The Hall of Fame ballots were published today and many of the stars of my generation appear for the first time: Bonds, Clemens, Bagwell, Biggio, Sosa, McGwire. Players I immortalized and have been shadowed with controversy.
I do not have a vote. My father-in-law did. He covered the Detroit Tigers, among other Michigan teams for close to 30 years for the Flint Journal. He took great pride and diligence in his selections. He had his own unique system. From what I could piece together, he took great stock in how they fared during their career in MVP voting, All-Star selections, career numbers, and the question "Were they dominant for their position when they played?"
I asked him his thoughts on these players before he passed away this past August and he simply replied "Put them in". They played during an era when most, if not all, were doing something to get an edge, it was not illegal by MLB rules, and the arguments go on and on. If Dave says put them in, put them in.
It could be a great year for my Detroit Tigers with Morris the likely favorite and #3 Alan Trammell inching closer as well. I am a homer, but it would be nice to pack the family for my first trip to Cooperstown to see Trammell go in.
I rooted for the Killer B's in Bagwell & Biggio. I was a little league catcher and appreciated the versatility in which Biggion played (and the guy is the career leader in bean balls, come on, that has got to count for something. Bagwell was the second coming of McGwire for me. Power! Power!
As a teacher of Social Studies, I view the Hall of Fame as a historical institution as well. How can baseball ignore it's history? It has embraced the Negro Leagues (to a small degree) and the integration of baseball. Black Sox, Pete Rose, etc. Let the fans decided what was right and wrong. You're going to tell me that not only is the All-time hits leader not going to be in the Hall of Fame, the All-Time HR leader for Catchers (Piazza), but also the All-Time Home Run Leaders and Pitchers? Let's be real.
I will look forward to early January when the BBWAA announce their selections and just hope they do the right thing.
Keep it hot on the corner.