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Bob Nightengale, the vote that interested me most


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Of course it's the Hall of Fame, not the Hall of Statistically Best. Intangibles such as impact on the game, or the fact that a player played on more winners, can and do affect voting, and I can't say there's anything wrong with that. Your statement has an implicit underlying assumption that HOF induction should be based solely on career value as determined by the best available stats. And nothing but the stats.

I have no problem if a guy who wasn't as good a player (say Jack Morris) gets into the Hall of Fame becasue of postseason performances that go down in the lore and history of baseball. Is it "fair" to an excluded player who may have a higher career WAR than Morris? Maybe not, but life isn't fair. The best ball player I ever saw was named Bo Jackson, and it's not "fair" that injuries ended his career and thus he isn't in the HOF. That's just the way it goes.

It makes for great argument, and anyone who thinks they can "settle" it by using hte latest/greatest stat as an end-all be-all arbiter is doing nothing but trying to take away the most fun thing about the HoF -- the arguing! :)

I've never argued that the Hall should just be a list of the top X players in WAR. But I think measurable value on the playing field should be the bulk of one's qualifications for the Hall. So when a guy like Rizzuto is in, and a guy whose measured qualifications were 50% better like Trammell is out, something is wrong.

You really think Bo Jackson was the best ballplayer you ever saw? I think he may have been the best player ever, among major leaguers who really had no idea how to play baseball.

And I never liked the life isn't fair argument, because what you're really arguing is that it's ok that life isn't fair even when we can do something about it.

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Of course it's the Hall of Fame, not the Hall of Statistically Best. Intangibles such as impact on the game, or the fact that a player played on more winners, can and do affect voting, and I can't say there's anything wrong with that. Your statement has an implicit underlying assumption that HOF induction should be based solely on career value as determined by the best available stats. And nothing but the stats.

I have no problem if a guy who wasn't as good a player (say Jack Morris) gets into the Hall of Fame becasue of postseason performances that go down in the lore and history of baseball. Is it "fair" to an excluded player who may have a higher career WAR than Morris? Maybe not, but life isn't fair. The best ball player I ever saw was named Bo Jackson, and it's not "fair" that injuries ended his career and thus he isn't in the HOF. That's just the way it goes.

It makes for great argument, and anyone who thinks they can "settle" it by using hte latest/greatest stat as an end-all be-all arbiter is doing nothing but trying to take away the most fun thing about the HoF -- the arguing! :)

The problem with Morris wasn't what he did or didn't do, specifically. The problem was that most of the arguments that were presented in his favor by the writers were either:

1) Questionable at best, factually incorrect at worst, and...

2) As valid, or more so, for others who weren't receiving the same support. And yes, you can read that as generally being Bert Blyleven.

Because the voters and supporters were embellishing their arguments and dismissing connections with others, that is what got people upset and caused the storm that has grown over the past half-decade.

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You really think Bo Jackson was the best ballplayer you ever saw? I think he may have been the best player ever, among major leaguers who really had no idea how to play baseball.

That reminds me of Buck O'Neil's statement about how he only heard a certain "crack" of the bat from three hitters in his life.

The first time was seeing Babe Ruth as a youngster in Florida.

The second time was as a ballplayer watching Josh Gibson in batting practice.

The third time was as an old man, seeing Bo Jackson for the first time.

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That reminds me of Buck O'Neil's statement about how he only heard a certain "crack" of the bat from three hitters in his life.

The first time was seeing Babe Ruth as a youngster in Florida.

The second time was as a ballplayer watching Josh Gibson in batting practice.

The third time was as an old man, seeing Bo Jackson for the first time.

Bo was an amazing athlete. He was Mike Vick with Jim Presley's pitch recognition skills.

A modern Jim Thorpe.

And not to derail the thread, but it's one of the Hall's greatest insanities that Buck O'Neil wasn't inducted before his death. Sure, as a player he appeared to be no better than some of the VC selections like Jim Bottomley. But Negro League records have wide margins of error, so he could have been better. And to me he gets massive extra credit for being one of the game's great ambassadors, a wonderful storyteller without a hint of bitterness over a situation that would have destroyed most men. His exclusion when they did that special committee on the Negro Leagues very late in his life is almost tragic. People should be ashamed of that.

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