roberto.alomar

Former Toronto Blue Jays player Roberto Alomar appears on CTV's Canada AM, Thursday, Jan. 6, 2011.

 

The decision ultimately rests with baseball's Hall of Fame but Roberto Alomar says he wants to become the first inductee to enter Cooperstown wearing a Toronto Blue Jays hat.

Alomar, a popular second baseman who starred for five seasons with the Blue Jays, made his preference clear after he was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame on Wednesday, garnering 90 per cent of the votes from Baseball Writers' Association of America members.

The Hall of Fame chooses which cap a player will wear -- it's unclear when that decision will be revealed -- but it is likely Alomar will get his wish when his bronze plaque is unveiled at an induction ceremony in Cooperstown, N.Y., in July.

While he was with the Jays, Alomar won two World Series titles and put up some of the best numbers of his career.

"This is where my heart is, this is where I belong, and hopefully the Hall of Fame gives me the opportunity to wear the Blue Jays hat," Alomar told CTV's Canada AM in an interview broadcast Thursday. "The support of (Toronto) fans is unbelievable. That's why I would love to go into the Hall of Fame with a Blue Jay hat."

There will be a few Canadian connections when the latest group of inductees enters the National Baseball Hall of Fame. Alomar is joined by former Blue Jays general manager Pat Gillick, the man who brought him to Toronto in a trade, and former Montreal Expos broadcaster Dave Van Horne. Pitcher Bert Blyleven and sportswriter Bill Conline are also being inducted.

Alomar narrowly missed being elected in 2010, his first year on the ballot. Blyleven, who received the support of 79 per cent of the voters, waited 14 years.

Players need to receive the support of 75 per cent of voters to be inducted.

Alomar enters the Hall of Fame as one of the best second baseman in modern baseball history. He had a career batting average of .300, played in 12 all-star games and won 10 Gold Glove Awards -- a record for second baseman -- over a 17-season career with the San Diego Padres, Blue Jays, Baltimore Orioles, Cleveland Indians, New York Mets, Chicago White Sox and Arizona Diamondbacks.

But the biggest treat, Alomar said, was winning the back-to-back World Series championships with the Blue Jays in 1992 and 1993.

"All I wanted to do was play the game of baseball with a lot of passion, a lot of love," Alomar said. "Numbers are numbers but the main thing here in Toronto (was) that we won the two World Series."

Despite all of his achievements Alomar is also remembered for one of the moments he most regrets -- spitting on umpire John Hirschbeck during a game in 1996.

Expressing some disappointment that the incident is being dredged up again with talk of his induction, Alomar told CTV he and Hirschbeck have since made up and moved on from the incident.

"As a human being you have to accept when you make a mistake," said Alomar, whose dad Sandy Alomar Sr. and brother Sandy Alomar Jr. also had Major League Baseball careers.

Alomar isn't the first Toronto Blue Jay to enter the Hall of Fame, but those who were inducted before him weren't wearing a Blue Jays uniform. Dave Winfield was a member of the Blue Jays during their 1992 World Series run, but he went into the Hall of Fame as a member of the San Diego Padres. Rickey Henderson and Paul Molitor, teammates on the squad that won the 1993 World Series, also went into the Cooperstown wearing colours of other teams.

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