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Hall of Fame Fun Poll

Played around with Google Forms and came up with a little five-question poll about Hall of Fame and fun.

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28 Responses to Hall of Fame Fun Poll

  1. Adam Gi says:

    It’s sort of weird to say that Tommy John “accomplished” Tommy John surgery. He wasn’t the surgeon. Obviously, he put in a lot of work for the comeback.

    • Craig says:

      Agree. I don’t feel like Tommy John “accomplished” anything (more than any other player coming back from injury) with his surgery. I voted “yes” on the general question of “should a player get credit for being the first one to do something”, but I was thinking more like “first player to hit 100 triples in his career.” Not that I think that should be sufficient, but maybe a tie breaker.

      • steve says:

        Yes. And Tommy John is more famous than half of the guys in the HoF. (Ask any casual fan who Tommy John is and they will know at least something – even if only the surgery.) So, to me, he has the major qualification.Compare T J to The Bird, who is probably also more famous than half of the guys in the HoF. Except Fidrych is famous only among those of us who were around for his career, and when we pass he will remain only as a fascinating but obscure story of “what if.” Tommy John has a legacy in baseball history (famous!), and there should be a HoF fit of some sort for him.

      • Steve says:

        He was a trailblazer in that he risked the surgery (a lot of guys pitched through pain for a while then retired over the years). And then his success after the surgery paved the way for people to take the same risk (now less of a risk because of the success of Tommy John). He shouldn’t get in on that alone, but he had a pretty good career otherwise. It makes it a coin-flip to me, whereas his numbers alone fall a little short.

      • Adam Gi says:

        I voted yes too. Tommy just seem like an odd example of a notable first.

  2. shagster says:

    “TJ had a cup of coffee. He shouldn’t get in because some doctor fixed his shoulder. ”


  3. Roger Martinie says:

    In his own way, Jamie Moyer was fun too. I enjoyed watching a guy who couldn’t throw hard enough to play in the bigs in his twenties have so much success throwing even softer in his seventies (or however old he was when he finally retired)

    • KHAZAD says:

      I mourned the departure of Moyer from the big leagues as he was the last player in a major sport to be older than me. Somehow it was a big deal for me when there was no longer an athlete older than I was, and Jamie postponed that inevitability for quite a while. I was so hoping he came back at 50. As far as I know, there has never been a “real” player who was active at 50 or after – just some one game publicity things. Satchel Paige, Minnie Minoso etc.

  4. rdb says:

    “When the Hall of Fame says that character should count in voting, do you think this means that players who displayed impeccable character should be given bonus points?”

    Well, a couple of months ago, I might have voted “Yes” here. But then, a couple of months ago, I had more faith that we could identify people with impeccable character with some confidence.

    • KHAZAD says:

      If you ever actually had faith in the character of someone you don’t actually know at all and felt you could identify character from a public persona or earnestly expressed beliefs, it was quite foolish and I am glad you learned a lesson.

    • Ian says:

      I think the character clause means on the field/locker room stuff.

      • SDG says:

        So? Even if we limit it to on-field stuff, do you want to kick out Juan Marichal? Roberto Alomar? (Physically attacking other players/umps). Ford, Perry, Drysdale and Sutton (doctoring balls, against the rules). Every gambler from the deadball era and 1920s? Babe Ruth, Mickey Mantle, Tim Raines and every drug user who let their teammates down by not playing at their full ability because they couldn’t control themselves? (And I’m leaving out a ton of drug users/alcoholics). Tony Gwynn, same thing, but replace drugs with junk food? I sound crazy now, don’t I? People never seriously argue for any of these.

    • SDG says:

      That’s always been my sticking point with the so-called character clause. We don’t actually know these people. Remember when sportswriters thought Ted Williams was a selfish jerk who didn’t care about his team or his city? Or thought Joe DiMaggio was the epitome of class and grace? And that Pete Rose was Charlie Hustle who cared about winning more than anything and would never let anything get in the way of his singular baseball focus? Sportswriters don’t know these people and we certainly don’t.

      It should be about baseball. Why are a bunch of strangers even talking about whether Garvey’s multiple out-of-wedlock children balances his being supportive of Claire Smith? Or whether there’s some sort of scale where Schilling’s support for ALS research counters his support for murdering journalists? These are not questions the Hall is designed to answer.

      Besides, what good does it do to give a citizenship award where your plaque hangs forever next to Cap Anson’s?

  5. shagster says:

    Garvey should go in. For the reasons cited. And more so. He was — and remains — one of “the” best and defining baseball players of his era. The Dodgers and Pads are not in 70s/80s WS & playoffs without Steve Garvey. His case shouldn’t be determined by the bank examiners of “It’s a Wonderful Life”. Heck, there’s strong evidence to suggest his career was shortened by MLB owners’ collusion. “Rip up that warrant, Bert”! Garvey belongs in the HoF.

    • Scott says:

      Garvey poses a problem for retrospective analysis. He was highly valued while he played because he hit 300 with 200 hits and solid power (especially playing half his games in Dodgers Stadium). But today, we see his low OBP, average defense and high GDP and think that he wasn’t that good of a player.

      But who is baseball for? Is it for the fans go to park and watch the game, listening to Vin Sully on their transistor radio? Or is it for those of us who look back and obsess over how Reggie Smith’s defense and batting eye more than make up for the difference in batting average?

      I think it’s for both and both types of fans need to be able to go to the Hall of Fame and see the players who represent each side. Fans who remember Vladimir Guerrero’s ability to hit anything out of the park and unleash a throw from right field are just as important as those who think that the writers over-compensate for Larry Walker playing half his games in Coors Field.

      The Hall of Fame is a place for all fans and provides a place for us to learn about baseball history. So these debates are good and even a vital part of that knowledge. How else would I learn about Bobby Wallace’s defense?

    • KHAZAD says:

      Garvey is hall of very good for me. I thought he was overrated when he played, partially because a couple of the national baseball announcers at the time (When there weren’t very many baseball announcing teams, or games on TV) seemed practically in love with him and talked about him alot even in games he was not in.

      They always talked about what a great guy and how classy he was also, incessantly, as did has verbose manager. I think he was a shoo in before he had public problems that dashed everyone’s golden image of him. Like it or not, that golden image was the thing that was going to push him from a borderline case to the Hall, and when that image was tarnished, the guys that care and vote based on those things felt betrayed, didn’t vote for him, he never got 50% of the vote, and he was out.

      Now, I don’t think he is quite a hall of famer anyway, but being kept out because he showed himself to not actually be his Mr clean persona is crap. It would have also been crap if he had gone in one the first (or second at the latest) ballot because people still bought into that image.

      Both what could have happened,and then on the other side what actually did happen – on both sides of the issue – is the thing that turned me away from character as an issue and started my scorn of the BBWA.

  6. Juan-o says:

    Well, on one hand people who achieved things first should be in the Hall (read: Jackie Robinson), on the other, they shouldn’t (read: Tommy John). There was no option for “depends on how important that thing was”.

    Also, though Bo in no way deserves to be in the Hall by any rational standard, it’s a pity he didn’t focus on baseball. I have no doubt he was a Hall of Fame quality player who’s career was cut short.

    Finally, I really had no idea how good Abreu was. I don’t know if it’s Hall material, but to me he was always just a pretty reliably good if unspectacular player (think Michael Cuddyer, Tim Salmon or Jermaine Dye), but he really did have a borderline Hall career, if only for the longevity.

    • SDG says:

      The difference is if you look at Jackie’s stats in a vacuum, he’s still in easily. You can’t say that for TJ.

      The unofficial rule baseball seems to have settled on for these things is, if you had a short career because of serving in the military or segregation, they don’t hold it against you. (That doesn’t affect Jackie, who packed astonishing value in 10 years, but does affect Doby and Campanella, although a rational process would give them NeL credit). If you had a short career for any other reason (illness, injury, being banned for throwing the series), too bad. There are no what ifs. It’s not official, but it does seem to be consistently applied.

      Personally I’m inclined to reward firsts. I know SABR types think Sutter is overrated but he popularised using a new pitch and I think that’s worth something. Ray Schalk revolutionised catcher defense so I can overlook a lifetime 83 OPS+. Etc. But Tommy John didn’t do the actual surgery.

      I bet if the process was called “Frank Jobe surgery” TJ would never appear in conversations like this one.

  7. Ryan D says:

    you should also add an “age range” question on the survey. I for example am a little younger so I preferred the younger players on the ballot

  8. Dano says:

    What about Kirby Puckett? He had good stats but had to quit playing on the early side due to his eye(s). He was known as a happy, smiling baseball face and got voted in to the Hall of Fame. Later his image took a beating. Had that happened while he was playing or before the HoF vote, would he have gotten in?
    I don’t think of him as a Hall of Famer.

    • Larry Schmitt says:

      His stats are almost identical to Mattingly’s, but Don didn’t get any really serious consideration. The only thing on Puckett’s résumé that is not on Mattingly’s is the two WS titles. And isn’t that a team event? Maybe he got a lot of sympathy votes because of the early end of his career.

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