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Wednesday, September 08, 2021

The Hall of Fame’s Class of 2020 Nears the End of a Long Road to Cooperstown

The Class of 2020 has had a long wait for induction into the National Baseball Hall of Fame, and not just because the coronavirus pandemic set the festivities back nearly 14 months. While Derek Jeter was resoundingly elected in his first year of eligibility, the road to Cooperstown for the other three honorees — Ted Simmons, Larry Walker, and the late Marvin Miller — was more like a maze, full of wrong turns and apparent dead ends. That road finally ends on the afternoon of Wednesday, September 8, when all four will be inducted into the Hall. As somebody who has been deeply invested in the careers and candidacies of all four, I couldn’t bypass the midweek trip, even under pandemic conditions.

“There was never any thought in my head that [my election] was going to happen. So to be completely honest, I didn’t pay much attention,” said Walker during a Zoom session with reporters last Thursday, referring to the annual BBWAA voting. During his first seven years of eligibility, he maxed out at 22.9% of the vote (2012), and dipped as low as 10.2% (2014).

Even those meager showings surpassed Simmons, who received just 3.7% in 1994, his first year of eligibility. “Back then, you were literally off the ballot. And you know, there was really no vehicle at that time that I knew of or heard of that would enable you to come back,” he said during his own Zoom session, referring to the so-called “Five Percent Rule” that sweeps candidates who fail to reach that mark off the ballot.

Simmons could be forgiven for not knowing the ins and outs of the Hall’s arcane election systems. That he even made it onto an Era Committee ballot to have his candidacy reconsidered for the first time in 2011 was itself groundbreaking. As longtime St. Louis Post-Dispatch writer Rick Hummel, who has served on several iterations of the Historical Overview Committee that puts together such ballots, said in 2015, “The first question these Hall of Famers ask you is, ‘How many ballots was he on for the writers’ election? One? They must not have liked him very much.’”

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 08, 2021 at 10:36 AM | 30 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: derek jeter, hall of fame, larry walker, marvin miller, ted simmons

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   1. The Yankee Clapper Posted: September 08, 2021 at 01:47 PM (#6038702)
Reggie Jackson wearing a mask, and Yankee uniform top rather than a suit, when introduced. Gets big ovation.
   2. The Yankee Clapper Posted: September 08, 2021 at 02:01 PM (#6038704)
Only scattered boos when Manfred introduced.
   3. The Duke Posted: September 08, 2021 at 02:43 PM (#6038712)
Simmons acknowledges that three true outcomes is crappy baseball. Good for him.
   4. Ziggy: social distancing since 1980 Posted: September 08, 2021 at 03:01 PM (#6038717)
Is that Mike Schmidt with the moustache?!
   5. salvomania Posted: September 08, 2021 at 03:08 PM (#6038718)
Nice speech by Ted Simmons.
   6. The Duke Posted: September 08, 2021 at 03:16 PM (#6038720)
Fehr will get lambasted for a too long speech but I thought It was great. Who knew that the players almost chose Tricky Dick to be their leader. It was a great history lesson and a reminder of how important labor unions are.
   7. cardsfanboy Posted: September 08, 2021 at 03:50 PM (#6038727)
Nice speech by Ted Simmons


Did you expect anything less? Possibly one of the top 5% in intelligence among all players of all time. And a healthy amount of humility.

I love his mention of Kissell. Add in his mentions of the free agent pioneers, I'm not sure how many people know about Ted's challenge to free agency.
   8. reech Posted: September 08, 2021 at 04:01 PM (#6038728)
YEAH JETES!!!!!!!!!!!!
   9. The Duke Posted: September 08, 2021 at 04:05 PM (#6038729)
Good speech by Jeter. Very polished and forceful.
   10. salvomania Posted: September 08, 2021 at 04:09 PM (#6038732)
Did you expect anything less? Possibly one of the top 5% in intelligence among all players of all time.

That probably puts him close to average among the general population!
   11. cardsfanboy Posted: September 08, 2021 at 04:40 PM (#6038741)
That probably puts him close to average among the general population!


I think that really overstates the general population
   12. salvomania Posted: September 08, 2021 at 04:46 PM (#6038745)
I think that really overstates the general population

Recalls the line by, I think, George Carlin: "Think about how dumb the average American is; now realize that half are dumber than that."
   13. cardsfanboy Posted: September 08, 2021 at 04:51 PM (#6038748)

Recalls the line by, I think, George Carlin: "Think about how dumb the average American is; now realize that half are dumber than that."


I love that line.
   14. John Northey Posted: September 08, 2021 at 06:20 PM (#6038778)
Sad that Walker will be the last member of the Montreal Expos to be put in the HOF. Of course, he is more remembered as a Rockie, as he should be, but as an old Expos fan it is a bittersweet time.
   15. Howie Menckel Posted: September 08, 2021 at 07:22 PM (#6038784)
Darren Rovell
@darrenrovell
·
2m
Astros drafted Phil Nevin over Derek Jeter over what some say was a $700K signing bonus limit.

Jeter signs w/Yanks for $800K.

Astros scout Hal Newhouser, who told Houston to draft Jeter, quits.

The next month, Newhouser gets inducted into HOF.

Jeter follows 29 years later.
   16. The Duke Posted: September 08, 2021 at 07:38 PM (#6038790)
You can really see how the Hall has been hollowed out of its 1960s stars. I saw Marichal and Cepeda. Most of the rest were in the “in memoriam” segment.

The biggest surprise was seeing Rod Carew. Talk about resilient - couldn’t Believe he was there. By my count Marichal, Carew and Fergie Jenkins were from the oldest classes. The old guard is truly gone but there is a new crop of guys with so many inducted recently
   17. Snowboy Posted: September 08, 2021 at 08:47 PM (#6038812)
Watched the complete Larry Walker induction speech. I'll watch the others next.

SPOILER ALERT: Larry is an emotional person, and upfront admits it. I saw him interviewed yesterday and was asked about it, and he would not promise that he wouldn't cry. Sportsnet is billing it as emotional. But if you watch NASCAR just for the crashes, you'll be disappointed, as he held it together pretty well.

The speech was very classy. He mentioned Fergie early in it, and he's very upfront in the speech that he is from Canada. He thanked and mentioned many many coaches, managers, and teammates who were all part of his journey. Darn good speech from a guy who said his school report cards didn't have many A's or B's, in front of 90% Yankee fans, on the hallowed Cooperstown grounds.
   18. cardsfanboy Posted: September 08, 2021 at 08:51 PM (#6038813)
wrong thread.
   19. cardsfanboy Posted: September 08, 2021 at 09:18 PM (#6038825)
What I thought was weird, was that Keith Hernandez, a non-hofer, gave the introductory video for Ted Simmons. I wonder if that was a subtle hint that the voters need to put Keith in with the next veteran's vote of that generation.
   20. The Duke Posted: September 08, 2021 at 10:27 PM (#6038853)
19. That my very first reaction. Plus Keith used the speech to talk up his own case.
   21. Howie Menckel Posted: September 08, 2021 at 10:34 PM (#6038856)
Keith was just inducted into the Cardinals HOF last month.

the Mets' network gave it extensive play and gave Keith a platform to elaborate on that experience. he was genuinely touched by the opportunity (wish I could remember which fellow electee's speech Keith said dragged on so long that he had to cut his marquee placement short, lol).

Hernandez and Simmons were regulars together on the same team for 10 years - 1971-80 - which is quite rare. I would think they got to know each other very well, and clearly remain fond of each other.

Keith is another intellectually curious fellow.
   22. Lassus Posted: September 09, 2021 at 08:54 AM (#6038887)
He's a brainy conservative opinionated not entirely political 1st generation hispanic fellow.
   23. Lassus Posted: September 09, 2021 at 08:59 AM (#6038888)
Also still seems to me that inducting Miller in the Hall of Fame against his wishes was MLB's last, cheap fuck you to him, even if his family acceded.
   24. SoSH U at work Posted: September 09, 2021 at 09:09 AM (#6038889)
Also still seems to me that inducting Miller in the Hall of Fame against his wishes was MLB's last, cheap #### you to him, even if his family acceded.


Independent of whether the Hall should care about an individual's wishes, latter day Marvin was often full of #### on the subject.

He first announced he didn't want to be considered in 2008. Yet, in 2010, he and his similarly bitter pal Murray publicly accused, with no evidence to support the claims, Jim Palmer and Tom Verducci of torpedoing his chances in an election he supposedly wanted nothing to do with.

He should have gone in years ago. It was still the right thing to induct him yesterday.
   25. John DiFool2 Posted: September 09, 2021 at 09:41 AM (#6038890)
Sad that Walker will be the last member of the Montreal Expos to be put in the HOF.


I wouldn't bet against both the team and nickname being resurrected before the middle of the century.
   26. Traderdave Posted: September 09, 2021 at 12:06 PM (#6038911)
Have only watched Simmons' speech so far, but it is a solid one, well worth the time to hear it.
   27. Howie Menckel Posted: September 09, 2021 at 12:23 PM (#6038914)
He's a brainy conservative opinionated not entirely political 1st generation hispanic fellow.

"Hispanic" has numerous definitions, so not sure if Keith would go for that.

while Keith was given the "Mex" moniker as a player and his ancestors are from Spain, he doesn't know how to speak Spanish. occasionally he has commented that pretty much every day he encounters someone who speaks to him in Spanish, which he finds a bit frustrating. seems they don't believe him when he tries to explain, either.

his broadcast teammates find this to be hilarious - but Keith, not as much.
   28. Tom Nawrocki Posted: September 09, 2021 at 01:10 PM (#6038918)
Hernandez and Simmons were regulars together on the same team for 10 years - 1971-80 - which is quite rare.


Keith made his major league debut in 1974, and became the Cardinals' regular first baseman in 1976.
   29. SoSH U at work Posted: September 09, 2021 at 01:55 PM (#6038926)
Keith made his major league debut in 1974, and became the Cardinals' regular first baseman in 1976.


That's how rare it is. It didn't even happen then.
   30. BDC Posted: September 10, 2021 at 02:38 PM (#6039045)
Sad that Walker will be the last member of the Montreal Expos to be put in the HOF

I immediately wondered if somebody else would still be a possibility, even if they didn't play for Montreal long. Bartolo Colon would be a fun pick. Graig Nettles played 80 games for the Expos, is in the HOM, and might be a pick eventually.

If Harold Baines then Rusty Staub, one would think.

Maybe not, though.

But … Terry Francona is a pretty strong candidate. Of course he is unlikely to wear an Expos cap on his plaque.

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