But this is where it gets tricky for me, because since I don’t vote emotion, I wonder about Don Mattingly, who is my all-time favorite athlete from my all-time favorite team.
I don’t like to vote for guys based on sheer endurance and length of career. I also don’t like to sell short someone who had a Hall of Fame career truncated by injury. Or an illness, for that matter. Which is why, if you look strictly at his numbers, Lou Gehrig doesn’t have the 3,000 hits or the 500 home runs that are Hall of Fame benchmarks. Yet, no sane person would argue that Gehrig isn’t a Hall of Famer.
I’m not saying Don Mattingly is Lou Gehrig.
But I still say he belongs in the Hall of Fame.
And while we’re at it, although he’s not on the ballot any longer, I believe Thurman Munson belongs in Cooperstown, too. I just can’t see penalizing him for dying young.
...Same goes for Mike Piazza, the game’s greatest offensive catcher. Piazza is supposed to have a book coming out this spring, in which his publisher says he’ll address the steroid speculation that has swirled around him. I’d like to wait and see what he says.
Jeff Bagwell? I think his numbers are probably there for Cooperstown. But I also wonder about steroids with him. His body-type changed during his career. He also was a close friend of the late Ken Caminiti, a steroid poster child who admitted to juicing.
Same with Craig Biggio, who definitely has Hall of Fame credentials by virtue of his 3,060 hits. But I look at his body-type transformation and so many of the whispers surrounding his name, that I just want to wait.
Posted: December 29, 2012 at 05:58 AM | 32 comment(s)
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