The San Diego Union-Tribune’s Tim Sullivan reported yesterday that one BBWAA voter, Paul Ladewski of the Daily Southtown, has refrained from voting for any of this year’s eligible Hall of Fame candidates.

In signing his Hall of Fame ballot without checking the name of a single candidate, the Chicago sportswriter has ensured that neither Tony Gwynn (above) nor Cal Ripken Jr. can be elected unanimously.

œI sent in a blank ballot, Ladewski confirmed in a telephone interview Thursday. œI didn’t vote for anybody. It’s nothing personal against Tony Gwynn or Cal Ripken Jr., who have numbers that speak for themselves. … (But) to me, the steroid era is not worthy of my vote. Anyone who played in that era makes me reluctant to jump on bandwagons.

Ladewski, a columnist for the Daily Southtown who acknowledges he may be a œdinosaur, announced his steroid stance in a column published Aug. 4, 2005, and he has yet to redraw his relatively hard line. In separate polls by The San Diego Union-Tribune and Baltimore Sun, Ladewski was the only eligible voter to acknowledge opposition to either Gwynn or Ripken.

Replies The Griddle’s Bob Timmerman,

Ladewski’s stance isn’t all that courageous, but really more self-serving. He can make himself the story and he accomplishes very little about the problem of PEDs in baseball. He is merely just declaring a generation of players “unclean” in his eyes, but ones from other eras get free passes despite all of the other problems of that time (such as segregation). It’s very easy to condemn a whole group of people without having to investigate each one individually. Ladewski claims to have been a big baseball fan since the 1950s. If he was alive in 1942, he probably would have been a big fan of Japanese internment also.

(Ladewski’s defense can be found here, as the scribe insists “I don’t have nearly enough information to make a value judgment of this magnitude,” and “except for the players themselves, who can say what they put into their bodies over the years with any degree of certainty?”)

has some sneaky inside info on Omar Minaya’s recent vist to Temple Emanu-El, and I’m just disappointed there’s no snapshots of the Mets GM wearing one of these.