Today there will not be any LIVING members inducted into MLB Hall Of Fame (HOF) in Cooperstown NY. Even though no living player on the ballot was able to achive 75% of the nessessary votes to get into the Hall, the show will go on and you won’t be hearing crickets. That’s because 3 new member were elected in by the Pre-Integration Era Committee, New York Yankees owner Jacob Ruppert (who was instrumental in getting Ruth from the Red Sox), umpire Hank O’Day and barehanded catcher James Laurie “Deacon” White (who in 1871 was the first batter to record a hit in modern baseball). Craig Biggio came the closest with 68.2%, and will probably get in next year.
As for the players who should be in the HOF and are not yet in Pete Rose leads the parade. Rose is not considered because he admitted to betting on baseball which states:
Rule 21 (d) BETTING ON BALL GAMES. Any player, umpire, or club official or employee, who shall bet any sum whatsoever upon any baseball game in connection with which the bettor has no duty to perform shall be declared ineligible for one year.
Any player, umpire, or club or league official or employee, who shall bet any sum whatsoever upon any baseball game in connection with which the bettor has a duty to perform shall be declared permanently ineligible.
But the hall is not a Hall of character it is a Hall of statistics and achievements…and no one statistically is more deserving and achievement laden than Rose. “Charlie Hustle” played the game harder, and with more love than anyone.
Rose not only was Rookie of the Year in 1963 but also has these achievements on his resume:
- 1963 Topps All-Star Rookie Team
- 17-time NL All-Star (1965, 1967-1971, 1973-1982 & 1985)
- NL MVP 1973
- 1975 World Series MVP
- 2-time NL Gold Glove Winner (1969/OF & 1970/OF)
- NL Silver Slugger Award Winner (1981/1B)
- 3-time NL Batting Average Leader (1968, 1969 & 1973)
- 2-time NL On-Base Percentage Leader (1968 & 1979)
- 4-time NL At-Bats Leader (1965, 1972, 1973 & 1977)
- 4-time NL Runs Scored Leader (1969, 1974, 1975 & 1976)
- 7-time NL Hits Leader (1965, 1968, 1970, 1972, 1973, 1976 & 1981)
- 3-time NL Singles Leader (1973, 1979 & 1981)
- 5-time NL Doubles Leader (1974, 1975, 1976, 1978 & 1980)
- 100 Runs Scored Seasons: 10 (1963, 1965, 1969, 1970, 1972-1976 & 1978)
- 200 Hits Seasons: 10 (1965, 1966, 1968-1970, 1973, 1975-1977 & 1979)
- Won three World Series with the Reds (1975 & 1976) and the Phillies (1980)
- Games, career, organized baseball, 3,916
- Games, career, 3,562
- Games, switch hitter, career, 3,562
- At bats, career, 14,053
- At bats, switch hitter, career, 14,053
- Hits, career, organized baseball, 4,683
- Hits, career, 4,256
- Hits, switch hitter, career, 4,256
- Hits, switch hitter, season, 230, 1973 (tied)
- Runs, switch hitter, career, 2,165
- Singles, career, 3,215
- Singles, switch hitter, career, 3,215
- Doubles, switch hitter, career, 746
- Outs, career, 10,328
- Outs, switch hitter, career, 10,328
- Plate appearances, career, 15,890
- Plate appearances, switch hitter, career, 15,890
- Times reached base, career, 5,929
- Times reached base, switch hitter, career, 5,929
- Total bases, switch hitter, career, 5,727
- Seasons with 150 or more games, 17
- Seasons with 100 or more games, 23 (consecutive)
If baseball is a religion to purists of the game, then it’s a down right sin that Rose isn’t in the HOF. Betting on baseball DID NOT affect what he did on the field or the stats he put up…Rose bet on baseball, yes… but he NEVER bet on his team to lose…and that’s what separates him from “Shoeless Joe Jackson.” Jackson was in on rigging the 1919 World Series. Even though Joe still put up unbelievable stats in those games against the Reds he still was in on and knew about the scam. So Joe and Pete are like apples, and oranges.
Bud Selig, needs to get off his high horse and man up, opening Cooperstown to Rose…if Bud is looking for a legacy that would be it…burying the hatchet and allowing one of the games greatest players into the hallowed halls.
As for the real cheaters Bonds, Clemens, Sosa, McGuire, Palmerio, A-Rod, Braun, and others linked to the “Steroid Era” which Selig turned a blind eye to in it’s infancy, the ones who needed a little “something” to perform at the level they did, for as long as they did, the only way they should get in to Cooperstown is a virtual tour on the internet or buy a ticket. What those players did directly affected how they played, or helped them get and stay healthy… they not only cheated and lied to fans, and their employers… but to history.
A history that true ballplayers like Ruth, Gehrig, Williams, Musial, Mays, Aaron, Gibson, Cobb, Foxx ,Clemente, and others built. (Remember I am talking about God given talent and hard work… not character).
Other deserving players that I think need to get in the HOF sooner rather than later so they are around to enjoy the moment are Luis Tiant, Tim Raines, and Jack Morris. If any of the mutants cheaters of the “Steroid Era” get in before them it will be a sad day for Major League Baseball.