(Belated) HOF Thoughts
I know I’m really late on this, but I do want to share my thoughts on the recent Hall of Fame voting…
Rickey Henderson: Obviously a first-ballot HOFer, and 95% of the votes affirmed that feeling across the nation. Sure, he seems to be an arrogant jerk, but being a gentleman isn’t necessarily a qualification for the Hall. Rickey was the greatest leadoff hitter of the modern baseball era (only perhaps Ty Cobb in the history of the game eclipses him) and easily the best base stealer. If I had to guess, I’d say that right now–pushing 50 years old–Henderson could still swipe at least 15-20 bags in the majors (assuming he could get on base in the first place, of course).
Jim Rice: I did not see Jim Rice play (way before my time), but I do not think he is a Hall of Famer. He had a lot of hits (2,452), but not an astounding amount. He had a lot of power (382 HR), but that is far from a tremendous amount. To me, his most impressive statistic is his .298 career batting average, which is very impressive. However, taking all his stats into consideration, I just don’t see them measuring up for a plaque in Cooperstown. I guess the BBWAA felt differently.
-Of course, it was again a crying shame that Bert Blyleven was not inducted this year. It was bad enough that Circle Me’s Dad passed away before he could hear his son’s induction speech, but now it has become just ridiculous. The only thing I could think of his that Blyleven really ********** a bunch of writers during his playing days, as his stats are much better than many players already enshrined.
-Finally, Andre Dawson also nearly made the cut this year. I don’t consider him to be worthy, either. Much like Rice, I consider him to be a great player, but one that never really pushed himself past that “invisible threshold” of Hall consideration.