Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Hall of Fame

Only Gwynn and Ripken got in. Gossage just missed in his 8th try. I suspect he'll get in before his eligibility is up.

McGwire wasn't even close. I was watching the end of MSNBC's Countdown last night and the writer they had on (name eludes me, he writes for the New York Daily News) said that he believes that McGwire's votes will almost double next year; some writers believed that he should be punished somehow and not voting for him this year was punishment enough. This same writer did believe that McGwire will never get into the Hall of Fame.

The final school of thought was that both Olbermann and the writer believed in putting as many people on the ballot as possible.

Taking these one at a time:

1) Gwynn and Ripken are obvious Hall of Famers.

2) I would have voted for McGwire. He was not caught during his playing days, he has never been found guilty in a court of law, and if the court of public opinion alone was the only thing that mattered then a lot of jerks wouldn't be in the Hall.

3) I am completely the opposite of Olbermann and his writer guest. I grew up reading Moss Klein in the Newark (N.J.) Star Ledger, and his attitude of voting for only the greatest players must have rubbed off on me. Gwynn, Ripken and McGwire were the three obvious choices for me. Everyone else would have made me think long and hard. Lee Smith probably would have gotten my vote. I believe Bert Blyleven's a Hall of Famer. Everyone else just falls short at best, and I don't think we should have a Hall of Fame of just falling short. Dale Murphy is a great example. Olbermann said that Murphy belongs in the Hall, but I look at his numbers and think that he's just not there.

And other guys I look at were either cases of longevity or cases of good but not great careers. Dave Concepcion was solid, but I just don't see him as a HOFer. Tommy John had a nice career, but he hung on for a very long time and pitched for some great Yankees and Dodgers teams and still didn't crack 300 wins.

Jack Morris? He's probably the one guy I go back and forth on.

I guess I'm not as stingy as Moss Klein was back in the late 1970s/early 1980s. And I guess that's why the Hall balloting, for all of the complaints, works so well. Enough people are going to disagree about Steve Garvey that he never got into the Hall during his 15 years of eligibility, even though he got 100+ votes every year. That 75% barrier is high, and it makes it hard for the borderline guys like Blyleven to get in, while it makes you realize how tough it is to be a Ripken or a Gwynn and get in on the first try.

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