In 1960, Washington Post columnist and Hall of Fame voter Bob Addie asked Senators great Sam Rice a simple question: “Suppose you were Bob Addie. Would you vote Sam Rice into the Hall of Fame?”
Rice’s response: “No. I think Rice fell too short. He could hit maybe, but there were a lot of other things he couldn’t do. I wouldn’t have voted for him.”
More nuggets from Rice:
How come Joe Cronin and Hank Greenberg are in the Hall of Fame? Greenberg hit the long ball, but that’s all. He couldn’t field and he couldn’t run, either.
Cronin, now, wasn’t as good as a number of shortstops I could mention. And yet he was voted in. I will say this about Joe—He was the greatest shortstop I ever saw for one year…
But one year doesn’t make a Hall of Famer. I say a man has to keep it up for several years. Maybe there should be a minimum of ten years before a man is elected to the Hall of Fame. Maybe it should be less, I don’t know. I don’t run the voting and I wouldn’t want to. I’m just talking out loud.
A fellow like Dizzy Dean has no business being in the Hall. You take a man like Walter Johnson. He knew everything there was to know about pitching—and he did it. That’s my idea of a man who belongs in the Hall of Fame.
...So Povich lost that battle. Which is actually sort of a shame. Still, that doesn’t mean anybody as good as Jesse Haines should in the Hall of Fame. The standard is no longer Ty Cobb and Babe Ruth, but that doesn’t mean it’s now Lefty Gomez and Travis Jackson. I believe a good guideline is this: A worthy candidate doesn’t lower the standards of the Hall; that is, he’s at least as good as the median. Another reasonable guideline (at this point): A worthy candidate ranks among the 10 best players at his position. Both standards are tough, but would allow for the election of many of the players currently on the ballot, or joining the ballot in the next few years.
Posted: December 01, 2012 at 10:39 AM | 28 comment(s)
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