Sunday, December 5News That Matters

Roberto Alomar Is Placed on Baseball’s Ineligible List

The ongoing display of Alomar’s plaque is consistent with a subtle, sensible addition to the gallery late last year. In December, the Hall added a sign at the entrance reminding guests that “enshrinement reflects the perspective of voters at the time of election.” While the exhibits and library offer more thorough accounts of each member’s life and career, the mission of the institution, the sign added, is to preserve history.

As such, there has been no removal of plaques for executives who upheld the color barrier, like Commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis, or players who refused to participate in exhibitions with Black players, like Cap Anson. Landis, Anson and others were deemed worthy of enshrinement in their time, just like Alomar, Kirby Puckett and others whose reputations have been shattered in retirement.

In that context, the Blue Jays’ decision to expunge Alomar’s name from their ballpark seems rash, or at least historically inaccurate; the Buffalo Bills, after all, still display O.J. Simpson’s name beneath their scoreboard, acknowledging his long-ago impact. As awkward as it is now, Alomar will always be a part of the Blue Jays’ past.

And that is where Alomar will remain for the sport: in its history, not its present or, very likely, its future. He cannot set foot on a field without Manfred’s approval. He cannot attend a game unless he buys a ticket. His excommunication is a signal that baseball is finally trying to change a culture too often hostile to women.

“My client commends other baseball industry survivors who have come forward, and who helped her feel safer in sharing her own terrible and life-altering experience,” Lisa Banks of Katz, Marshall & Banks in Washington, who represents Alomar’s accuser, said in a statement.

“My client has no plans to file a lawsuit or take further action. She has not exposed Mr. Alomar’s behavior for notoriety or for money and looks forward to moving on with her life. She simply wants to ensure that Mr. Alomar is held accountable for his wrongdoing and hopes her actions can help Major League Baseball create a safer workplace for its employees.”