Baseball

Established in 1936, and currently based in Cooperstown, New York, the Baseball Hall of Fame may be the most prestigious of any Sports Hall of Fame.  Although Baseball may have taken a backseat to Football in recent years, there is no doubt that Baseball’s version of the Hall of Fame is by far the most relevant and the most difficult to get enshrined in.  At present, a player has to receive seventy five percent of the votes from the Baseball Writers Association of America, which has proven to be no easy task.  Failing that, a player could be inducted by the Veterans committee, though few have been inducted this way.  Our list will focus on the players only, and although we could easily do a tally focusing on mangers, broadcasters or other vital personnel, as always it is far more enjoyable to discuss the merits of those on the field as oppose to those off of it.

Until Then, Let’s get some peanuts and cracker jacks and cast some votes of our own!

Sincerely,

The Not in Hall of Committee.
It is possible that this candidate is shrouded with more controversy than our 1A and 1B candidates combined?
Minnie Minoso may be known for being the first (and our guess the last) baseball player to play in five different decades.  It may seem impressive, but it was a marketing gimmick which had Minoso play a couple of games in 1976 and 1980 to achieve this honor.  Minoso was a popular player and capable athlete who had the ability to perform the task.  We would rather think of the 1951 to 1960 version of Minnie Minoso who may have been the most underrated player in the league and whose play was anything but gimmicky.
Gary Sheffield has to be the most interesting candidate who appeared on the 2014 Ballot. Traditionally speaking, Sheffield hit the magical 500 Home Run mark, won a Batting Title and had five seasons with an OPS over one. His career WAR is respectable, his OPS is in the top fifty and he also won five Silver Sluggers and played in nine All Star Games. That’s pretty good right? Unfortunately there are few things to consider.
Outside of Boston, it may be forgotten how good Dwight Evans was.  It could be because he played on teams with the more popular players, but Evans was a huge component in both the 1975 and 1986 World Series runs.
Athletes are competitive by nature, but 99.9 percent of them paled to the competitive juices of Wes Ferrell.  He was known to get violent whenever he lost and take it out on himself and inanimate objects.  He may have been animated himself at times, but his teammates have always said they wanted him on their side.
At the time of the infamous steroids trial, Rafael Palmeiro seemed to come off so good.  Of course when you are sitting next to a man who suddenly suffered from amnesia (Mark McGwire), a man who suddenly forgot the English language (Sammy Sosa) and the man who broke the “bro code” (Jose Canseco) a defiant and confident sounding Rafael Palmeiro could not help but look good.  A few months later, Palmeiro was suspended by Major League Baseball for testing positive for steroids.
They called Dave Parker the “Cobra” and the nickname fit.  He could strike with his bat, his legs and his throwing arm and during the last half of the 1970’s he could arguably make a claim as the best player in the league; in fact he did make that claim.
This one is a little tough.  We recognize (and we are sure most people agree) that the overall career numbers of Roger Maris does not equate to a Hall of Fame Baseball player.  However, many very good players have been excluded from Cooperstown because they lacked moments of greatness.  Nobody could ever doubt that Roger Maris had a year that was part of baseball immortality.
How many people pointed at Bert Blyleven’s 287 career wins year after year and championed his Hall of Fame cause?  We don’t know the exact number, but we are sure that it is a lot more who than those who created logs extolling the virtues of Tony Mullane’s 284 Major League victories.
If Dick Allen was playing today would he dominate Sports Radio and TMZ with his antics?  There is a good chance as when Dick (Formerly Richard) Allen played; he was as good as he was controversial.
The common trend in Baseball Hall of Fame voting is for a solid candidate to get a healthy double digit vote in his first year of eligibility and watch that number climb slowly as more and more perspective is put on their career.  For Steve Garvey, the more the Hall looked at his career, the more they seemed to talk themselves out of his induction as evidenced by the way his votes were cut in half from his first year (41.6) to (21.1) in his last year.
If durability was the main criteria to get into the Baseball Hall of Fame then Jim Kaat should have been in years ago.  Pitching in an astonishing twenty five Major League Seasons, Kaat was not just on the mound; he was a major contributor to every team he played for.
It has to be considered a given that the PED question has hurt many players in their quest for Cooperstown. It is very possible that anyone associated with it will fail to get elected and the Hall will be devoid of some of the game’s greatest record setters. Yet, of all the people whose careers got tarnished, we can’t help but wonder if Sammy Sosa took the biggest fall of them all.
If Tony Oliva did not suffer from bad knees would he have been inducted already?  Many people think so, as his first eight seasons showed off one of the game’s great contact hitters who won the batting title three times.  After 1971 however the bad knees of Tony Oliva created a ballplayer that was just a fraction of what he once was.
As Fred McGriff made an attempt to hit 500 career home runs, a debate began as to whether 500 was still a magic number for Hall of Fame entry.  Sadly the message was a clear one; if Fred McGriff can get there maybe the number just doesn’t hold the same meaning.
Right now it is hard to imagine a time when the Atlanta Braves were not relevant in the world of Professional Baseball but in the 1980’s frankly Ted Turner’s team wasn’t a spectacular one.  The exception to that rule was Dale Murphy who in his prime drew comparisons to legends such as Mays and DiMaggio.  No really, he did.
Just what would Keith Hernandez be most famous for?  Could it be for his eleven consecutive Gold Gloves?  How about his 1979 MVP?  The two World Series rings perhaps?  Maybe his tenacious play as a Met?  It could also be for his association with cocaine.  Likely, there are many who think of Keith Hernandez and remember that episode of Seinfeld instead.  Just as long as it isn’t for those terrible Just for Men commercials.

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One of the many constant debates amongst those that follow the Baseball Hall of Fame is the role of the Relief Pitcher.  In recent years, Rollie Fingers, Bruce Sutter, Dennis Eckersley & Goose Gossage has been inducted along the first reliever of note, Hoyt Wilhelm thus ending the debate of the relievers place in Cooperstown.  A curious omission though has been Lee Smith who when he retired was the career Saves leader.
A dominating pitcher for a few seasons in the early 1880’s, Jim McCormick was a bruising Scotsman whose underhanded prowess netted him 265 wins in what was a relatively brief career.  Of course, he played in a time, when teams essentially rode the same two pitchers.  It wasn’t like McCormick could blame his manager in those early seasons; he was the Player/Manager.