Tuesday, November 09, 2010

The Upcoming Veterans Vote

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The National Baseball Hall of Fame’s Veterans’ Committee has a special vote coming up, in which they will vote on the status of 12 “Expansion Era” players, executives, and a manager.  If the individual receives more than 75% of the vote, their in the Hall.  It’s that easy.  Let’s take a look at the candidates:

Vida Blue – Outstanding pitcher.  Dominant at times.  Also a train wreck of a personality.  Did he do enough to warrant a place in the Hall of Fame?  He was 209-161.  (My vote: No.  Purely a gut feeling here)

Dave Concepcion – Really?  He’s a candidate?  A career .267 hitter?  (No)

Steve Garvey – Only hit .294 for his career, but I often thought he was overlooked for the Hall.  Not only was he brilliant with the Dodgers but was a huge reason that the Padres went to the World Series in 1984 (Tough call.  I still say No).

Pat Gillick – A winner everywhere.  Still, a lot of executives don’t make it (No)

Ron Guidry – This is a tough one for me.  He became a star too late in his career but had one of the best seasons I’ve ever seen (1978: 25-3, 1.74).  I loved watching him pitch, yet he’s got a Mattingly-like quality to me (therefore, he’s a No).

Tommy John – Twenty-six years.  Twelve wins from 300.  Still, twenty-six years?  Then again, cultural impact has always been factored into Hall voting, and there’s a simple reason why it’s called “Tommy John Surgery” (No)

Billy Martin – Oh boy.  Never was a Billy fan.  He was never good enough to make it as a player (though he had major success in the postseason, with 12 hits in the 1953 World Series).  This vote is for his managerial career, where he won just won World Series (1977), though he did have plenty of success in his stops in Minnesota, Detroit, Texas, and the A’s (and of course, five stints in The Bronx).  He had five first-place finishes, and won two AL titles.  He also destroyed the arms of several pitchers. (No…and unretire his number one, or share it with Bobby Richardson and Bobby Murcer, both men of dignity)

Marvin Miller – The players will say “yes.”  The owners will say “no.”  Isn’t that how it should be for the former head of the Major League Baseball Players Association?  His impact on baseball can’t be overlooked.  A hugely controversial figure. (I don’t think he’ll make it…but my vote is YES)

Al Oliver – Played 18 years.  Career .303 hitter. (No)

Ted Simmons – Good catcher.  Good hitter.  Not good enough for me. (No)

Rusty Staub – Le Grande Orange!  The original Expo hero!  Also found success in New York, but I’d want his plaque to represent Montreal.  Still his stats underwhelm me. (No)

George Steinbrenner – What more needs to be said?  If the vote were purely for his behavior up until, say, 1993, my vote would be NO.  He embarrassed the Yankees.  He often embarrassed baseball.  He also, along with Marvin Miller, helped drive players salaries to where they are.  But he had one of the great second (third?) acts, letting the right people run the Yankees, and securing the dynasty.  He helped build the YES Network.  He helped build a new stadium (that simply is NOT the old Stadium).  His impact on baseball – and sports – can not be overlooked. (A resounding YES vote from me).

There you go – George Steinbrenner and Marvin Miller.  They get my vote.  Nobody else.  Realistically, I think Steinbrenner and Steve Garvey might get in, but to me, that’s it.  This group otherwise underwhelms me.

1 comment:

Carl said...

Good to know about the National Baseball Hall of Fame, and also the information about it, is useful to know.
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