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Wednesday, January 08, 2014

Fay Vincent: Once again: No way Rose should get in baseball’s Hall of Fame

2 Way Street: Find the Kostya of Rose’s freedom.

The Pete Rose mess just will not go away. Now a new book is out trying to say something new about this old scandal about which many young baseball fans hardly know. After all, Rose was banned from baseball by his own agreement in 1989. An oped piece by the author of the latest book on Rose recently appeared in The New York Times and once again I am obliged to set the record straight.

Kostya Kennedy, whose book on Rose ignited this new, little fray, wants Rose to be afforded a vote to determine whether he should be a member of the Hall of Fame at Cooperstown, N.Y. Kennedy claims Rose is alone as a banned player who has never received a vote. He ignores the old Black Sox “Shoeless Joe” Jackson, who might have been a better hitter than Rose (Jackson’s lifetime batting average was .356 while Rose hit .303) but who has been banned from baseball since the scandal broke over his involvement in fixing the 1919 World Series.

Kennedy makes other errors but his failure to remember Jackson is damning. Ted Williams led an abortive attempt to revive efforts to get Jackson named to the Hall of Fame but that effort dimmed quickly when Williams was alerted to the fact that helping Jackson might also help Rose. Teddy Ballgame told me he hoped Rose would never be honored at the Hall.

...Kennedy ignores the reality the Hall of Fame and Major League Baseball are two separate institutions. Banishment from baseball was properly determined by the Hall to have the draconian consequence of eliminating a great player such as Rose or Shoeless Joe from election.

It may sell books for Kennedy to try to focus on getting a vote for Rose at the Hall. But until someone convinces a commissioner to abandon the deterrent the gambling prohibition imposes, this plaintive cry for a meaningless vote for Rose is sound and fury signifying nothing.

Repoz Posted: January 08, 2014 at 05:29 PM | 32 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: hof

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   1. McCoy Posted: January 08, 2014 at 05:44 PM (#4633986)
I believe Jackson recieved votes. Possibly 3 of them in total over two years. Rose was a write in candidate but I believe the Hall refused to count those as votes.
   2. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 08, 2014 at 05:48 PM (#4633993)
As Kennedy points out, the Hall rules prohibit election, and thus even a vote, if the player is on the so-called "Ineligible List." Rose, Jackson and others are on that list. No one has ever been reinstated from that list. No one. Kennedy ignores that blunt reality.


Weren't those rules implemented after Rose voluntarily accepted a ban?

   3. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq. Posted: January 08, 2014 at 05:50 PM (#4633998)
Weren't those rules implemented after Rose voluntarily accepted a ban?


Yes, so as to not embarrass MLB.
   4. Mickey Henry Mays Posted: January 08, 2014 at 05:51 PM (#4633999)
Rose got 41 votes in 1992, 14 in '93 and 19 in '94. I guess they pulled the plug or just stopped including his votes after that.
   5. McCoy Posted: January 08, 2014 at 05:56 PM (#4634006)
No one has ever been reinstated from that list.

Actually people have been reinstaed from the ineligible list. Most recently Ted Turner and George Steinbrenner.
   6. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 08, 2014 at 06:00 PM (#4634015)
Weren't Mickey Mantle and Willie Mays on the ineligible list? Or were they just threatened?

Was Fergie Jenkins on it?
   7. BDC Posted: January 08, 2014 at 06:03 PM (#4634019)
Mantle, Mays, and Jenkins were all on the ineligible list (and subsequently reinstated). Mantle and Mays were already in the Hall, of course. Jenkins came back to play and later win election to the Hall.

Leo Durocher was somewhat different, IIRC: his suspension was only for a year, from the start. He too was eventually a Veterans HOFer.
   8. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 08, 2014 at 06:05 PM (#4634022)
So for a column calling out someone for being factually incorrect and blatantly ignoring facts, Fay Vincent is factually incorrect and blatantly ignoring facts.

I also have no idea what that Ted Williams aside has to do with anything. Ted hated Pete Rose. So he should not be in the Hall?
   9. vortex of dissipation Posted: January 08, 2014 at 06:09 PM (#4634027)
Mays and Mantle were declared ineligible in 1983 by Bowie Kuhn, and reinstated in 1985 by Peter Ueberroth.
   10. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: January 08, 2014 at 06:15 PM (#4634033)
Shut up, Fay Vincent.
   11. God Posted: January 08, 2014 at 06:22 PM (#4634038)
At the time, I thought Fay Vincent was an awesome commissioner and I thought he got a raw deal when the owners s-canned him.

However, ever since that happened he's been an insufferable blowhard with off-base opinions on nearly everything.
   12. Ron J2 Posted: January 08, 2014 at 06:22 PM (#4634039)
#5 Rube Benton was permanently banned by Landis (knew of the Black Sox fix, bet the Reds to win, said nothing) and then subsequently reinstated. Now you can argue that Landis overstepped his authority in permanently banning Benton in the first place (since he wasn't a player for the Reds or White Sox, the penalty for betting on the series should have been a year and that's what he got. Knowledge of the fix complicates matters though)

But #2 the HOF's position at the time was that it was an unwritten rule that you couldn't vote for a player on the ineligible list. One well understood by "all" of the voters back in the day(Bill James wrote something to the effect that the sportswriters of Jackson's day were more likely to hold their meetings in the nude than to support Jackson's candidacy for the HOF) and that they were simply formalizing an unwritten rule.

And you can see some evidence of this in the respective vote totals of Hal Chase and Jackson. Nobody doubts that Jackson was the better player. Few people doubt that Chase was corrupt, but since he wasn't formally banned (from the NL -- within a year of being blackballed by MLB he was formally banned by the PCL) some people felt free to vote for him. He drew a lot more support than Jackson ever did (2 votes twice for Jackson)

And the HOF's position on Rose is that he's not barred for gambling. He'll become a VC candidate if/when he's reinstated. But as long as he's on the ineligible list he's not getting in (as things stand right now at any rate)
   13. Ron J2 Posted: January 08, 2014 at 06:27 PM (#4634044)
#7 Worth noting that an arbitrator ruled that Bowie Kuhn didn't have the authority to discipline Jenkins the way he did.
   14. Morty Causa Posted: January 08, 2014 at 06:31 PM (#4634046)
Hal Chase was, I believe, on both Ty Cobb's and Babe Ruth's all-star team. We know he wasn't that great a player, but that's not how he was viewed when he played and for some time afterwards.
   15. God Posted: January 08, 2014 at 07:01 PM (#4634069)
Chase basically combined every characteristic that could make one overrated in the 1910s.

1) His offensive strength was batting average, which was tremendously overvalued.
2) Defense was considered more important than offense, and defense was Chase's specialty.
3) First base had a lot more defensive importance then than it does now.
4) He was "graceful looking" in an era when a lot more emphasis was placed on how a player's performance *looked*.
   16. The Yankee Clapper Posted: January 08, 2014 at 07:08 PM (#4634078)
Kostya Kennedy, whose book on Rose ignited this new, little fray, wants Rose to be afforded a vote . . .

Far too late for anything, including a book, to salvage Rose's HoF consideration. If the original offense didn't do it (for me, it did) two decades of lying about it sure did.

The book or article that might salvage a HoF candidacy would be one that got to the bottom of Palmeiro's tainted B-12 shot. The subsequent revelations about Tejada leave me at least somewhat open to the possibility that Palmeiro didn't knowingly use, although I'm not saying that is the most likely outcome. I'm guessing the Veterans Committee would look kindly on someone who was belatedly "exonerated", perhaps as an opening salvo in the enshrinement of others who achieved Hall of Fame status on the playing field but not in the BBWAA election.
   17. Mark Armour Posted: January 08, 2014 at 08:29 PM (#4634128)
Mays and Mantle were never on baseball's ineligible list. They were disallowed from being employed by a major league team, but were full members of the baseball community in every other way -- ceremonies, first-balls, old-timer's games. They could even coach at spring training on a volunteer basis. This is nothing like the ineligible list.
   18. McCoy Posted: January 08, 2014 at 08:49 PM (#4634140)
#5 Rube Benton was permanently banned by Landis (knew of the Black Sox fix, bet the Reds to win, said nothing) and then subsequently reinstated.

According to SABR Bio he was not banned by Landis and his play would seem to back this up. According to SABR Bio both leagues just kind of agreed to not sign him and then Ban Johnson officially banned him. The NL sort of followed suit but left the final opinion to Landis who instead of banning him said the rights to him belonged to the Reds who subsequently played him for 3 more seasons.
   19. Rennie's Tenet Posted: January 08, 2014 at 09:40 PM (#4634183)
Were Sal Maglie and the other Mexican League players placed on the ineligible list?

What are the important distinctions between Joe Jackson and Eddie Cicotte? I realize Cicotte wasn't as good a pitcher as Jackson was a hitter, but there are worse pitchers in the Hall and I've never heard anyone make a case for Cicotte to be reinstated.
   20. John Northey Posted: January 08, 2014 at 09:58 PM (#4634189)
Cicotte was too obvious for being 'on the take' so to speak. He is thought to have thrown game 1 and he threw 3 2/3 IP that game allowing 6 runs, or 1 more than he allowed in all his other postseason starts (5 other starts covering 41 innings allowing just 5 runs). His hitting the leadoff hitter in the 1919 series was the sign to gamblers that the Sox were going to throw it. He was one of the few to get paid, $10k pre-series which in 1919 was major money. Thus why he is never even remotely thought of for the HOF.
   21. zonk Posted: January 08, 2014 at 10:23 PM (#4634202)
The main reason the Rose thing doesn't "go away" seems to be because Fay Vincent has this penchant of reminding us of it every 6-12 months.

The Rose imbroglio is firmly behind the PED madness now, so it's hard for me to see anyone caring about Rose for another decade at least.
   22. The District Attorney Posted: January 08, 2014 at 10:32 PM (#4634208)
The Rose imbroglio is firmly behind the PED madness now, so it's hard for me to see anyone caring about Rose for another decade at least.
I don't think you're correct about this. I think if you walk up to John Q. Casualfan and ask him to say the first thing that comes to his mind about the Baseball Hall of Fame, it's highly likely that the answer will be "They should elect Pete Rose."
   23. Morty Causa Posted: January 08, 2014 at 11:19 PM (#4634234)
Chase basically combined every characteristic that could make one overrated in the 1910s.

Well, he was overrated, and I never said he wasn't. What I said was, was that he was considered a great player when he played and for some time thereafter. HIs getting more votes than Jackson is not only about being his not being formerly banned.

EDIT: From reading Bill James's HBA, a great movie could be made about Prince Hal (as well as any day in the life of Ban Johnson).
   24. Ron J2 Posted: January 09, 2014 at 09:27 AM (#4634359)
#14 Ruth and Walter Johnson. Cobb picked George Sisler as his 1B.
   25. Ron J2 Posted: January 09, 2014 at 09:35 AM (#4634361)
#23 What you can see with Chase is the real application of the character clause. No reason to doubt he was viewed as a HOF level player by a sizable portion of the electorate, with Ruth making it clear he regarded Chase as being significantly better than Gehrig (an opinion backed by for instance Walter Johnson -- and plenty of others)

"[some people] will feel that I should pick Lou Gehrig over Chase, (but Chase) was so much better than anyone else that I ever saw on first base that - to me - it was no contest." Babe Ruth on his selection of Chase for his all-time team.
   26. Jeltzandini Posted: January 09, 2014 at 09:57 AM (#4634371)
When did Ruth even see Chase play? Chase was in the Federal League and National League the whole time they overlapped.

   27. Ron J2 Posted: January 09, 2014 at 10:55 AM (#4634424)
#26 Just guessing, but probably in barnstorming tours. They were two of the more popular players in the late teens to early 20s.

Also it seems likely that he could have seen Chase play for the Giants at the Polo Grounds when the Yankees were sharing the park with the Giants. Or in other cities that had both an NL (or FL) team and an AL team.
   28. Morty Causa Posted: January 09, 2014 at 11:14 AM (#4634450)
People's selections can vary over time:

Cobb did choose Hal Chase for his first basemen, according to this source (discussing columns Cobb wrote starting in 1925:

Ty Cobb's newspaper columns
   29. Morty Causa Posted: January 09, 2014 at 11:17 AM (#4634454)
Those guys choosing Chase spent their formative years in an era where a premium was placed on being a good defensive first baseman, and Chase was almost universally acclaimed as the best fielding first baseman of all time well into the twentieth century.

EDIT: It probably should be noted selections back then probably tended to be based on an assessment of ability, just as now we tend to base them more on value.
   30. Jeltzandini Posted: January 09, 2014 at 11:29 AM (#4634463)
Also it seems likely that he could have seen Chase play for the Giants at the Polo Grounds when the Yankees were sharing the park with the Giants.


Chase's career ended with the 1919 Giants, which was Ruth's last year with the Red Sox.

Ruth could have gone to see Chase in one of the several shared AL/NL cities, but I don't think players generally did that very much. Travel demands and the general principle of not spending a rare off day back at the ballpark. Basically it's likely that Chase's entire MLB career went unobserved by Babe Ruth. Barnstorming, Chase's general reputation, and the cool Ruth/Gehrig relationship probably accounts for Ruth's selection of Chase.
   31. The District Attorney Posted: January 09, 2014 at 11:40 AM (#4634479)
Posnanski's take (on TFA, not Hal Chase)
   32. Morty Causa Posted: January 09, 2014 at 12:13 PM (#4634526)
The SABR site sums up Chase concisely and nicely. Check it out.

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