The former second baseman, arguably the greatest of our generation, no longer worries about the slings and arrows of his past. Instead, Alomar is focusing on Jan. 6, when he'll find out if he's been elected to the Hall of Fame -- and if his history indeed has come back to wound him.
"I've made some mistakes, definitely, but I believe I deserve to be (in Cooperstown)," Alomar said by telephone this week. He was speaking from his home in Tampa, Fla., where he says he's "enjoying life" with his wife, Maripily Rivera, whom he married last winter. The couple is raising Alomar's 7-year-old son.
Election into the Hall is a no-brainer to Alomar and to anyone who measures his numbers against other recent inductees, notably Ryne Sandberg. Alomar was a 12-time All-Star and 10-time Gold Glove winner, finishing with a .300 average, 210 homers and 474 steals in 17 major league seasons.
Alomar's legacy perhaps doesn't equal Joe Morgan's or Rogers Hornsby's, but he's still a notch above Sandberg or Rod Carew. That gap, however, narrows if you think an outrageous assault of an umpire counts for something; Character issues, after all, are an integral part of a voter's decision.
To this day, Alomar has no explanation for his action against Hirschbeck, other than to say, "It was done in the heat of the moment, something I will regret for the rest of my life."
The incident took place 13 years ago, when in a hot dispute over a called third strike, Alomar, then playing for the Orioles, spit in Hirschbeck's face. To compound the act, Alomar said after the game that Hirschbeck had slurred him, adding that the umpire had become "real bitter" since the death of Hirschbeck's 8-year-old son to adrenoleukodystrophy, a rare genetic disorder that affects the brain.
Forgetting such behavior is impossible, of course, but forgiveness has softened the wound for both men. Hirschbeck and Alomar are now friends, and the umpire is openly endorsing Alomar's candidacy on the Cooperstown ballot.
"I sincerely hope the writers are able to look past that one incident," Hirschbeck recently told the Daily News. "I certainly have. It's long over with and a lot more good has come out of it than you can ever believe. If that was to cost Robbie the Hall of Fame, I would feel awful."
Alomar now helps to raise money for ALD, which has been found in Hirschbeck's other son. When the umpire was diagnosed with testicular cancer last season, Alomar was one of the first to call to offer support. It's the least he could do, he said, to wipe away his sins.
"I wish it never happened; I wish I could change that," Alomar said. "The important thing is that John and I have spoken about it many times. I've apologized many times and to many people. I think everyone has come to understand that (incident) is not me, that it was something that happened in a game where the emotions got carried away."
Alomar is equally clear-eyed about his disappointing tenure with the Mets. He batted just .266 in 2002, dropping 70 points off his previous year's average in Cleveland. Alomar was hitting .265 halfway through the 2003 season before he was traded to the White Sox. Realizing he was quickly losing his elite skills "I never would've allowed myself to be remembered as just an average player stealing money" -- Alomar retired in 2004 at age 36.
His mediocrity as a Met still gnaws at him, but Alomar believes the culture of underachievement affected everyone at Shea. "No one played up to their potential in those years; that's the only way I could explain it," he said. "There were a lot of unhappy guys, and that rubs off on the way you perform on the field. I wasn't myself, but no one else was, either."
Across town, the Yankees were in the middle of a run of 13 consecutive postseason appearances, and Alomar admits to being envious of that prosperity. In fact, if he has any regrets in his career, it's that he never wore pinstripes.
"That's one team I would've liked to have been part of," said Alomar, who played for the Padres, Blue Jays, Orioles, Indians, Mets and White Sox. "I always thought it would've been great to say I played for George Steinbrenner."
He still keeps an eye on the current Bombers, including a certain second baseman who reminds Alomar of himself the flashy, gifted (and often nonchalant) Robinson Cano.
"When you have too much talent, you can end up playing that way," Alomar said of Cano. "But I do think Robinson is going to be an MVP and Gold Glover. That's how good he is. The rest is up to him."
Alomar wishes he had similar control of his future. The next 35 days will be a hell of sorts, waiting for that phone call. But Alomar consoles himself with this much: He's not perfect, but that resume pads the walls of his anxiety.
"All I know is that I've accomplished a lot," Alomar said. "No matter what anyone says about me, I'm thankful for the chance I was given."