Thursday, January 7, 2010

Thoughts and Ramblings....not a trade post

I read so many blog posts on the Hall of Fame yesterday, I don't know if I care if anyone ever gets in the HOF again. I was trying to get a feel for what everyone was thinking. Some people were just glad to see Andre Dawson finally elected while others were bitter that someone else was left off the list. The writers were villified and defended. My persepective comes from someone who didn't have a guy he was dying to get elected.

First off. let's discuss the writers. Some of the writers, a great number I would imagine, are highly qualified to vote for the Hall and put the time and effort in to make sure they know who they are voting to elect or not elect and try to look at the overall qualifications of a given candidate. Sure you have some people who will vote for a David Segui type. Maybe they shouldn't be allowed to vote ever again. You have writers that may be vindictive and hold a grudge against certain players so they don't vote for someone who deserves it. In essence, you have a few guys who make the rest look bad. Who among us hasn't worked in that kind of environment? I taught 6th grade for 4 years. I knew some highly dedicated, selfless, compassionate, passionate people who put everything they had into teaching kids. I also knew a few knuckleheads who made the rest of them look bad. Who makes the news? The good teachers or the idiots? It's always the idiots. So I'm not going to lump all the writers into one category and say they should be stripped of the privilege of voting for the Hall of Fame. I for one, don't know who else is more qualified to do it. Certainly not the fans who show with the All-Star game voting every year that they vote for popularity, not skills. And I vote all day long for my favorites.

As for this year's possible class, we all know Andre Dawson was the only player voted in for 2010. I won't re-hash the arguments about who else should have made it. That has been done and much like politics, you and I are unlikely to change anyone else's mind one way or the other. However, I think the issue with modern players, whether they are in the HOF or are on the ballot is this: when I think of the Hall of Fame, I think of the Legends of the Game. Babe Ruth, Cy Young, Stan Musial, Ted Williams, Joe Dimaggio...I could go on for quite awhile. I don't always think of players like Andre Dawson, Bert Blyleven or Roberto Alomar. That certainly doesn't mean they don't deserve to be in the Hall of Fame, it just reflects the aura that surrounds the Hall of Fame. When I hear certain names, Walter Johnson, Roy Campanella or Hank Aaron, I think Hall of Fame. I don't think that when I hear a lot of the more recent nominees' names. Some of those guys will be in the Hall of Fame someday and maybe they deserve it. I think part of the issue is it is hard to see greatness when it is right in front of you.

No matter where your opinion falls on the issues, they aren't likely to change anytime soon and we'll be having this discussion as a group next year at the same time.


  1. Very nice post...
    When I read "Certainly not the fans who show with the All-Star game voting every year that they vote for popularity, not skills. And I vote all day long for my favorites." I imagined Josh Hamilton standing at the podium in Cooperstown talking about finishing second in the home run derby that one year... I love the emotions that this vote brings out every year...

  2. Maybe it is because most of us look back at those guys with ever having actually seen them play, or read of their exploits. Some people look better through a fog of nostalgia and we take for granted those we see and hear about every day. The media these days exposes every little foible of todays athletes.

  3. Like you say, I think it's because you don't know greatness when it's right in front of you.

    Look at Roy Campanella's stats. With the exception of his three MVP seasons, all of his other years were rather pedestrian, especially by today's standards. And his career was short because he came to the majors later. If he were voted in today, people would be screaming about how he doesn't deserve the honor.

  4. Here's something a little out in left field (no pun intended). Stephen J. Gould has written about the demise of the .400 hitter being an indication not of lack of individual talent but as the result of better overall play. If this is true it should be harder to stand out from the crowd than it used to be. There are no more giants because everyone else has gotten bigger.

  5. Well stated NO, Hackenbush and Rod...
    Night Owl-I agree that folks would scream about Campy, but he is one of those duel career guys. He had a super (and fairly short)career with the Baltimore Elite Giants prior to his super (and fairly short) career with the Dodgers...

  6. The HOF is a self-defining institution. It´s standards are set by who is in there. On the whole, the writers have done a good job. Of course, there are poor admissions and omissions. The elections from the writers are not the only source of players in the HOF. The Veteran´s Committee in the ´50s and ´60s stuffed the HOF with borderline/questionable players compared to the standards of the presently inducted players.

    I´m not bothered by the Dawson induction. I may not agree with it on a statistical level, but he´s in the lower echelon of outfielders in the HOF and as such, fits.

    I have more to say if anyone wants to get into an e-mail discussion.

  7. Great comments everyone and thanks for all of them.

  8. I still think Rose should get a plaque in the parking lot or just off the property...