Bern in Hall

From 1998 through 2000, when the Yankees won three straight titles, Williams hit .329/.417/.558. Getty Images

In a couple of weeks, the Baseball Hall of Fame will announce its newest members (if any). As Jim Caple writes today, this year's class is not particularly strong, and there is a lot of talk that not a single member of it will ever be enshrined in Cooperstown. That would be a mistake. One of our generation's best center fielders, Bernie Williams, is a member of the 2012 group, and he is every bit deserving of a spot in the Hall.

Contrary to conventional wisdom, the advantage a player receives from playing for the New York Yankees, in Hall of Fame balloting, tends to be fairly insignificant. There are a lot of Yankees, especially from the first half of the century, in the Hall of Fame, but that's hardly surprising considering how many games those teams won. Playing in pinstripes didn't keep Willie Randolph (12th among second basemen in wins above replacement) or Graig Nettles (10th among third basemen in WAR) from getting tossed off the ballot in perfunctory fashion. Phil Rizzuto probably was a mistake by the veterans committee, but it has made strange inductions all over the place. Williams looks to be the latest star to get limited consideration by the Hall of Fame.