Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

btf_logo
You are here > Home > Baseball Newsstand > Baseball Primer Newsblog > Discussion
Baseball Primer Newsblog
— The Best News Links from the Baseball Newsstand

Monday, January 07, 2008

Hall is lacking without O’Neil

I was reminded of all this with the release of The Mitchell Report on performance-enhancing drugs in baseball, and with the discussion of whether Roger Clemens and/or Barry Bonds should or would eventually go into the Hall of Fame.

Because, for now at least, I have difficulty getting worked up about Hall of Fame discussions or ignoring the fact that the Hall has jumped the shark. Buck O’Neil is not in the Baseball Hall of Fame; Barney Dreyfuss soon will be. And we’re supposed to take this institution seriously?

You probably aren’t familiar with Dreyfuss, which is entirely the point. He was the owner of the Pittsburgh Pirates from 1900-32, which has utterly no relevance to modern baseball fans, but didn’t prevent the Veterans Committee from electing him a couple weeks ago.

Dreyfuss’ fellow members in the Class of 2008: Bowie Kuhn, Walter O’Malley, Billy Southworth and Dick Williams. Each of these men played a role in the history of the game, but it’s likely that nobody ever paid a single cent to watch a baseball game because of them.

O’Neil, on the other hand, rekindled a love for baseball in countless people. Yet when a special committee elected 17 Negro Leagues figures to the Hall in 2006 - the final election of people from the Negro Leagues - they didn’t see fit to honor Buck O’Neil.

Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: January 07, 2008 at 02:42 PM | 7 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: hall of fame, negro leagues, royals, steroids

Reader Comments and Retorts

Go to end of page

Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. AROM Posted: January 07, 2008 at 03:42 PM (#2662299)
Saw the headline and thought somebody was making a case for Paul O'Neill.
   2. Zach Posted: January 07, 2008 at 04:02 PM (#2662309)
Earlier this year, the Hall announced the creation of the Buck O'Neil Lifetime Achievement Award, also known as the "Boy, Did We Screw Up By Not Electing Him" Award.

You have to feel the Hall's pain on this one. They obviously wanted to honor O'Neil. They set up the blue-ribbon committee to elect Negro Leaguers, they created the award when O'Neil didn't get elected. They put some thought into the award -- it rewards people who otherwise might fall through the very crack O'Neil fell through.

The problem is, you'd need something like the blue-ribbon committee to elect O'Neil. He played and managed too long ago, and there's no special category for creating a baseball museum and nurturing a forgotten piece of history. But then the committee went nuts. It elected lots of marginal candidates and passed over O'Neil.

Blame the committee, not the Hall.
   3. Guts Posted: January 07, 2008 at 04:06 PM (#2662312)
Saw the headline and thought somebody was making a case for Paul O'Neill.

Me too. That would have been right in line with a lot of the ballots discussed here....
   4. BFFB Posted: January 07, 2008 at 04:06 PM (#2662313)
Saw the headline and thought somebody was making a case for Paul O'Neill


This was my immediate reaction o_O
   5. Dr. Vaux Posted: January 07, 2008 at 04:56 PM (#2662350)
Something does not have to have "relevance" to "modern" anything to be important. That goes for the HOF--which is a flipping museum--as much as anything else.
   6. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: January 07, 2008 at 05:16 PM (#2662372)
I thought this article was a nice, balanced mix between good points and stupid ones. The bit about the proper role of the Hall being undefined (and the consequences thereof) is a good one. The bit about Dreyfuss lacking relevance for the modern fan is pretty lame, considering Dreyfuss's role in the creation of the World Series. The gut-level pro-O'Neill reaction as a response to the steroid issue is... unexpected, and kind of interesting. Certainly more so than many columnists' reactions.
   7. vortex of dissipation Posted: January 07, 2008 at 08:54 PM (#2662670)
Dreyfuss’ fellow members in the Class of 2008: Bowie Kuhn, Walter O’Malley, Billy Southworth and Dick Williams. Each of these men played a role in the history of the game, but it’s likely that nobody ever paid a single cent to watch a baseball game because of them.


I don't know - Billy Southworth hit .297 over a 13-year playing career. There must have been some kid whose favorite player was Southworth, and got his family to go to the park to see him play...

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.

 

 

<< Back to main

BBTF Partner

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
Harveys Wallbangers
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

Newsblog5-26-15 OMNICHATTER
(78 - 10:00pm, May 26)
Last: cardsfanboy

NewsblogOT: Monthly NBA Thread - May 2015
(2475 - 9:55pm, May 26)
Last: Oriole Tragic

NewsblogOTP - May 2015: Jeb Bush would like to watch baseball with Teddy Roosevelt and Pitbull
(4150 - 9:53pm, May 26)
Last: Ray (RDP)

NewsblogSabermetric Research: Do defensive statistics overrate the importance of fielding?
(26 - 9:22pm, May 26)
Last: villageidiom

NewsblogPlayer’s View: Kill the Win | FanGraphs Baseball
(23 - 9:18pm, May 26)
Last: Tim M

NewsblogOT: Soccer March 2015
(1106 - 9:13pm, May 26)
Last: Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site

NewsblogAT&T Ad Showing First Woman In Major League Baseball Draws Strong Reactions
(280 - 9:07pm, May 26)
Last: Morty Causa

NewsblogPhillies fans 'don't understand the game,' Ruben Amaro says
(61 - 8:52pm, May 26)
Last: AROM

NewsblogCallaspo-for-Uribe trade falls through | www.ajc.com
(18 - 8:52pm, May 26)
Last: RoyalsRetro (AG#1F)

NewsblogMets Pitch Advantages of a Six-Man Rotation - WSJ
(10 - 8:50pm, May 26)
Last: Tim M

NewsblogVideo: Must C: Davis' eventful homer | MLB.com
(53 - 8:26pm, May 26)
Last: Rickey! isn't dirty, he just *hustles*

NewsblogPrimer Dugout (and link of the day) 5-26-2015
(27 - 5:29pm, May 26)
Last: Wins Above Paul Westerberg

NewsblogHamilton Hitless in Return, Texas Wins 6th in a Row - NYTimes.com
(3 - 5:10pm, May 26)
Last: RMc and the slumping crisp

Hall of MeritMost Meritorious Player: 1905 Ballot
(3 - 4:46pm, May 26)
Last: Chris Fluit

NewsblogBernie Williams Day reminds us Yankees' glory days are over - Newsday
(11 - 4:08pm, May 26)
Last: Biff, highly-regarded young guy

Page rendered in 0.1913 seconds
48 querie(s) executed