This is not about Rickey Henderson

trammell and whitaker.jpgYou know, I could sit here and cry about how my favorite player from my childhood is on the Hall of Fame ballot but won’t make it in just like my friend Mr. Lung. And the thing is, I really could. I mean, not only did Alan Trammell play for one of the best Tigers’ teams ever back in ’84, he also has the same first name as me(!), even if he does spell it incorrectly. But, it’s just not in me.

It really all comes down to what Mark at MLBlogs had to say, “These plaques go next to those of
Babe Ruth, Willie Mays, Walter Johnson, Hank Aaron, Stan Musial.” As much as I loved watching Trammell at shortstop, turning those sweet double plays with Lou Whitaker and as great as his ’83 and ’84 seasons were, I can’t really say that he belongs next to those names.

Now, I’ll admit that it’s a little more difficult to say the same thing about McGwire. Even if he is a juiced up steroid junkie who probably can’t touch his hands together over his head, he was exciting to watch. More than that, McGwire rewrote the record books until Barry Bonds came along and really started flexing his PED-built muscles. And like Mr. Lung says, there are definitely some incorrigible characters in the Hall.

However, the one thing you don’t see in the Hall are cheaters. Shoeless Joe Jackson has the third highest career batting average in the majors but you won’t see his name in Cooperstown. Same goes for Pete Rose even if it is the result of something that didn’t happen on the field. If you’re going to bar these guys and their amazing records, I don’t have a problem with keeping Mr. McGwire out, too.

bud selig ear.jpgThis whole debate is ridiculous, though. We all know that Rose should be in the Hall and, even if he was a cheat, there’s no dismissing McGwire’s ability and contribution to the game of baseball. In the end, it’s just sad that a no-talent ^ss-clown like Michael Bolton, uh, I mean Bud Selig should be able to keep people from even coming up for a vote. Let Rose on the list and then let the sportswriters decide if he merits entry. Same goes for Bonds when he becomes eligible. The Hall of Fame does not exist to serve the whims of the Commissioner. It’s there so that fans can celebrate the greatest players to ever step on a baseball diamond. That means you, Rose. You too, McGwire. And what the hell, get on in there, Bonds.




  1. juliasrants

    Allen, while I agree that Pete Rose belongs in the HOF and that Mark McGwire probably does belong in the HOF, I’m not sure that I can agree with Barry Bonds belonging there. Would your opinion of him change if he was found guilty of the charges against him before he becomes eligible?


  2. allenk

    Julia, I think the circumstances would merit rethinking Bonds’ inclusion if he were to be convicted. It’s an interesting question because deep down inside we all know that McGwire used PED’s but he won’t be convicted for it. Same goes for Clemens. We know that Bonds used, too, but if he’s convicted (even if it’s for the tangentially related perjury charges), we’ll have explicit proof and that makes it harder to accept him into the Hall. Would he have had the same career and broken the same records without being juiced? Probably not. And with that logic, if he’s convicted, it means we should probably disregard the feats he accomplished while using those substances. Honestly, I don’t have the answer. However, if I were one of the voters I probably wouldn’t include him at this point.

  3. northstateblues

    Great post RSBS, it’s sad we won’t see Shoeless Joe in the HOF (if the Field of Dreams “He was the only one to hit a home run” arguement is to be believed), and it’s sad that Pete Rose won’t see Cooperstown as a player because of what he did as a manager. Big Mac should get in, too, if not for the records, then based on the fact that he saved the sport after the strike, and I’m sure everyone in suits looked the other way.

    Coming from a Die-Hard Dodgers fan, it’s a shame if Barry Bonds never makes the HOF, but the shame’s all his own. He didn’t need PED’s to have the talent he has, but what’s done is done, and he’s a tragic figure befiting of his own Oliver Stone movie in a decade or so.

    Thanks, and here’s my recently-neglected site:

  4. dhacks

    Although I generally fall into the “Smaller, More Elite HOF” camp, it’s important to debunk Newman’s implication that the standard for HOF induction is the likes of Ruth, Aaron or Musial. That’s rubbish. The defensible modern BBWAA standard is people like Kirby Puckett, Bruce Sutter and Paul Molitor, far removed from some of the earlier, indefensible Veteran’s selections.

    Trammell obviously wont get inducted by the writers, but the issues of whether he SHOULD, and where he ought to place against the real HOF standard out there, are legitimate.

    Personally, I voted for him, because as best I can measure, his combined offensive and defensive value place him near the median of all previously inducted shortstops; above guys like Aparicio, Rizzuto, even Pee Wee Reese, and below the greats: Wagner, Ripken, Arky Vaughan,etc.
    Trammell was a wallflower, but inarguably one of the 20 greatest SS’s ever – and probably in the top dozen or so. That’s good enough for me.

    Matt /

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