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Hall of Merit
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Tuesday, March 23, 2004

Who’ll be the first living HoMer?

Anyone want to venture as guess as to who will be:

The first living HoMer?

The first living HoMer that isn’t a HoFer?

The latter question is very interesting to me, I’d love to be able to get in touch that player when we elect him.

Just something to think about - I believe the first question was mentioned already sometime in the last couple of weeks.

Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: March 23, 2004 at 08:14 AM | 23 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. MattB Posted: March 23, 2004 at 03:41 PM (#523377)
I'm sure I'm missing some obvious people, and likely missed some recent deaths as well, but here's first stab:

Well, I believe Al Lopez is the oldest living HoFer, and at 96 will be the first if we induct him and he is still alive by then. Other old living HoFers (by earliest to retire) are Bobby Doerr (86), Bob Feller (86), Phil Rizzuto (87), George Kell (82) and Red Schoendiest (81).

Non-HoFers are difficult, because there are no real glaring omissions from the 1945-1965 era when the oldest living players generally retired. We are likely to put several of the following people on the "wait list" at some point, but it is unclear whether any will get inducted before later/younger retirees. None look like slam dunks, and some seem unlikely to get in at all: Phil Cavaretta (88), Mickey Vernon (86), Alvin Dark (82), Eddie Yost (78), Billy Pierce (77).
   2. MattB Posted: March 23, 2004 at 03:50 PM (#523378)
All things considered, including ability as a player, date of retirement, and likelihood of survival, my money for first living non-HoFer inducted is Rocky Colavito.
   3. Carl Goetz Posted: March 23, 2004 at 04:21 PM (#523379)
I agree that Colavito will probably get in, but I kind of look at him as a guy we discuss for 10 years and then, finally elect. I don't think he's a slam dunk 1st balloter. What about Ron Santo in 1980?
   4. Brian H Posted: March 23, 2004 at 05:19 PM (#523380)
IN addition to Bobby Doerr (86), Bob Feller (86), Phil Rizzuto (87) I'd toss in Sandy Koufax. BUt really it will probably be Feller since he is likely 1st ballot and who knows about Scooter and Doerr (I haven't really looked at their numbers). Lopez is a HOFer largely for his Managerial achievments -- so his HOM case is a bit weaker.
   5. Marc Posted: March 23, 2004 at 06:23 PM (#523381)
Great idea to track this. Joe mentioned non-HoFers because a HoFer is not gonna give a s**t about the HoM. A guy who never got into Cooperstown, though, might be flattered that we elected him.

Colavito has certainly been vastly underrated by history, but a HoFer? We'll see. Santo certainly is a possibility. I don't think it's necessarily gonna be some old duffer. It might not happen until the 1980s or so. Other possibilities (and I'm not looking up their age or eligibility, just in random order some guys who have been underrated by history who could rate highly with us):

Bill Freehan--the second coming of Charlie Bennett, other than the fact that he still has two good legs
   6. Marc Posted: March 23, 2004 at 07:30 PM (#523382)
PS. Only among MLBs.
   7. Jeff M Posted: March 23, 2004 at 09:22 PM (#523384)
If it's Pete Rose, I vote we not contact him. I would support his election, but what a jerk. He'd probably charge you a fee to use his name on the HoM boards.
   8. karlmagnus Posted: March 23, 2004 at 10:18 PM (#523385)
Maybe Ted Williams will become the living person elected in the earliest HOM-year -- but not till 2100.
   9. Marc Posted: March 23, 2004 at 10:45 PM (#523387)
Great lists, T. Can I change my pick from Minnie Minoso to Ralph Kiner. Hard to believe they're the same age. Minoso pretty much broke into the majors as Kiner entered his decline.

Was it Rusie and McGinnity who were the same age? That's an amazing story! Minoso and Kiner at least overlapped a couple-three years.
   10. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: March 23, 2004 at 10:55 PM (#523388)
Great lists, T. Can I change my pick from Minnie Minoso to Ralph Kiner. Hard to believe they're the same age.

They're not. Minnie's newest autobiography states that he was born in 1926.
   11. Dag Nabbit is part of the zombie horde Posted: March 24, 2004 at 08:21 AM (#523390)
But I'd say the smart money has to be on Santo.

At the risk of being morbid, that's assuming that Santo lives long enough to be our first living non-HoF HoMer. He lost part of one leg after 2001, part of the other after 2002, & missed the play-offs with surgery last year. I'd love Santo live a long time, but the health of that life-long diabetic just ain't very good right now.
   12. Marc Posted: March 24, 2004 at 03:48 PM (#523391)
Catchers will always be tough. I mean, it's one thing to elect Ewing, Cochrane, Dickey, Campy, Berra, Bench et al. But for a large hall, it's another thing to ferret out the right guys in the Bennett, Bresnahan, Lombardi, Walker Cooper, Freehan, Munson range. I was/am a FOCB but the difficulty of getting Charlie elected makes me cautious about Freehan. I firmly believe that Freehan at his peak was closer to Johnny Bench than to, say, Lance Parrish, he just didn't have a long peak period. I also agree that Munson is underrated. At his best he was better than Fisk, though even a peak voter like me recognizes that Fisk's career more than offset that small peak difference. But other than that I will save my Freehan arguments for another day.
   13. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: March 24, 2004 at 09:05 PM (#523393)
Does Shoeless Joe Jackson have a good shot at being elected?

He has an excellent shot his second year of eligibility, but I'm not sure about his first year. Both Jackson and Cicotte will not be on my ballot in 1926.
   14. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: March 24, 2004 at 09:43 PM (#523395)
I would say either Feller or Musial, who are first ballot-type players for the HoF.

I agree. They seem to be in very good health (knock on wood) and will be inducted very quickly when eligible.

Doerr, Minoso and Rizzuto will have more of a fight on their hands. Lopez will never be elected to this wing of the Hall.

I would urge everyone to start doing their homework on Double-Duty Radcliffe as soon as possible so we're all prepared when he's eligible. It would be nice to honor him while he is still around to enjoy it.
   15. DL from MN Posted: July 11, 2006 at 05:14 PM (#2095476)
Joe wins.
   16. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: July 11, 2006 at 07:00 PM (#2095592)
Joe wins.

Tell him what he's won, Don!
   17. Daryn Posted: July 11, 2006 at 07:07 PM (#2095597)
Actually, Carl Goetz picked Santo first.
   18. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: July 11, 2006 at 07:15 PM (#2095603)
Santo is the first living HOMer-not-HOFer, but I think Feller was the first living HOMer.
   19. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: July 11, 2006 at 07:24 PM (#2095610)
Santo is the first living HOMer-not-HOFer, but I think Feller was the first living HOMer.

Correct.
   20. sunnyday2 Posted: July 11, 2006 at 08:12 PM (#2095673)
We were gonna send Feller a telegram, too, as I recall. I'm sure he would have been immensely appeciative.
   21. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: July 11, 2006 at 08:25 PM (#2095689)
We were gonna send Feller a telegram, too, as I recall. I'm sure he would have been immensely appeciative.

Some here decided against it because they felt that Feller would feel the honor was beneath him. Something like: "You elected me? Duh!" :-)
   22. jingoist Posted: July 13, 2006 at 01:59 AM (#2097233)
Feller just needs more bran in his diet.
Make sure to tell him that at the end of the telegram notifying him of his election.
Old curmuddgeon!
   23. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: July 13, 2006 at 02:10 AM (#2097240)
lol

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