turned in. A tracking service said Griffey had been named on all 163 ballots it surveyed as of Tuesday afternoon.
There's reason to hope. But baseball traditions die hard, so there's also reason to expect at least one apostle will note Griffey never raised anybody from the dead.