I have been going to Cooperstown every year since 2002 for Hall of Fame Weekend, one year as a fan and the other 10 as a media member.  Not this year. No living members were inducted (first time since 1965) so I bagged it.  And even from afar, it had the feel of a very different weekend.

Well, this is of course because the sport of baseball allowed so many guys for so long to take steroids and ruin the records and those players took advantage as well instead of playing the game the right way.  So we now have guys like Barry Bonds and Sammy Sosa and others who are worlds away from getting in the Hall of Fame because writers, backed by Hall of Famers, want nothing to do with these juicers.

2014 and 2015 and 2016 will be much different, however, than 2013.  Next year, first time ballot guys Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine will be eligible.  Don't count out 3,000-hit man Craig Biggio.  Maddux is a slam dunk.  In 2015, Pedro Martinez and Randy Johnson and John Smoltz are on it for the first time and that will be Frank Thomas' second run if "The Big Hurt" doesn't get in next year.  2016 will highlight Ken Griffey Jr. on the ballot for the first time and "The Kid" is a shoe-in first ballot HOF player.

2013 was strange, sad and weird all the same in Cooperstown.  Hopefully that feeling won't return anytime soon.

By:  Mike Lindsley, "Mid-Day with Mike," M-F 1-4, Yankees pre/post game host on 104.5 The Team ESPN Radio.  Follow him on Twitter at Twitter.com/MikeLSports.


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