Tuesday, December 09, 2008
Baseball Hall of Fame
It's getting to be Baseball Hall of Fame voting time, so my mind always wanders down the path of figuring what is the best way to select Hall of Famers. Personally, I think too many people vote now-- it's a collection of sports writers, and it's in the several hundred. If the goal is to uphold the integrity of the Hall, then I say get a group of sports writers and a group consistening of the existing Hall of Famers, have them both vote, and both groups need to surpass 75%.
Here is this year's list, the smallest ever at 23 players. I'm an unabashed Rickey Henderson fan; he's a clear first-ballot Hall of Famer, and as I heard someone recently say, he would be even if he hadn't stolen one base. Bill James may have the most well-known quote about Henderson-- if you cut him in half, you'd have two Hall of Famers. I said this years ago, and I still think there's a decent chance-- Rickey Henderson will be the first Hall of Famer to play in a Major League Baseball game. It makes sense on so many margins. You watch. There's a better than decent chance he'll at least suit up and make it into a game.
Outside of that, McGwire should be in the Hall but probably will continue to receive a disproportionate brunt of the steroid black cloud, Jim Rice is right on the fence for deserving to be in but probably will fail in his final year of elgibility. Without looking at the stats, I'd say Lee Smith tops the rest, Trammell is underrated, and Dawson and Raines will all probably linger for the maximum 20 years.
Should Tommy John make it for having a surgery named after him? And should Jack Morris make it for the single best modern pitching performance?
Results should be announced about a week into January.
Here is Ron Santo saying that he doesn't like the Veterans Committee process; he got 69% of the vote from that committee this time around yet fell short of the required 75%. The Veterans Committee consists of all living Hall of Famers. There are actually two Veterans Committees-- one for post-1943 (the one Santo referred to) and one for 1942 and before. The latter group selected Joe Gordon. That group is a 12 person committe; 9 are needed for induction.