Thoughts on the Hall of Fame
First, this guy belongs. This guy adds a touch of class to everything he touches. I don’t know if his NFL resume is up to the standards of the Hall, but what a class individual.
Now to the baseball Hall of Fame, where I say the voters got it right there as well. Rickey Henderson is the greatest leadoff hitter of all time, bar none, and Jim Rice was the most-feared hitter in baseball for a number of years. I’m glad Big Jim got in on his final try. But there are at least a couple of others who deserve the Hall as well, chiefly Bert “Be Home” Blyleven, and Tim “Purple” Raines. Though he finished about 8th in this year’s voting, not really close to being elected, Raines is clearly deserving. If there were no Rickey Henderson, we might consider Tim Raines the greatest leadoff hitter of all time. The guy got on base better than Tony Gwynn (that’s a sobering thought, given Gwynn’s shoo-in candidacy of several years back), and when he got there, he stole bases better, percentage-wise, than did Henderson. He had some pop in his bat as well, when he needed it. Tim Raines was underappreciated because he spent most of his career in Montreal, but in my book, this guy belongs.
Excellent point about Tim Raines.
I’m wondering if Bert Blyleven is ever going to get in. It’s a shame he’s not. He played for the Pirates, Twins and Indians, and still managed to winn 280 + games. To me that is incredible (none of those teams were any good except for the Pirates for a year or two). He never did ‘roids, and he never cheated and then freely admitted it, as Gaylord Perry did in his book “Me and the spitter”. Perry is in the hall, right? Bert had an amazing curveball when it was working, though he sure grooved enough of them. I know he led the league in homeruns allowed more than one year, but he had a respectable ERA, and pitched a heckuva lotta innings every year also. What is wrong with these voters? Are they waiting to place all of the sins of Baseball on his back and then send him off into the wilderness with a shout? They might as well.
As much as I like Jim Rice, I believe that Bert is at least as deserving if not more so.
Can’t wait for Spring training. Are you still boycotting the game, Byron?
Not like I was, I guess, Mark. I’ve gotten invited into fantasy leagues the past two years, and that’s piqued my interest somewhat, plus the Cardinals winning it all a few years back helped a bit as well. It’s still a massively-broken game (witness the Yankees and Red Sox–again–trying to buy the pennant), and I can’t imagine ever coming back to it to nearly the degree it had me hooked before the 1994 strike, but if one of these years the owners will lock the players out ’til the union is broken–which is what it’ll take to fix baseball–then maybe I’ll come all the way back. It’s a great game; it’s a shame that it’s run by the people who run it.