Entries Tagged as 'Hall of Fame'

Finally, Blyleven (and the last we’ll see of KB on the ballot)

I’ve said it beforeAnd even before that.  Bert Blyleven belongs in the Hall of Fame.  Now I’ll shut up about it.  Maybe.

No longer will he be the leader among non-eligible onlookers in strikeouts.  He’ll be looking from within.  Or third in wins.  He’ll have his plaque up in the hallowed hall.

Glad to see him get his due.

One player who didn’t get much consideration was Kevin Brown.  He got 12 votes. That amounts to just 2 percent of the vote which means he won’t remain on the ballot next year.  I’m no KB fanboy but I would have thought his career would have garnered more than a passing “C’ya”.

211-144 over 19 seasons with great 3.28 ERA (considering the era he pitched).  He pitched in six All-Star games.  Let’s not forget he won five postseason games and won the Cy Young award.

Again, not a huge Kevin Brown fan but I expected to see him on the ballot for a while.

Will Big Mac see Cooperstown in 2011?

When a St Louis Cardinal blog does one of those “Will Mark McGwire get into the Hall of Fame?” polls, I just yawn.  There’s no point in relying on the data.  But when an AL team blog like the Blue Jays’ Blue Bird Banter does one, I pay a little more attention. 

If you trust the Jays’ fans intuition, Big Mac has a long row to hoe.  At this writing, the Nos have it by a 62% to 37% margin.  And despite how I feel about the matter, I think they’re right.  The bad publicity and quite honestly the bad choices by McGwire have put him where he’s at and 2011 won’t be a HOF year for him.

My prediction?  McGwire will eventually get into Cooperstown but it won’t be for a few years (assuming he maintains his vote minimum).  If not, the veterans committee (if it still exists then… that’s another story) will shoo him in when the time comes.

B-R rep shows off his photos of Cooperstown

BaseballReference.com’s Steve Lombardi has been posting a series of photo galleries of his recent trip to the Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, NY.  I’ve been to the hallowed halls four times myself so I have a particular interest.

Here’s a link to his fourth installment.  From there, you’ll find links to his previous posts.

Dawson: Cub, Expo, what does it matter? He’ll be in.

I did a quick poll of the top stories of Andre Dawson entering the Hall of Fame.  Of those articles with photos of him playing, the ratio of him in a Cub uniform as opposed to an Expo uni was about 2 to 1. 

But I’m not jealous.  Really.  I’m just happy he’s getting in.  And part of me is glad the Expos aren’t forgotten.  But Joe Jaffe from ESPN thinks Tim Raines should have been the first Expo, though.

and what’s this… more talk about Lou Piniella eventually getting into the Hall?  So says soon-to-be inductee Whitey Herzog.

Dawson’s gut is wrenched: he’ll be wearing an Expos cap

andre-dawson-expos-rookie Is it me or do I get the sense that the Hall of Fame is choosing to place an Expo cap on Andre Dawson’s head because perhaps this might be might be the Expos’ last chance?  At this point, Gary Carter is the only player in the Hall who is remotely associated with the Expos franchise. 

Don’t get me wrong… there are certainly valid reasons, too.  If you glance at the stats, Dawson looks pretty good with the Expos.  He simply played more years, accumulated more stats. He was also arguably a better player.  Six Gold Gloves.  A “five-tool” player.  You know, before the knee operations.

But Andre doesn’t see it that way and is perhaps a slightly surprised that he wasn’t even asked his opinion.  He would prefer to wear a Cubs cap at the Cooperstown ceremonies. 

"It was to my understanding they would make the determination at the consent of sitting down and discussing it with you prior to making the determination and I just thought it would carry a little bit more weight than it did." .

Obviously, his time with the Cubs meant something to him. 

As well they should.  His career year was his first year with Chicago when he won the MVP and became the answer to a trivia question.

It’s a routine thing we go through every year when a player is voted in to the Hall who isn’t lucky enough to play for one team his whole career (see Cal Ripken and Tony Gwynn.., what did the pundits quibble about THAT year?).  And maybe it would be nice if they didn’t wear a cap at all to avoid this partisan nonsense.  Or maybe a nice cowboy hat. 

that’ll fix ‘em. 

HOF: Watch the finger pointing

A rather thought-provoking article comes from Dugout Central entitled Don’t Blame the Hall of Fame that simply wants us to be careful when we point fingers at selection time.

Whether you believe Andre Dawson should or shouldn’t be enshrined, or Ron Santo, or Dick Allen isn’t the fault of anyone living or working in Cooperstown, New York.

For that you have to blame the six hundred or so individuals spread throughout the country who seemingly hide behind a set of outdated rules and responsibilities and a BBWAA membership card.

Leave the Hall of Fame alone.

Especially if you’ve never been there.

As someone who has made the trek back east to visit the Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum four times (three times for induction ceremonies), I wholeheartedly agree. 

Dawson, the HOF, and Wikipedia searches

I’m always interested in searching habits of people browsing the web so I found this little tool interesting.  And if I can make it pertain to baseball, all the better.

dawson searches

The graph above shows the number of hits that Andre Dawson’s page on Wikipedia took.  The results aren’t too surprising though I’m surprised that the spike was so dramatic.  Essentially on the day of the announcement and the day after.  Not so much before the fact.  I attribute it to idea that hard core baseball fans (the ones that would be researching Dawson beforehand) aren’t so likely to use a source like Wikipedia for their research. 

For the occasional baseball fan, Wikipedia might be their first stop.

hof searches

For kicks, here is the Baseball Hall of Fame’s Wikipedia page spike graph.  Pretty much the same but less of a spike.  Obviously, the Hall of Fame was more on people’s mind as opposed to a particular player (since no one was announced yet). 

My take on the Hall of Fame balloting


The Hall of Fame balloting broken down Zealot-style…

New Hall of Famer Andre Dawson’s most compelling statistic:

He’s one of three major league players who has 400 homeruns and 300 stolen bases.  The other two?  Willie Mays and Barry Bonds.

Andre Dawson’s least compelling statistic (and the one you hear cited by his detractors ad nauseum):

His lifetime .323 OBP.  Enough said.

The 2010 HOF candidate most deserving to get into the Hall of Fame but didn’t:

My opinion?? Bert Blyleven.  I’ve been on his bandwagon for a few years now.  Come on, vote him in already!  He has two more years of eligibility left.  The good news is that since 1999, when he got 14.1% of the vote, his percentage has gone up every year with the exception of 2007.  I predict that we’ll see Bert in the Hall next summer.

The reason Roberto Alomar didn’t get in his first year:

Three-fold.  1) the spitting incident didn’t help especially among the old guard of the BBWAA  2) the fact that some don’t want to vote anyone but the cream of the crop in their first of eligibility especially with reason #1 hanging around their necks and 3) I’ve heard this factoid bandied about… that Alomar was pretty much done by the time he was 35 or 36.  Yes, I know… he started out (full time) in the bigs when he was 20 and subsequently put in a good 17 years of service in the majors but that kind of thing sticks with writers, I guess.

Craziest Hall of Fame vote:

  Pat Hentgen 1 vote.  To be fair, Hentgen won a Cy Young and won one World Series game but with 131 wins and a 4.32 ERA that can take you only so far.

The “It’s not crazy if there are two of us” award:

Eric Karros 2 votes. 

and finally,

The 2010 candidate I thought was dissed this year: 

Harold Baines.  Should he have gotten in?  I don’t know.  But I was surprised that he barely hung on for next year’s ballot.  Yes, I’m a Cub fan but Baines deserved more.  An interesting stat:  Baines had more career hits and more career rbis than any other HOF candidate.

Read the transcript of BBWAA interview with Andre Dawson

If you haven’t already, take the time to read the transcript of the BBWAA conference call interview with Andre Dawson after the announcement of his selection to the Hall of Fame.  It’s a good read. 

During the interview, he spoke at length about his family especially his mother and his grandmother, Eunice Taylor, who he considered a “mentor”. 

Dawson seemed to have a high opinion of playing in Chicago and of the Chicago fans:

I just went out and said I was going to have fun. The fans embraced me from day one of spring training. And I think even though I pressed a little bit at the outset, I hit a grand slam home run that kind of got me going.

And from there, you know, things just started to happen on a daily basis. But for the most part of the six years that I was there, I really enjoyed the reception, the fact that I had an opportunity to play amongst fans who really didn’t put any pressure on you, you know.


Plus he had great comment about one of my favorite baseball people:

Don Zimmer always would make the comment, get here early and don’t really go out and do something that would embarrass the fans.

Something else about the interview struck me too. Something that some people might appreciate more than others:

Andre Dawson: Okay, thank you.

Andre Dawson: You’re welcome.

Andre Dawson: Thank you.

Andre Dawson: Thank you, sir.

Andre Dawson: Thank you.

Andre Dawson: Thank you.

Andre Dawson: Thank you, (Ian).

Andre Dawson: Hi Toni. Thank you.

etc, etc..

you get the idea.  Grandmother raised him right.

KO on the Hall vote

The Hall of Fame musings of MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann make for an interesting read whether or not you agree with his politics. 

I can agree for the most part with his conclusions though I think he comes off a little sanctimonious when it comes to McGwire:

Hall of Fame? For what? For pretending to Congress that nothing happened before that steroid hearing? Fine. You got your wish. Nothing happened. Your lifetime numbers are 0-0-.000. And by the way, why is it ok for him to just waltz back in as batting coach of the Cardinals? Would we let Bonds come back in? This is unacceptable, and it gives credence to the very disturbing claim that race is at play when it comes to the punishment of steroid cheats. Mark McGwire is a steroid cheater.
Otherwise, I can’t argue too much with someone who would be willing to put Dawson AND Lee Smith in had he a vote.