Deshaies wins campaign to get one vote for Hall
Updated: Tuesday January 16, 2001 10:47 PM
HOUSTON (AP) -- All Jim Deshaies wanted was for Hall of Fame voters to adhere to a fundamental American principle: "One Man, One Vote."
He got his vote Tuesday, when the ex-Astros pitcher's playful Internet campaign culminated in a single vote of support among the 511 voters for baseball's Hall of Fame -- from Houston Chronicle columnist John Lopez.
In a 12-year major league career with six teams, Deshaies had an 84-95 record and 4.14 ERA and went a record 373 career at-bats without getting an extra-base hit. Still, he was nominated for the Hall, voted on by 10-year members of the Baseball Writers' Association of America.
A Web site was set up to promote Deshaies' bid for the Hall and, when the results were announced Tuesday, Deshaies basked in the glow.
"As you know by now, this campaign fell 386 votes shy of reaching the Hall, but the fact that we reached our stated goal is a testament to the validity of our effort, as well as to the wisdom of never setting one's sites too high," said Deshaies, a noted cutup both as a player and in his current job as an Astros broadcaster.
"Today we acknowledge the will of the voters and accept their mandate. I have called the winners (fellow former Twins Dave Winfield and Kirby Puckett) and left a message of congratulations, but they have yet to call back,"
Deshaies was the 1,000th player to play for the New York Yankees in 1984 when he put on jersey No. 67. In 1986, he set a modern major league record by striking out the first eight batters in a Sept. 23 game against the Dodgers.
"I wasn't trying to make fun of the process or demean the Hall of Fame," Lopez said. "I was very serious. Somebody put him on the ballot for a reason. He handled himself the right way, always signed autographs. I know he's not a Hall of Famer in terms of numbers. It was a tip of the cap to a guy who was an everyman ballplayer."
Deshaies, a notoriously bad hitter, had a chance for an extra-base hit on his first career hit on June 23, 1986.
"It was off Ted Power and was a bb right over the bag," Deshaies said. "I was so happy to get to first, I kept running up the line and never noticed.
"I should have gone to second. This was before the scouting report got out and the left-fielders played me in foul territory. If I had only known ..."
Joining Deshaies in the one-vote club were Steve Bedrosian, Tom Browning, Ron Darling, John Kruk and Jose Rijo. Howard Johnson and Andy Van Slyke struck out with zero.