Robin Yount captured the tone perfectly.
“I, like a number of us up here,” began Yount, nodding at Rose, “idolized this man here to my left. In my opinion, everyone up here is a Hall of Famer.”
Whatever Rose might be now, his record of 4,256 hits is pure, untainted by anything more than a few greenies (amphetamines), which were de rigueur in the 1960s and 1970s and put a little spring in one’s step on day games after night games but provided nowhere near the juice that came from steroids.
...On Saturday night, Rose again showed his knowledge of baseball history, citing Ty Cobb’s career batting average and calling him “probably baseball’s greatest hitter.” But, more amazing on this night, said Rose, was there had been a lot of great players in the 150-year history of baseball, but sitting in the hall this night were the greatest catcher (Bench) and third baseman (Schmidt) who ever lived.
“And the guy with the most hits,” Bench volleyed back.
The players told stories about the impact Rose had on their careers – from the poster in Schmidt’s bedroom growing up, to Winfield wanting to capture the “high energy” of Rose, to Molitor seeking to emulate Rose’s all-out approach on the base paths.
The implication being that times have changed, that it’s not 1919 anymore, that Baseball needs to get past the Black Sox Scandal and Shoeless Joe Jackson and the idea that Rose had somehow irreparably compromised the game that he loved so much and played so hard.
It’s time to open the doors, the Hall of Famers were as much as saying.
Posted: November 07, 2012 at 05:41 AM | 8 comment(s)
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