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Monday, November 28, 2011

Noble: Change of heart: Kaat deserves Cooperstown

OK, this is the most delusional thing a Noble has come up with since…Dr. Walter Bishop dizzed out: “Excellent! Let’s make some LSD!”

‘Tis the season of “Upon further review,” and high time I use the available mulligan. I should have supported the Hall of Fame candidacy of Jim Kaat.

I regret my decision to withhold a vote from his candidacy, not that one more check next to his name would have made much of a difference. In 15 years on the annual writers’ ballot, Kaat never came remotely close to gaining election. But what’s right is right, and now that first period of eligibility has passed. I believe Kaat is right for Cooperstown.

...I recently came across those quotes scribbled in a notebook. They required extensive deciphering. I read them more than a few times, and the more I read them, the more a Hall of Fame candidate Kaat became. Reliable ... valuable ... effective ... dependable ... always available. And Herzog was characterizing Kaat at ages 41-44, not during his prime, when the foundation of his 283-237 career record was under construction.

...One of the factors I consider when voting is whether a candidate ever was the best at what he did—or close to it—for an extended period. Don Mattingly was a great player, but his performance diminished after six splendid seasons. Not enough. Vada Pinson, my favorite player other than Mickey Mantle when I was a child, had seven terrific seasons. I couldn’t vote for him either.

No such obstacle with Kaat.

Repoz Posted: November 28, 2011 at 10:14 AM | 7 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: fantasy baseball, hall of fame, history

Reader Comments and Retorts

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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. Benji Gil Gamesh VII - The Opt-Out Awakens Posted: November 28, 2011 at 01:06 PM (#4002056)
Huh, so Repoz is a Fringe fan.
   2. Weekly Journalist_ Posted: November 28, 2011 at 03:03 PM (#4002108)
Let's just put everyone in Cooperstown and be done with it.
   3. Dag Nabbit at ExactlyAsOld.com Posted: November 28, 2011 at 03:16 PM (#4002116)
In my prediction column up at THT today, I reckon Kaat has a serious chance to go in next week. Not the best chance (that's Santo), but just below it.
   4. cardsfanboy Posted: November 28, 2011 at 03:42 PM (#4002144)
...I recently came across those quotes scribbled in a notebook. They required extensive deciphering. I read them more than a few times, and the more I read them, the more a Hall of Fame candidate Kaat became. Reliable ... valuable ... effective ... dependable ... always available. And Herzog was characterizing Kaat at ages 41-44, not during his prime, when the foundation of his 283-237 career record was under construction.


and considering those quotes came from Herzog, a guy who really only believes in complimenting himself, is also a tremendous point in his favor. Usually when he compliments someone else, it's always a backdoor way of complimenting himself, so this was probably mentioned as a way to justify how brilliant Whitey was in acquiring Kaat that nobody else would have done. Of course I'm not sure those comments are a reflection of Kaat as a current pitcher, but more about his reputation when coming to the Cardinals.
   5. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: November 28, 2011 at 03:56 PM (#4002156)
I recently came across those quotes scribbled in a notebook. They required extensive deciphering. I read them more than a few times, and the more I read them, the more a Hall of Fame candidate Kaat became. Reliable ... valuable ... effective ... dependable ... always available.

And if you flip over the original Declaration of Independence and read the back, it says in code that that Steve Garvey should be elected to Cooperstown. The secret message makes sense, too; the man was the father of his country.
   6. Cooper Nielson Posted: November 29, 2011 at 02:25 AM (#4002612)
Kaat wouldn't be a terrible Hall of Fame selection (I guess his longevity and fielding are worth something), but shouldn't he at least be in line behind Tommy John?

Seems to me they were similar pitchers (BB-Ref's similarity scores agree) but John had more value over his career and a better multi-year peak. Kaat has the 16-straight-Gold-Gloves thing, but John has a revolutionary surgery named after him.

Anyway, I'd be fine with neither of them in the HOF, or both of them, or John alone, but I don't see how you can justify Kaat over John

[EDIT: I know that Tommy John isn't on the current VC ballot, so it's not really a choice of Kaat over John.]
   7. Dr. Vaux Posted: November 29, 2011 at 10:24 AM (#4002735)
I know it's been discussed here ad nauseum, but I think it might be reasonable for John to be in the HOF because of the surgery. He's borderline, or maybe slightly over, without any "extra credit," but being willing to undergo that procedure, and then pitching well afterward, changed baseball a great deal for the better.

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