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Removing People From the Hall of Fame?

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  • Removing People From the Hall of Fame?

    Next week I'll be making my first ever trip to Cooperstown (I'm very excited), but I think part of the experience will be tainted for me when I go by the plaques of guys like Ross Youngs and Freddie Lindstrom and Rick Ferrell and Travis Jackson, and wonder where Ron Santo's plaque is, and Minnie Minoso, and a few others. Does anyone else share this sentiment that a lot of the VC candidates really don't belong and diminish the Hall of Fame? I personally would like them out. I know that's not fair to them, but they shouldn't be there in the first place.

  • #2
    I don't know that even if you wanted to, you could unring that bell. Those really badly botched selections you mention (and some others) do diminish the Hall IMO.

    I'm afraid that uninducting even the lousy VC picks would diminish the Hall as well. First of all, who do we unselect, and what standards do we use? Will the nominees be as honored if there's precedent that they can be kicked out? Will they be as willing to provide memorabilia which could fetch serious bucks if people can be uninducted? It's hard to see all the ills that could come from such a thing even if it were a well-thought out effort. Lord knows, history teaches us not to expect such wisdom from Cooperstown--and if a well thought out process would be problematic, how much worse would a poorly thought out one be? The initial relief effort for Katrina might be the model--a disaster heaped upon another disaster. As tempting as it sounds, when you get to the practicalities of that notion, that first impression fades fast IMO. Better to leave well enough alone.

    Jim Albright
    Seen on a bumper sticker: If only closed minds came with closed mouths.
    Some minds are like concrete--thoroughly mixed up and permanently set.
    A Lincoln: I don't think much of a man who is not wiser today than he was yesterday.


    • #3
      Yeah, much as I don't like to see guys like George Kelly and Jesse Haines in the Hall, you can't go back.
      Rooting the Reds home.


      • #4
        The game has evolved so much since these guys played and were selected that you cant just take them out. Back in the early days of the VC they were just trying to raise the number of hall of famers these guys may no longer be part of the best 215 or however many guys are in the hall now. But they may have been part of the top 50 or so when they were inducted.

        I mean in a 100 years Mickey Mantle may have dropped to like 145th on the all time home run list and all his stats will look like crap. Do you pull him out then... No of course not.

        It's like the Mafia once your in your in for good
        Lets Go Yankees, Valley Cats, Dutchmen, UT Spartans and ECU Pirates.


        • #5
          A lot of this could be solved by stratifying the Hall into levels of quality. We've done a multi-tier exercise on this site a couple times over the years. I also outlined a scheme for doing this yesterday on the Chuck Klein thread.

          The thing is, there are players in the Hall that you clearly should not point to when looking for precedents to argue for a similar player's election. There should be some mechanism for identifying those players who are enshrined for reasons other than their statistical record. The Friends of Frankie and others elevated for non-playing reasons need to be segregated somehow, to avoid making them the basis for establishing minimum Hall standards.
          Si quaeris peninsulam amoenam, circumspice.

          Comprehensive Reform for the Veterans Committee -- Fixing the Hall continued.


          • #6
            Originally posted by Freakshow
            A lot of this could be solved by stratifying the Hall into levels of quality.
            Blechk gag


            • #7
              I don't think the enshrined mortals will diminish it one bit. You won't spend ten minutes oohing and aahing at Lindstrom's plaque because there is too much else to see. And hopefully those whose likenesses are missing won't bother you too much for the same reason.

              Enjoy your trip!
              "Someone asked me if I took steroids. I said, 'No. I had a contract with Wheaties.'"
              --Bob Feller


              • #8
                The Hall of FAme is the Hall of FAme.

                Seeing a not quite as great player in there and having it take away from one's visit, to me, is like being a little kid, going to Disneyworld, getting to do all your favorite things, not having to wait in line, just having the time of your life...and then complaining because at one point during the day a scoop fell off of your ice cream cone and landed on the ground so you couldn't eat it.

                It's a pretty little thing to see a few plaques in relation to all the other great stuff.
                If Baseball Integrated Early - baseball integrated from the beginning - and "Brotherhood and baseball," the U.S. history companion, at - IBIE updated for 2011.

                "Full House Chronology" at yahoo group fullhousefreaks & fullhouse4life with help of many fans, thanks for the input


                • #9
                  It really wouldn't be a very good thing at all to disselect anyone from the HOF, and I wouldn't be in favor of it, just because I can't imagine what I'd say if I were one of the surviving relatives of Rube Marquard, Jesse Haines, George Kelly, Ross Youngs, and other really bad HOF selections. We really don't need any of that happening. It would be hearbreak for those families, and we're not here to make people feel bad, we're here to honor great players.

                  I went to Cooperstown for the first time last year. It was a very good experience, and I had lots of fun (especially when I beat up on everyone else in a trivia game and won a painting of Reggie Jackson, you can't imagine how good that made me feel). However, when I saw plaques of some of those aforementioned players, I kind of sped along to the Willie Mays and Babe Ruth's of the world. I also had to bite my tongue from speaking out against them, because that really wouldn't have been cool at all. It didn't really diminish my experience that much, but I did end up spending much less time in the plaque hall than I had planned.


                  • #10
                    Most people don't look at every single plaque in the HOF, but pick and choose which ones they really want to see and linger over. Even some very good players get overlooked by some visitors while others might go there just to see Ross Youngs or Freddie Lindtrom's plaque - for whatever their reasons might be. Sure, there are some guys there who don't belong, but the "human element" has always been an important part of every aspect of baseball. From what takes place on the field, to the calls the umpire makes, to the managers gut feeling about bringing in a pinch hitter. We know that even the best players make an error or strike out once in a while. The umpires don't get every call right - we might complain about the bad plays or the bad calls or the bad decisions, but eventually we let it go - it's part of the game. So, maybe the Hall of Fame didn't get everything exactly right either - but it's a terrific place. And if the human element of fallibility has penetrated there too - well, that's no surprise - it's part of the game.

                    Have a great trip - my visit to the HOF was absolutely magical and I can't wait to get back there some day!


                    • #11
                      I visited the Hall of Fame just once back in the mid-1980s. Although Cooperstown is a quaint little town and the surrounding countryside is beautiful, I must admit the Hall itslef was rather dissappointing. It seems to be MISSING a lot of things. The Hall privides a very incomplete history of baseball. The actual plaques are much smaller and cheaper-looking than they appear on TV. One of the problems the Hall has is that they have a policy of not paying for any baseball memorabilia (and, naturally, people who own great stuff want big bucks in exchange). I think there is some guy in New Jersey (Barry Halper?) who has more valuable baseball memorabilia than the Hall does!! He refused to just "hand over" his priceless stuff (like Babe Ruth & Lou Gehrig uniforms) to the Hall.


                      • #12
                        --I would be against removing anyone from the Hall regardless of how poor a selection I thought they were in the first place.


                        • #13
                          There is ONE man who could be removed and it wouldnt diminish the Hall or be an insult to man or his family. I would remove Morgan Bulkeley and I would then feature him in a separate exhibit explaining as to why his induction was an error & he doesnt deserve a plaque, but in that special exhibit I would have a bio of his very impressive life ( Mayor of Hartford, US Senator, Governor of Connecticut etc. ) The exhibit could show what a Great & impressive career in politics & public life that the man had, but that this greatness didnt carry over significantly into his baseball career. I'd leave the exhibit up for 5 or 10 years until his story was common knowledge in the baseball fan community. Now, with removing a player... well thats going to be a little harder to do without insulting a man or his family. Even the very worst player in the Hall (one inducted as a player be it McCarthy or whoever, [ McCarthy being a big favorite here for that title, I have noticed] ) is still a damn fine ballplayer compared to the general public. But I think that even whatever family Bulkeley may have extant today would understand what happened with his erroneous induction into the HOF.
                          Last edited by Calif_Eagle; 04-05-2006, 11:42 AM.


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by leecemark
                            --I would be against removing anyone from the Hall regardless of how poor a selection I thought they were in the first place.
                            I have since tempered my position that I detailed at the start of this thread and agree with you.


                            • #15
                              You can never rewrite history just learn and try to make better informed choices in the future.


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