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Bill Burgess
11-21-2007, 04:29 PM
I am curious as to what the members feel about an interesting subject. Should there be a mechanism to remove members from the Hall of Fame for 'Just Cause'?

I have 2 separate categories in mind.

1. Players who simply do not come up to Hall stat standards.

2. Non-Players who are found to have committed serious wrongs against the game. Such as supporting a color ban, suppression of fair player rights (free agency), or other serious acts or positions.

I will soon add a poll, after doing a little research. But I will see how the membership feels about the removal of such prominent BB personages as Judge Landis, Charles Comiskey, Ban Johnson, etc.

And even if one supports the above persons remaining in the Hall of Fame, do you support a general mechanism for weeding out the bottom of the Hall Barrel?

I hope this turns out to be an interesting, popular discussion subject. Although some may suggest this thread is better hosted in the Hall of Fame Forum, I think it still is an historical discussion too.

Honus Wagner Rules
11-21-2007, 04:33 PM
If were start to remove players because they were "weak" selections you open a can of worms. How do we determine if a player is "unworthy"?

Bill Burgess
11-21-2007, 04:36 PM
At the end of the 1921 trial of the Black Sox players, Commissioner Judge Ken Landis wrote this famous standard, for continued participation in organized baseball.

""Regardless of the verdict of juries, no player who throws a ballgame, no player that undertakes or promises to throw a ballgame, no player that sits in conference with a bunch of crooked players and gamblers where the ways and means of throwing a game are discussed and does not promptly tell his club about it, will ever play professional baseball!"

Now, since this learned gentleman/scholar wrote this standard for players, it begs the question that a similar standard should also apply to non-player baseball personell, such as commissioners, owners, managers, coaches, etc.

I suggest a similar standard should apply to them. And here it is.

""Regardless of the verdict of juries, no Commissioner, Owner who defrauds the public, unfairly denies a player his fair right to participate in the 'national game', no person that undertakes or promises to deny baseball opportunities, no person that sits in conference with a bunch of unethical other persons and where the ways and means of denying deserving ballplayers their opportunities to play the national game are discussed and does not promptly resist these public frauds will ever be honored in the Baseball Hall of Fame."

OleMissCub
11-21-2007, 04:41 PM
Landis was a fascist. His plaque should be tossed into an active volcano. Comiskey's too.

jalbright
11-21-2007, 04:48 PM
Perhaps they shouldn't be, but as a practical matter, it would be disastrous for the Hall to allow folks already inducted to be booted out, at least absent a criminal conviction for something like fixing games. Creating after the fact standards for playing quality or known behavoir would make the honorees question the honor. That would weaken the Hall's bonds with a key constituency: the honorees themselves. Honorees attract folks to the Hall, especially at induction time, and they provide much of the memorabilia on display. It's already difficult to get such memorabilia when there's real dollars attached to this stuff today, and it would only get harder if a after the fact standard would be allowed. It's a potentially disastrous move, with very little counterbalancing positives from the Hall's perspective. I don't think the Hall's management is that stupid, especially when doing the stupid thing runs counter to another cherished Hall tradition: hew to the status quo! The Hall loves nothing so much as "tradition", and certainly what you ropose is not "traditonal".

Jim Albright

Bill Burgess
11-21-2007, 04:50 PM
In another thread, the proposition that Joe Jackson forfeited his rights to the Hall of Fame, as well as his right to play the game, came as a result of his 'defrauding the public'.

So, with that standard in mind, I'd like to apply an equally stringent standard to the man (Judge Landis), who sat in moral judgment of him, and other seemingly fair-minded gentlemen who happened to own teams, and see what the membership thinks.

So far, the following are just some of those now enshrined in the Hall of Fame for reasons other than playing.

Ken Landis, Ban Johnson, Charles Comiskey, Albert 'Happy' Chandler, Ford Frick, Warren Giles, Clark Griffith, William Harridge, Larry McPhail, Branch Rickey, Bill Veeck, George Weiss, Tom Yawkey, Connie Mack.

dgarza
11-21-2007, 04:53 PM
I am curious as to what the members feel about an interesting subject. Should there be a mechanism to remove members from the Hall of Fame for 'Just Cause'?


Can you imagine rearranging the plaques if a removal would happen?

jalbright
11-21-2007, 05:06 PM
In another thread, the proposition that Joe Jackson forfeited his rights to the Hall of Fame, as well as his right to play the game, came as a result of his 'defrauding the public'.

So, with that standard in mind, I'd like to apply an equally stringent standard to the man (Judge Landis), who sat in moral judgment of him, and other seemingly fair-minded gentlemen who happened to own teams, and see what the membership thinks.

So far, the following are just some of those now enshrined in the Hall of Fame for reasons other than playing.

Ken Landis, Ban Johnson, Charles Comiskey, Albert 'Happy' Chandler, Ford Frick, Warren Giles, Clark Griffith, William Harridge, Larry McPhail, Branch Rickey, Bill Veeck, George Weiss, Tom Yawkey, Connie Mack.

Bill,

I'll be less diplomatic this time. Your proposal is an invitation to turn the Hall into a political football, and have whatever current version of political correctness and/or standards (statistical or otherwise) of judging the worthiness of inductees holds sway booting out those already inducted, thereby inviting counter "revolutions" reinstating at least some of those excluded, in an endless cycle. How could such a scenario possibly be a positive for the Hall?

Jim Albright

brett
11-21-2007, 05:08 PM
I will soon add a poll, after doing a little research. But I will see how the membership feels about the removal of such prominent BB personages as Judge Landis, Charles Comiskey, Ban Johnson, etc.



I don't like to "destroy history" and that is what this feels like. Personally I think the HOF is for the fans, not the players. If I had total control I would probably put Rose, Bonds (potentially) and Joe Jackson in a special wing discussing their faults-though that would open the door for lawsuits.


Maybe what we need is a Baseball History Hall. Is there any such thing?

Bill Burgess
11-21-2007, 05:09 PM
Perhaps they shouldn't be, but as a practical matter, it would be disastrous for the Hall to allow folks already inducted to be booted out, at least absent a criminal conviction for something like fixing games. Creating after the fact standards for playing quality or known behavior would make the honorees question the honor. That would weaken the Hall's bonds with a key constituency: the honorees themselves. Honorees attract folks to the Hall, especially at induction time, and they provide much of the memorabilia on display. It's already difficult to get such memorabilia when there's real dollars attached to this stuff today, and it would only get harder if a after the fact standard would be allowed. It's a potentially disastrous move, with very little counterbalancing positives from the Hall's perspective. I don't think the Hall's management is that stupid, especially when doing the stupid thing runs counter to another cherished Hall tradition: hew to the status quo! The Hall loves nothing so much as "tradition", and certainly what you propose is not "traditional".

Jim Albright
Jim,

I am pleased that you joined this thread. I think you have misunderstood the intention of this thread. This thread is not a petition to the Cooperstown folks. The Clarke family estate is a fairly conservative bunch, and would never, never, NEVER, seriously entertain such a politically-explosive, volatile thing as I'm discussing.

No, Jim. This is a hypothetical exercise to see what WE, Fever members think. This is for our benefit, and not intended to launch a real life Crusade.

But it was something you said in the Jackson Innocence thread that got me to thinking. Since you strongly, staunchly, and probably permanently support the banning of Joe Jackson from the Hall, for his entertaining/considering a 'wrongful' thought, for about a week, why should the man who banned him get off scot-free, for 20 years of 'conspiring with crooked owners' to defraud black Americans from their inherent rights to participate in 'the national game'?

See where I'm going with this? See where I'm headed? I despise hypocrisy, and for a learned, educated man to sit in pompous moral judgment of a simple-minded illiterate ballplayer, and then spend the next 20 years, defrauding an entire class of ballplayers of their rights to participate in the American Dream, is rank hypocrisy of the highest order.

And he wasn't alone. There were at least 16 other team owners at all times. Some were educated, others self-made. But they were wealthy, powerful men, and it is a certainty that they colluded, and 'sat in conference, with other crooked owners, and discussed the ways and means of defrauding black Americans' of their rights.

And the black ballplayer wasn't the only one defrauded. The true sports fan was defrauded too.

Should those who administer the laws be above that which they control?

I am not saying we exhume the remains of these power brokers. I am simply asking if it is appropriate to honor them with Baseball's highest honor.

You assert that in the case of Jackson, many times. I think its time we asked the same standards of basic human morality be applied to the raging hypocrite who judged him, with his over-zealous law and order extremism.

Who defrauded the game more, Jackson or Landis?

Bill Burgess
11-21-2007, 05:18 PM
Bill,

I'll be less diplomatic this time. Your proposal is an invitation to turn the Hall into a political football, and have whatever current version of political correctness and/or standards (statistical or otherwise) of judging the worthiness of inductees holds sway booting out those already inducted, thereby inviting counter "revolutions" reinstating at least some of those excluded, in an endless cycle. How could such a scenario possibly be a positive for the Hall?

Jim Albright
OK, Jim. That is an excellent and important subject. There are some institutions that once a person is voted in, it is a lifetime membership.

Two such institutions come to mind. The Catholic Church's roster of saints, and the Baseball Hall of Fame. Perhaps other sports Halls of Fame is the same. Or the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland.

But in all fairness, this is no more than a hypothetical Fever exercise. Like I said, the Clarke family would NEVER entertain such a possibility as this.

But just for our own purposes, let's grant this argument its full scope. Why is permanent membership granted to Hall members? We all know full well that errors of judgment took place, some due to Frankie Frisch's influence over the Veterans Committee. He lobbied for too many of his former Giants' team mates from the 20's.

But besides that, some Hall members are just very good players and not truly among the elite greats. Why not have a mechanism to weed out the relatively unworthy?

Instead of insulting the truly great, I believe it would enhance the stature of the better ones. And we should be more concerned with honoring the truly great, and less concerned with protecting the marginal status of the border-line cases.

And I'm not clear why 'pioneers' get in. Maybe a permanent exhibition for them. Why wouldn't that be enough?

KCGHOST
11-21-2007, 09:29 PM
A while back we did a series of polls on which players we thought were mistakes. A very similar idea to what is being proposed here. I suspect that the number of non-players in the HoF who would be considered mistakes would generate a much higher rejection rate.

EdTarbusz
11-21-2007, 09:37 PM
Judge Landis, Commissioner, 1920-44
Ban Johnson, AL President, 1901-27
Charles Comiskey, White Sox owner, 1901-32
Ford Frick, NL Pres., 1934-51, Comm., 1951-65
Warren Giles, NL Pres., 1951-69
William Harridge, AL Pres., 1931-59
Clark Griffith, Senators' owner, 1920-55
Tom Yawkey, Red Sox' owner, 1933-76
Larry McPhail, Yankees' owner, 1945-47
Walter Briggs, Tigers' owner, 1936-52
John Heydler, NL Pres., 1918-34
Cap Anson>>>>>>>

I can't think of a single reason to remove any of the above from the Hall of Fame. Fifty years from now, who be on the expusion list when the standards of 2057 are used to citicize people from the past.

I agree with Jim Albright that being inducted into a Hall of Fame that you could later be kicked out of when social mores change is not much of an honor.

leecemark
11-21-2007, 09:44 PM
--Bill, I can not participate in your poll because you failed to include a "none of the above" option.

Bill Burgess
11-21-2007, 10:04 PM
I can't think of a single reason to remove any of the above from the Hall of Fame.
See post #10. I gave excellent reasons. Fraud.

Bill Burgess
11-21-2007, 10:07 PM
--Bill, I can not participate in your poll because you failed to include a "none of the above" option.
See post #10.

On the one hand, you exclude Joe Jackson for a week of wrong attitude and sterling ballplaying, yet you forgive a Commissioner (and others) for 24 years of defrauding millions of black ballplayers, and millions of fans.

Good logic. Nice and consistent.

Chickazoola
11-21-2007, 10:16 PM
Morgan Bulkeley is the only person I strongly advocate removing from the Hall, simply because he didn't do anything to be there.

EdTarbusz
11-21-2007, 10:29 PM
See post #10. I gave excellent reasons. Fraud.

I don't see any evidence of fraud. I see evidence of someone pontifivating with 75 years of hindsight about business decisons that were made in a radically different culture. You bring up black ballplayers. 75 years ago, who exactly would have thought that integrating the game would have been a good idea?

Bill Burgess
11-21-2007, 10:42 PM
I don't see any evidence of fraud.
If there was no fraud, then why weren't blacks allowed to play in the big leagues? Do you think that no one was responsible? Was it just one of those things? Some people might say the color ban was a big lie, started by trouble-makers.


I see evidence of someone pontificating with 75 years of hindsight about business decisions that were made in a radically different culture.
Why are those who criticize wrongness pontificating? Did you know that many, many, many black organizations and individuals lobbied and worked hard to tear down the wall of segregation? Were they pontificating too? I don't know why the critics of segregation are the bad guys. Why can't the segregationists receive some heat for being mean-spirited? It's time they stopped getting a pass, and it's time we stopped being called politically correct for being clear-eyed and bold.

You bring up black ballplayers. 75 years ago, who exactly would have thought that integrating the game would have been a good idea?

Did you know that after John McGraw died in 1934, his wife found among his personal papers, a list of all the black players he wanted to hire but wasn't allowed to? So, start with John McGraw, Babe Ruth, and later, Ty Cobb.

Plus every single fair-minded, heart-centered American, plus every single black person, dark-skinned Latin person, and probably Asian-Americans too.

Taken altogether, they might comprise a sizable component of American society. According to go-slow social conservatives, Jackie Robinson was way too soon & Branch Rickey was a pontificating opportunist.

Here are some relevant posts from the past, that speak to this issue. http://baseball-fever.com/showpost.php?p=296952&postcount=61

The MLs were so facile, so dishonest, that they hired the most high-powered marketing whores to write up, who came up with this apologist sop. Truly pathetic, embarrassing stuff. August 28, 1946: http://baseball-fever.com/showpost.php?p=445702&postcount=33

Not picking on you, my friend, because I think you speak for many. So, I'm trying to help you move forward.

EdTarbusz
11-21-2007, 11:00 PM
If there was no fraud, then why were blacks allowed to play in the big leagues. Do you think that no one was responsible? Was it just one of those things?


Why are those who criticize wrongness pontificating? Did you know that many, many, many black organizations and individuals lobbied and worked hard to tear down the wall of segregation? Were they pontificating too? I don't know why the critics of segregation are the bad guys. Why can't the segregationists receive some heat for being mean-spirited? It's time they stopped getting a pass, and it's time we stopped being called politically correct for being clear-eyed and bold.

Every single fair-minded, heart-centered American, plus every single black person, dark-skinned Latin person, and probably Asian-Americans too.

Taken altogether, they might comprise a sizable component of American society. According to go-slow social conservatives, Jackie Robinson was way too soon, Branch Rickey was a pontificating opportunist.

I doubt if anyone here is saying segregation was a good thing, but attacking a guy like Landis for his views without looking at the time he lived in is wrong in my opinion. I doubt if many blacks, or minorities in general, were that interested in integration during Landis's tenure. I think they were more interested in putting the equal into seperate but equal.

World War II, in my opinion, was the catalyst behind the civil rights movement. I'd be a lot more comfortable criticising Landis if he were holding the line against blacks in 1957 and he was sharing space in the paper with the Little Rock Seven. I don't agree with the segregation of baseball, but I think I understand the reasoning behind it. When noises were begininng about integration in the late 1930s, the loudest voice pushing for it was from the Communist Party. What do you think the odds are that Landis would have involved himself with something supported by CPUSA? Based on his actions against the IWW, I would say it would be zero.

For the record, also, I think Branch Rickey did the right thing in signing Jackie Robinson. I also think that Branch Rickey was a pontificationg opportunist. His treatment of the Negro Leagues was shabby at best and criminal at worst.

Bill Burgess
11-21-2007, 11:20 PM
I doubt if anyone here is saying segregation was a good thing, but attacking a guy like Landis for his views without looking at the time he lived in is wrong in my opinion. I doubt if many blacks, or minorities in general, were that interested in integration during Landis's tenure. I think they were more interested in putting the equal into separate but equal.

World War II, in my opinion, was the catalyst behind the civil rights movement. I'd be a lot more comfortable criticizing Landis if he were holding the line against blacks in 1957 and he was sharing space in the paper with the Little Rock Seven. I don't agree with the segregation of baseball, but I think I understand the reasoning behind it. When noises were beginning about integration in the late 1930s, the loudest voice pushing for it was from the Communist Party. What do you think the odds are that Landis would have involved himself with something supported by CPUSA? Based on his actions against the IWW, I would say it would be zero.

For the record, also, I think Branch Rickey did the right thing in signing Jackie Robinson. I also think that Branch Rickey was a pontification opportunist. His treatment of the Negro Leagues was shabby at best and criminal at worst.
I agree with you that WWII was the catalyst which caused many people to rethink the racial climate in America. But I also feel that if there had been strong leaders much earlier, Americans have shown time and again, that they can respond to rightness, if presented in the correct moral context. Women's suffrage came much earlier, and so did the repeal of Prohibition. It took a war to end slavery, but not all wars are visible to the eye.

I know you are not a racist or a bad person, and I hope you don't feel unduly criticized. But I am using you as my everyman, to whom I am addressing my issues. Hope you realize that.

It is the duty of leaders to lead, even if no one is following. If leaders do the right thing, and rightness is not always easy to discern, the people will at least have a chance to follow. If no one leads, the people will not have that beacon from the Lighthouse in the Darkness to find their way.

My standard piece on Judge Landis http://www.baseball-fever.com/showpost.php?p=604984&postcount=65

If you really doubt that Negroes supported baseball integration, try reading the writing of the following 2 black sports writers.

He was asked on a very regular basis, by such stellar sports writers as Wendell Smith, of the black Pittsburgh Courier, 1937-47, and Sam Lacy, of several black newspapers, when baseball would integrate.

EdTarbusz
11-21-2007, 11:47 PM
I agree with you that WWII was the catalyst which caused many people to rethink the racial climate in America. But I also feel that if there had been strong leaders much earlier, Americans have shown time and again, that they can respond to rightness, if presented in the correct moral context. Women's suffrage came much earlier, and so did the repeal of Prohibition. It took a war to end slavery, but not all wars are visible to the eye.

I know you are not a racist or a bad person, and I hope you don't feel unduly criticized. But I am using you as my everyman, to whom I am addressing my issues. Hope you realize that.

It is the duty of leaders to lead, even if no one is following. If leaders do the right thing, and rightness is not always easy to discern, the people will at least have a chance to follow. If no one leads, the people will not have that beacon from the Lighthouse in the Darkness to find their way.

My standard piece on Judge Landis http://www.baseball-fever.com/showpost.php?p=604984&postcount=65

Before WWII, I think most black leaders were interested in getting rid of discrimination, but were not very interested in the idea of integration. I think the biggest concern that black leaders had during Landis's tenure was getting stronger anti-lynching laws passed.

I think leaders have a duty to lead, but I also think that someone in a position like Landis also has a duty to protect ownership. Landis wasn't working for the public or the game. He was working for the owners. They knew what they getting. Landis was a Progressive, and he acted like a Progressive. I also think that if an owner would have challanged Landis and tried to sign a black player, Landis would have ultimately backed down, especially if that owner threatened to go to court over the issue. Landis was still alive when Rickey started scouting for black players and did nothing to stop it. This led to Larry MacPhail calling Landis soft on segregation. I think some of the owners were undoubtably racist, and others never really thought about race relations much, but figured it would be bad for business.

When it comes to something like segregation, I think it's more important to try to understand it than to merely criticize it. I think understanding something goes farther to eliminate it than merely by criticizing it.

I don't feel criticized by you. I know that you are talking about the issue and not me personally.

EdTarbusz
11-21-2007, 11:53 PM
If you really doubt that Negroes supported baseball integration, try reading the writing of the following 2 black sports writers.

He was asked on a very regular basis, by such stellar sports writers as Wendell Smith, of the black Pittsburgh Courier, 1937-47, and Sam Lacy, of several black newspapers, when baseball would integrate.


I think the majority of the people who read these guys thought that integrating the game was a pipe dream and that if it ever happened it would be a long time away. I know a few white writers were pushing for it too, but I don't think they were taken very seriously.

zahavasdad
11-22-2007, 04:45 AM
I voted to expel Anson, truly the BIGGEST disgrace in the HOF.

While Landis might not have allowed integration of the major leagues, it was more passive racism.

Anson actively campaigned to expel blacks.

I would have also added Enos Slaughter

Erik Bedard
11-22-2007, 05:09 AM
See, the one guy who I wouldn't mind if he had no plaque isn't even on the poll. And that is Morgan Bulkeley.

leecemark
11-22-2007, 06:28 AM
--There are some people on the list I wouldn't have voted in (or still wouldn't in the case of those on in Cooperstown). None of them did anything that merits explusion though. The whole racial issue just shows a lack of understanding of history.
--Judging men by a cultural standard which did not exist in their lifetime is ridiculous. Men who change society for the better achieve greatness, but men who can't see beyond the norms they grew up with are not monsters. Segregration was an established, if unfortunate, part of American society. The Commissioner of baseball, team owners, etc should not be expected to have societal change as their top priority.

brett
11-22-2007, 06:41 AM
See post #10.

On the one hand, you exclude Joe Jackson for a week of wrong attitude and sterling ballplaying, yet you forgive a Commissioner (and others) for 24 years of defrauding millions of black ballplayers, and millions of fans.

Good logic. Nice and consistent.

Did any black players ever sue for the right to play in the majors?

America defrauded them. It was tolerated by the population, and the courts, and the presidents could even have issued some kind of executive order, or even a statement of opinion. Any history on this.

EdTarbusz
11-22-2007, 07:58 AM
Did any black players ever sue for the right to play in the majors?

America defrauded them. It was tolerated by the population, and the courts, and the presidents could even have issued some kind of executive order, or even a statement of opinion. Any history on this.

Segregation had been legal since the 1890s. It took the Supreme Court almost 60 years to ban something as fundamental as segregation in schools and implimenting that was anything but easy. I don't think black ballplayers would had ay recourse using the legal system.

Between the end of the Civil War and the beginning of the Civil Rights Movement (1865-1955) there were two President's who, in my opinion, might said something positive about integrating the game: Ulysses Grant and Harry Truman. The Color Ban wasn't put into place until after Grant had left office and reconstruction ended. I thikn Truman may have daid something about at the time he ordered segregation ended in the military or after the 1948 election. He may also have mentioned it during the 1948 campaign to appeal to appeal to the left wing of the Democratic Party which had broken off to support Henry Wallace.

LeoD
11-22-2007, 08:26 AM
Bill, if we banned, or took away honors from every racist born in the 1800, what a helluva mess that would be. Landis, Anson, Cobb, etc. were products of their time.

The Kid
11-22-2007, 09:58 AM
I'd support banning Landis from the Hall, for reasons mentioned. I'd also support Anson's, but because he was surrounded by racism almost all of his life (as was Ty Cobb), I don't think you can blame him enough to ban him from the hall.

EdTarbusz
11-22-2007, 10:00 AM
I'd support banning Landis from the Hall, for reasons mentioned. I'd also support Anson's, but because he was surrounded by racism almost all of his life (as was Ty Cobb), I don't think you can blame him enough to ban him from the hall.

Why does Anson get the pass, but not Landis?

Bill Burgess
11-22-2007, 11:05 AM
OK. I can easily see that I've created a muddle of a mess here. So, I will try my level best to bring order out of my self-created chaos. And by the way, I just added O'Malley. Didn't think of the man until just now. So, not even I got the chance to vote on his sad arse. Sorry guys, but I add things as I think of them.

Now, down to business. We are not conducting a petition to the Hall of Fame. Not even I am that quixotic to believe that such a naive, politically-impossible thing like Hall expulsions will ever be entertained by such a political animal as Baseball's Hall of Fame. Regardless of past goofs.

We are only discussing this amonst ourselves. When I wrote Hall Expulsions, I was mostly trying to reach for a way to correct past 'mistakes'. And yeah, I'm well aware that that is a loaded word.

What I was trying to create, was an imaginary world, where we were all back then, and voting on who deserved to go in, who didn't. Not to excoriate the wicket, but simply not to honor them either.

Bit of a backtrack: When the Hall was first voted on in January, 1936, the building wasn't even constructed yet. When the building was ready for public presentation, on July 12, 1939, the baseball powers, already had in mind to honor themselves. The officials somehow got themselves honored before most of the Hall players! They quickly put in Landis, and a lot of others, without the permission of the sports writers.

So, I hope we can all go back in our minds, and think, who really deserved to go in. That is my original intention in creating this thread.

Bill Burgess
11-22-2007, 11:12 AM
Bill, if we banned, or took away honors from every racist born in the 1800, what a helluva mess that would be. Landis, Anson, Cobb, etc. were products of their time.
Understood, Leo. But I am not trying to ban/prohibit every racist.

When an individual harbors racism in their heart, that is bad, but mostly for the racist, and those they discriminate against.

When a leader harbors racism in their heart, that also is bad, but not necessarily terrible, unless they express it in public policy.

Cobb was a garden-variety racist, common for his area, but worse if compared to a northern person. But Cobb was never in a position to impose his personal values on anyone else. Well, maybe his team mates when he was manager, but that didn't include black persons.

If Ty Cobb had been Commissioner, and in a position to hurt black persons, either by commission or omission, I'd have to come down MUCH harder on him, and I'd probably not have been able to single him out as my favorite player. Cap Anson gives me a much greater problem, since it was his personal actions/words/deeds, which resulted in blacks being initially frozen out of the American Dream for so long. Anson exerted huge influence. He was lionized as a man of impeccable integrity, even though he bet on baseball. He was often held up as the model of integrity, above reproach.

Here is a quote from one of my favorite sports writers, John B. Sheridan.
"Anson would bet on baseball games. Was Anson crooked? There never was anything but an honest drop of blood in Anson's body. Never anything but honest breath in his lungs." (The Sporting News, January 6, 1927, pp. 3, column 2.)

Bench 5
11-24-2007, 08:01 AM
Bill,

What exactly is your case against Charles Comiskey? My guess is that it has something to do with the 1919 World Series but I would be open to hearing your case. I am not an expert on his role but based upon my general knowledge, I am not convinced that he did anything that merits retroactive punishment.

In general I am against the idea of kicking anyone out of the HOF after they are elected. Some of our greatest presidents look bad by modern morality. That might tarnish their image in the monds of some but it doesn't mean that they didn't rise to the occassion in the context of their times. Hall of Fame voting is a process that culminates in an event. It tells as much about the people that voted for the inductee and THEIR values as it does about the commonly held public perception of the inductee.

Bill Burgess
11-24-2007, 11:59 AM
Bill,

What exactly is your case against Charles Comiskey? My guess is that it has something to do with the 1919 World Series but I would be open to hearing your case. I am not an expert on his role but based upon my general knowledge, I am not convinced that he did anything that merits retroactive punishment.
My bad attitude towards Comiskey is his attitude towards his players. I have read all my life that he would call a player into his office, to conduct 'negotiations' for their next season's contract, and start off the conversation with, "So tell me, Ed (Walsh), what are the mines paying this season?" He knew Ed dreaded ending up in the coal mines like his Dad.

And I've read that Commy did this to many of his players. Paid Collins $15K/season, while paying J.Jackson $6K/per. He did this because he assumed Jackson had no where else to go, if he didn't sign whatever he was offered.

So, it is that kind of vile abuse of the 'reserve clause' that I condemn Comiskey to hell. He has absolutely no cause to be honored in the Hall of Fame. I spit on his memory. I SPIT on HIM. Even if he didn't want to pay a player what he was worth, he had no call to humiliate them, taunt them, bait them, belittle them, dishonor their dignity as people. After all, they were making him rich.

Bench 5
11-24-2007, 02:14 PM
Compared to other owners I don't know if he was necessarily any better or worse when it came to negotiations. It seems like owners from that time get bashed quite a bit to the point where one can make an argument that they were all bad guys depending on which player you believe. I think that due to the unethical choices of the Black Sox that he has been painted in a much worse light than he otherwise would had the scandal never happened.

Bill Burgess
11-24-2007, 02:30 PM
Compared to other owners I don't know if he was necessarily any better or worse when it came to negotiations. It seems like owners from that time get bashed quite a bit to the point where one can make an argument that they were all bad guys depending on which player you believe. I think that due to the unethical choices of the Black Sox that he has been painted in a much worse light than he otherwise would had the scandal never happened.
That might be true, but Comiskey's performance during the 1919 World Series has nothing to do with my contempt for him.

Can anyone imagine Connie Mack taunting his players like Comiskey did? I do not fault an owner for being cheap. I do fault them for being monsters. Comiskey behaved like a monster.

The Kid
11-24-2007, 04:57 PM
Why does Anson get the pass, but not Landis?

He actually made a difference in the game (as a player), IMO, unlike Landis.

EdTarbusz
11-24-2007, 08:02 PM
He actually made a difference in the game (as a player), IMO, unlike Landis.

I don't really agree. Landis made a big difference in the game, also.

Fuzzy Bear
11-24-2007, 11:30 PM
I'm not sold on the pro-Jackson sentiment. Not at all.

That said, Charles Comiskey was a scumbag, and deserves expulsion from the HOF. He's the only one person I would advocate this for.

Calif_Eagle
11-25-2007, 12:43 AM
Branch Rickey was super tight fisted with his players and abused the reserve clause as well. (What owner or club executive didnt? I think the "reserve clause" was-is every bit as abominable as not signing black players.) If Comiskey is on the poll for that reason so should Branch Rickey be & any other exec or official that supported the reserve clause as well. Morgan Bulkeley isnt on the poll, he didnt do anything at all to merit being a HOF-er. Connie Mack sold his Philadelphia Athletics club to Arnold Johnson, knowing it would be moved to Kansas City after 54 years in Philadelphia. There had to be some A's fans upset about that. Maybe there even still are, ala' Brooklyn Dodger fans. Maybe his plaque should go too. Candy Cummings "invented the curve ball" but no other pitch "inventor" is enshrined, so perhaps we should yank his plaque. Ty Cobb managed the Tigers for years... & did absolutely nothing to even try & sign any black players, maybe its time to re-examine his HOF status. (Many other HOF-ers served stints as club managers without raising a cry to sign any black players. Hugh Jennings, Walter Johnson, Pie Traynor, John McGraw, Connie Mack (Mack Again! Who let this guy in ?? !! :eek: ) God knows how many others.) What contribution did Will Harridge or Warren Giles make, besides attaining the offices of AL and NL President respectively? Did either ever actually DO anything noteworthy while in office?

I was serious about some of that, tongue in cheek about quite a bit of it. I think you could justify yanking Morgan Bulkeley's plaque, esp. if you replaced it with a display about the man & his life & why his plaque was removed. Anyone else's (despite my personal feelings about some of the HOF-ers listed and how deserving they actually are. For several of those in the poll, it appears a HOF slot was baseball's way of giving them the "30 year gold watch". ) and you have a colossal can of worms. Franchise moves are what they are. MLB is a business, owners are in it to make money. One could argue that if Brooklyn wanted their team THAT badly, they would have sent that message to Robert Moses loud & clear, & the Domed Stadium model of Dodger Office Lobby fame could have been *built*. When Cleveland lost the original Browns Football Club to Baltimore, it took the fans about 30 seconds to mobilize Ohio's Congressional Delegation of Senators & House Reps to threaten the NFL with dire consequences if another team didnt materialize forthwith. Similar action on Brooklyn's part apparently did not happen. Walter O'Malley (and Connie Mack too) cant be faulted (in my view) for taking steps that maximized the value of their teams to them. As for black players, many other posters have pointed out how the times were very different. I dont need to rehash those well crafted & well spoken arguments. (esp. those by Ed Tarbusz) I will simply say that I agree with those that said Landis and Co. were men of their times.

Fuzzy Bear
11-25-2007, 03:40 AM
I'm not a big fan of execs in the HOF. That being said, I will say the following:

Warren Giles was President of the NL. During his tenure, the National League became, clearly, the superior league. The AL became the Yankees and other weak sisters. It was in the Giles years that the NL began to dominate the All-Star game, and it was during the Giles years where both the quality of play and competitive balance of the NL improved. During Giles' tenure, the Braves, Pirates, Reds, Giants, Dodgers, Cardinals, and Mets all won pennants; in fact, all but the Reds won championships under Giles.

Ford Frick was President of the NL at the time of integration, and it was his backbone that broke the last resistance to integration. "The National League will go down the line with Robinson . . ." Frick said, in an unequivocal statement to players who threatened to strike over the issue. Robinson's 1947 season went well, and baseball integrated. Much credit has been given to Branch Rickey; not enough, IMO, to Ford Frick.

The others are kind of "just there" selections. They are mistakes, but only the Comiskey selection warrants "correction".

Bill Burgess
11-25-2007, 06:19 AM
Connie Mack sold his Philadelphia Athletics club to Arnold Johnson, knowing it would be moved to Kansas City after 54 years in Philadelphia. There had to be some A's fans upset about that. Maybe there even still are, ala' Brooklyn Dodger fans. Maybe his plaque should go too.
Connie fought his own sons over the move to KC. As much as a 90 yr. old can fight.

Ty Cobb managed the Tigers for years... & did absolutely nothing to even try & sign any black players, maybe its time to re-examine his HOF status.
Few know this, but Ty went to Havana several times, and on his sojourn there in the 1920's, he encountered some good black ballplayers. He offered to help some of them get good jobs in ML baseball, or at least to try. He offered to help some get jobs with the Detroit Stars, Detroit's Negro L. team. This is documented.

(Many other HOF-ers served stints as club managers without raising a cry to sign any black players. Hugh Jennings, Walter Johnson, Pie Traynor, John McGraw, Connie Mack (Mack Again! Who let this guy in ?? !! :eek: ) God knows how many others.)
After McGraw died, his wife found a list among his personal effects, listing which Negro Leaguers he wanted to sign for the Giants, but was prevented. McGraw also went to Havana, Cuba often. In fact, he owned a casino there. I think Landis made him sell it.

What contribution did Will Harridge or Warren Giles make, besides attaining the offices of AL and NL President respectively? Did either ever actually DO anything noteworthy while in office?
That's what I was wondering, hence their names in the poll.

I was serious about some of that, tongue in cheek about quite a bit of it. I think you could justify yanking Morgan Bulkeley's plaque, esp. if you replaced it with a display about the man & his life & why his plaque was removed. Anyone else's (despite my personal feelings about some of the HOF-ers listed and how deserving they actually are. For several of those in the poll, it appears a HOF slot was baseball's way of giving them the "30 year gold watch".)
I agree with the lifetime achievement Award (gold watch). If your tongue was any deeper in your cheek, you'd need surgery to remove it.

Walter O'Malley (and Connie Mack too) cant be faulted (in my view) for taking steps that maximized the value of their teams to them. As for black players, many other posters have pointed out how the times were very different. I don't need to rehash those well crafted & well spoken arguments. (esp. those by Ed Tarbusz) I will simply say that I agree with those that said Landis and Co. were men of their times.
I will always fault O'Malley. Mack fought the move as best he could.

leecemark
11-25-2007, 07:48 AM
I'm not sold on the pro-Jackson sentiment. Not at all.

That said, Charles Comiskey was a scumbag, and deserves expulsion from the HOF. He's the only one person I would advocate this for.

--Comiskey certaily had his faults, but his accomplishments outweigh them by a wide margin IMO. He was a very successfull manager, one of the founders of the American League and one of its most successfull and influential owners for its first 20 years. His actions post-Black Sox are very questionable, but he was originally a victim of that conspiracy. He is not to balme for what his dishonest players did in that Series.

Calif_Eagle
11-25-2007, 09:09 AM
Connie fought his own sons over the move to KC. As much as a 90 yr. old can fight.

Few know this, but Ty went to Havana several times, and on his sojourn there in the 1920's, he encountered some good black ballplayers. He offered to help some of them get good jobs in ML baseball, or at least to try. He offered to help some get jobs with the Detroit Stars, Detroit's Negro L. team. This is documented.

After McGraw died, his wife found a list among his personal effects, listing which Negro Leaguers he wanted to sign for the Giants, but was prevented. McGraw also went to Havana, Cuba often. In fact, he owned a casino there. I think Landis made him sell it.

That's what I was wondering, hence their names in the poll.

I agree with the lifetime achievement Award (gold watch). If your tongue was any deeper in your cheek, you'd need surgery to remove it.

I will always fault O'Malley. Mack fought the move as best he could.

Whether Mack fought the move, or didnt; the move took place. The A's were MACK's team, to do with as he wished. The outcome & the effect was the exactly the SAME as what O'Malley did, regardless of his intent. The team was more valuable to the Mack family sold to KC, rather than operating at a loss in Philadelphia & I dont fault Mack or O'Malley for doing with what they saw fit with their personal property. The fans feel the teams belong to them. If the P-L statement & the ledger affected the fans as it did the Macks or Lou Perini or Bill Veeck how many among us wouldnt have done what these owners all did?

Ty Cobb went to Cuba & encountered some good ball players. He offered to get them some jobs in Negro League ball. He offered to "try" to get them jobs in MLB. I would think one could not avoid running into good players if one went to Cuba to play. If he "tried" to get them in MLB, he failed both spectacularly & apparently very quietly too. If he got them Negro League jobs, good for him. Its to his personal credit if he did so. It doesnt make him any kind of crusader for Civil Rights though. And in my view, Cobb doesnt-didnt need to be one. I'm not upset about what ever attitude he or any other HOF manager held toward blacks. The fact is that NO ONE did much of ANYTHING AT ALL to integrate the game before Branch Rickey did. So that means no one from before 1947 deserves their HOF spot? I dont think peoples attitude and actions on race, in times vastly different from today, should be a HOF qualifier or dis-qualifer.

McGraw had a list of players he wanted. I bet every manager had players they wanted. Having a list isnt the same thing as taking ACTION. But again, I dont expect McGraw or any other baseball men to take what for them would have been radical and extreme positions at a time when that might have cost them personally, and dearly.

Re: Harridge and Giles... They apparently are in the HOF as the equivalent of the "Gold Watch". Giles NL may have been far superior to the AL of the same time. I would question what if anything that Giles personally did to bring this about. I would suspect the answer would be nothing of any note. If someone wanted to remove both men in favor of a non HOF membership display on their lives and careers, I would be in favor of that, as with Bulkeley.

FatAngel
11-25-2007, 09:47 AM
I am curious as to what the members feel about an interesting subject. Should there be a mechanism to remove members from the Hall of Fame for 'Just Cause'?


I cannot come up with the name of the writer, but about five years ago, I read an article where he suggested to limit the "real" HoF to 25 members, all players.
When a player is elected to join this exlusive circle, another one is dropped to the "second rank". He compiled his list and, looking at future Hall of Famers, stated that the only change in the near future would be the induction of Rickey Henderson. Then his no. 25, Mike Schmidt, would have to go.
I like this approach, however who belongs or not is of course very debatable, especially since the article was written before the definition of the steroid era.

Bill Burgess
11-25-2007, 01:48 PM
Well, I can see that this poll is not accomplishing what I had hoped. And it is not the fault of anyone but myself.

What I intended to ask, but got bungled up, was, "Who do you feel never deserved induction to the Hall in the first place.

I realize, that once in, many feel uncomfortable kicking them out (expulsion), unless its discovered that they committed something terrible that we never knew.

I was trying to ascertain who we feel never merited inclusion in the first place, which is very different from what I did actually ask. Sorry for my screw-up. Maybe I'll re-do it, and get it right.

Victory Faust
11-25-2007, 02:00 PM
So can we also prevent, say, Torri Hunter from getting into the Hall, should he become eligible, for being a racist? Hunter said earlier this fall that he only wanted to play in a "black" city like Atlanta. In other words, he doesn't want to play for a "white" city -- which makes him a racist, doesn't it?

And, if so, shouldn't be ban him from the Hall -- or at least put him on this list?

Victory Faust
11-25-2007, 02:21 PM
He compiled his list and, looking at future Hall of Famers, stated that the only change in the near future would be the induction of Rickey Henderson. Then his no. 25, Mike Schmidt, would have to go.



Anyone who would advocate kicking Mike Schmidt out of the Hall to accommodate Rickey Henderson is an idiot.

Bill Burgess
11-25-2007, 02:38 PM
--Comiskey certaily had his faults, but his accomplishments outweigh them by a wide margin IMO. He was a very successfull manager, one of the founders of the American League and one of its most successfull and influential owners for its first 20 years. His actions post-Black Sox are very questionable, but he was originally a victim of that conspiracy. He is not to balme for what his dishonest players did in that Series.
Comiskey, although lauded for pioneering playing so far off of 1B, was never a H of F player or manager. As an owner he was hated by his players.

He does deserve some credit for helping Ban Johnson launching the AL, but why do we need to honor him with the game's highest laurels.

In fact, I support never again putting an exec into the Hall, and setting those in in their own wing, with less than full honors.

Another idea is to limit the number of inductees from a time perios. I don't see a need to induct more than 6-8 from a decade. The more you induct the more you dilute the honor.

Bill Burgess
11-25-2007, 03:04 PM
Whether Mack fought the move, or didn't; the move took place. The A's were MACK's team, to do with as he wished.
No, they weren't. As of August 30, 1950, his two sons, Earl/Roy bought the team from the last of the Shibe heirs, Ida, and her heirs. The team was legally his sons.

http://www.baseball-fever.com/showpost.php?p=994627&postcount=26

When Connie found out his sons, Roy/Earle were contemplating moving the team to Kansas City, MO, he went out and got some local investors, to try to buy back the team from his sons, and fight the move. Connie did fight the good fight, to the utmost best of his 93 year old abilities/energy. You do him wrong. It was the sons that are the 'bad guys', in this one narrow respect. It broke Connie's heart.

Ty Cobb went to Cuba & encountered some good ball players. He offered to get them some jobs in Negro League ball. He offered to "try" to get them jobs in MLB. I would think one could not avoid running into good players if one went to Cuba to play. If he "tried" to get them in MLB, he failed both spectacularly & apparently very quietly too. If he got them Negro League jobs, good for him. Its to his personal credit if he did so. It doesn't make him any kind of crusader for Civil Rights though. And in my view, Cobb doesn't-didn't need to be one. I'm not upset about what ever attitude he or any other HOF manager held toward blacks.
Here is a sidebar in my article, "How Racist Was Ty?"
------------------------------------
1926 - Larry Brown, the great defensive Negro League catcher, 1919-1949, tells of a story about Ty. He says that while he was a member of the Detroit Stars in 1926, he went to Havana, Cuba to play ball there that winter. He says that Ty was there and that he threw Ty out 5 times in succession. After the game, he alleges that Ty offered to try to introduce him to the MLs and pass him off as a Cuban. Brown says he passed on the idea, due to the fact that he was so very well known all around the US as a member of the Detroit Stars. But this story is insisted on by Larry Brown himself. (Voices From The Great Black Baseball Leagues, by John Holway, 1975, pp. 207-209)
-----------------------------------

The fact is that NO ONE did much of ANYTHING AT ALL to integrate the game before Branch Rickey did. So that means no one from before 1947 deserves their HOF spot? I don't think peoples attitude and actions on race, in times vastly different from today, should be a HOF qualifier or dis-qualifier.

McGraw had a list of players he wanted. I bet every manager had players they wanted. Having a list isn't the same thing as taking ACTION. But again, I dint expect McGraw or any other baseball men to take what for them would have been radical and extreme positions at a time when that might have cost them personally, and dearly.

Re: Harridge and Giles... They apparently are in the HOF as the equivalent of the "Gold Watch". Giles NL may have been far superior to the AL of the same time. I would question what if anything that Giles personally did to bring this about. I would suspect the answer would be nothing of any note. If someone wanted to remove both men in favor of a non HOF membership display on their lives and careers, I would be in favor of that, as with Bulkeley.
The way I see it, with respect to baseball's Color Ban, 'if you weren't part of the solution, you were part of the problem'.

I can either give them all an equal pass, or hold all equally responsible. So, I hold all BB execs responsible equally, depending on their degrees of authority. I am not impressed with Frick, Giles, Harridge or Heydler. They were all in positions of tremendous authority, for decades before Branch Rickey broke it all wide open, and did nothing. Never lifted a finger.

I do give Ford Frick some credit for coming down hard on the racists who were grumblings about not playing against Jackie Robinson. It was Frick who wrote a scathing letter, and read them the Riot Act. He threatened, and everybody understood he meant every word of it, to permanently expel whoever boycotted games against Jackie. Not a single player called his bluff. So, I do give Frick credit for that. But he was a NL President from 1935-51, and before Rickey took the first steps, I don't know if Frick did a thing to move the ball downfield.

I am a big fan of strong leadership. And also a big critic of leaders who refuse to lead. Anyone can lead a popular movement. Only men of vision will lead the tough parades, and take the heat for doing 'the right thing', because it is the right thing to do.

Bill Burgess
11-25-2007, 03:13 PM
I screwed up this poll. I am closing this thread, and asking that all continue their posting on the new, revised, improved thread.

http://www.baseball-fever.com/showthread.php?t=70729

I ask that anyone who feels to repost their posts from here to there, and also to vote on that improved poll/survey. Thank you and I do appreciate your continued forbearance for my mess-ups.

Bill