Thursday, January 11, 2007

The Hall of Fame - 3,079 Miles... thoughts

Yesterday the Hall of Fame opened its doors to two giants of the game, the original Iron man of the modern era, Cal Ripken Jr, and the man who just could flat out hit, Tony Gywnn. Both men only ever played for one franchise, and no one could argue their HoF credentials.

Last night Neil H and my good self were discussing the Hall of Fame and the selection criteria that should be used. Regular 3,079 Miles... commenter Corey had brought up the idea of just one year of eligibility, and if you fail to get in, then that it is - you are either always a Hall of Famer, or you are not. It is an interesting idea, but both of us questioned whether this would allow the necessary time to evaluate players numbers against other players of their era.

Neil H proposed five years instead of the current 15, 'otherwise you get teams like the Red Sox running a campaign to get rice elected after 13 years - sorry he is not a HoF. I mean if we don't appreciate him 10 years after he last swung a bat why should we after 19?' It is a valid argument. Ten years gives time for similar players of the era to retire and you can clearly look at players whilst their careers are fresh in the mind.

In a rare feat of Neil's agreement we agreed that to us the Hall of Fame should have players with at least ten years or so of top level performance with two or three years where they are at the peak of the game, as Neil H said, 'ten years of very strong performance with a great - and I mean great - peak in there - I really do believe that as far as the HoF goes, less is more.'

Neil H is getting to the point in his baseball life where players he has seen in, or close to, their prime are getting on the ballot, I am still years away from this, so it is hard for me to make a great argument on who should be in as all I can point to is numbers. Over the next decade or so, I too will be getting to the point where I can talk about players I have seen at their peak as they get their chance to join the immortals in Cooperstown, and the day that comes about, will be the day that my baseball education moves on to the next level.

5 threw a strike:

At 5:43 pm, Anonymous Corey said...

Neil H and I were talking about this the other day. I don't understand what makes someone more of a Hall of Famer 10 years after they retired rather than one year. I would go to the extreme and say 1 year to make it. If you're not good enough then, you'll never be good enough. It would make writers make decisions based on the talent of the player on his own, not compared to the players for that year's eligibility.

At 5:54 pm, Blogger Neil M said...

I certainly agree that twenty years after they last swung a bat or delivered a pitch is too much, so five years plus say five years on the ballot would be enough, but the thing is I doubt very much that this system will of changed by the time we are retired.

At 8:17 pm, Anonymous Corey said...

Ain't that the truth. I don't know why they don't change things though. It makes a mockery of sorts of the HoF process.

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At 5:19 pm, Anonymous christo said...

I think the process has less to do with specific criteria, but the fact that wingnut reporters get to do the voting. Most of these guys are older, they're cranky, they love some players and hate others arbitrarily - why would we leave this decision in the hands of so few assclowns, regardless of how someone's eligibility is determined?

Rice belongs in the HOF, by the way. Look at his stats compared to some of the recent entrants, and the same players of his era who are now in the hall, and you'll be left wondering (as I do) why he's not in. You might want to ask Dan Shaughnessy why too, if you could find him under his rock at the Globe.


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