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  • Is Reggie right?

    BASEBALL


    Reggie Elects To Pass
    Unimpressed With Hall List

    February 27, 2003
    By JACK O'CONNELL, Courant Staff Writer

    TAMPA, Fla. -- The Hall of Fame Veterans Committee election went just the way Reggie Jackson had hoped.

    Nobody got elected.

    That was fine with Jackson, one of the 58 Hall of Fame players who along with Frick Award winners for broadcasting and Spink Award winners for writing now make up the Veterans Committee, the result of a reform movement that took the matter out of the hands of 15 men in a room swapping tall stories and votes.

    "I feel that it has been getting too easy for people to get into the Hall of Fame," Jackson said Wednesday at Legends Field, where he is working as a spring training instructor and consultant for the Yankees. "When it comes to the Hall of Fame, I'm a little tougher voter."

    A little tough? Jackson is so strict a voter that he didn't return a ballot. Of the 85 Hall of Fame members eligible to vote on the Veterans Committee, Jackson was one of four who didn't submit a ballot. Two other former players and a former manager also declined to participate. Two other committee members sent in players ballots, but not composite ballots for managers, executives and umpires.

    "I looked at those ballots, and there was no one to put in," Jackson said.

    With the same 75 percent plurality required for election in the annual voting by the Baseball Writers' Association of America, 61 votes were needed on the players ballot and 60 on the composite ballot to make the Hall. Gil Hodges, the leading vote getter among former players, was 11 shy of the total required. Umpire Doug Harvey, the top vote getter on the composite ballot, was 12 short. Veterans Committee voting is every two years for players and every four for the composite ballot.

    Jackson didn't need more than a quick glance at the 26 players on one ballot and 15 managers, execs and umpires on the other ballot to decide that he didn't want to participate.

    "I don't see how guys who had 15 years to get into the Hall and didn't make it suddenly qualify as Hall of Fame material," Jackson said, referring to the duration players can stay on the BBWAA ballot. "If you couldn't get in on the writers ballot, why should we put you in now? Look at Tony Oliva, who by some people's standards may be a Hall of Famer. He was a great hitter but only played 12 years because of injuries and had 900-some-odd RBI [947]. Then you look at Hank Aaron, who had over 2,000 RBI [2,297]."

    Jackson, who was elected to the Hall in 1993 in his first year of eligibilty, clearly took a keeper of the flame position regarding Cooperstown.

    "I probably shouldn't have gotten in until my third or fourth year [of eligibility]," said Jackson, whose .263 batting average is among the lowest of position players but whose 563 home runs rank eighth, and whose postseason heroics combined to make him a first-ballot choice by the writers. "How can Willie Mays or Hank Aaron not get 100 percent of the vote and other guys are getting in that probably shouldn't get in. Do we want to get like football and basketball and put 10 guys in every year? If we keep this up, we'll have to put Aaron and Mays in a separate Hall of Fame. If things keep going the way they are, some guy from Hollywood will be voted into the Hall of Fame."

    As far as Jackson is concerned, there shouldn't even be a composite ballot for non-players. Former union leader Marvin Miller helped create a system that made millionaires of many players in Jackson's time, yet a plaque in Cooperstown was denied Miller, who received 35 votes (44 percent).

    "Marvin Miller was a great figure in the game's history who deserves some honor," Jackson said, "but the Hall of Fame should be for players only."

    By deciding not to take part in the Veterans Committee process, Jackson also cost Yankees manager Joe Torre a possible extra vote. Torre, who was on the players ballot, received 29 votes (35.8 percent).

    "I couldn't be a hypocrite," Jackson said. "Joe Torre's credentials are as good as some people who are in the Hall of Fame. You look at the dominant hitters of that era. Aaron. Mays. [Mickey] Mantle. [Roberto] Clemente. [Willie] Stargell. Frank Robinson. Stan the Man [Musial] was nearing the end. Torre was pretty darned good in that era, but in making a case for him you have to ask, why did the writers leave him out?"

    Oddly, Torre concurred.

    "It should be hard to get into the Hall of Fame," he said. "It's a special place for the deserving. Those on the committee knew how hard it was to get there. If it ever happens, I'll consider it a tremendous honor."
























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  • #2
    Reggie should talk!

    He shouldn't be in the hall, either.
    Living with the Curse of Keith Hernandez since 1982

    Comment


    • #3
      I basically agree with everything he said. It takes someone as out spoken as Reggie to have the guts to say what a lot of people are thinking.

      And I certainly believe he belongs!

      Comment


      • #4
        I'm not saying that Jackson doesn't bring up some valid points, however here are a couple of things for Reggie to ponder:

        -while it's true that Oliva's 947 RBI fall 754 short of those tallied by Mr. October he also amassed 1952 less strikeouts over his career

        -if Tony Oliva had gone 0 for his next 1000 at bats, he would have still wound up his career with a higher BA than Reggie did.

        Comment


        • #5
          Regarding Reggie

          Arrogant and rude! If there's an outpatient clinic for the chronically wrong Reggie Jackson would be the first nominated!How dare he flagrantly violate the rules and then excuse his egregious behavior as maintaining high standards.!

          Perhaps this old schoolteacher should suggest that Mr. October do his homework before he shoots his mouth off to the press.

          And sadly, because of people like him, the best candidate not in the HOF still isn't there -- Gil Hodges. And people like me who remember Gil as the Quiet Man who hit 370 home runs, was a leader on the great Brooklyn Dodger teams, and might have been the best fielding right handed first baseman of all time; we'll just shed a few more tears and quietly wait till next year.Okay, now its two years)i

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Is Reggie right?

            "I don't see how guys who had 15 years to get into the Hall and didn't make it suddenly qualify as Hall of Fame material," Jackson said, referring to the duration players can stay on the BBWAA ballot. "If you couldn't get in on the writers ballot, why should we put you in now? Look at Tony Oliva, who by some people's standards may be a Hall of Famer. He was a great hitter but only played 12 years because of injuries and had 900-some-odd RBI [947]. Then you look at Hank Aaron, who had over 2,000 RBI [2,297]."
            I'm not overly crazy about the first sentence, since it would appear that he's saying that the Veteran's Committee doesn't really serve a purpose other than some last chance entrance into the HOF. Technically, that may be so, but I'd say it was a place where players whose careers were overlooked but should still be in.

            I strongly agree that only those players whose careers were outstanding should be in. I wouldn't hold the standards so high that you have to be a Mays, Ruth or Ted Williams to get in, but someone like Bonds, Maddux, Randy Johnson, I feel would all get in.

            I wish he'd have discussed more why he didn't feel that Gil Hodges wasn't worthy. He seemed to have his best offensive numbers from 1949-57, and I'd preferred to have read whether Reggie thought he had enough HOF years to warrant his inclusion.

            http://www.baseball-reference.com/h/hodgegi01.shtml

            I remember hearing discusions that even curveball master Sandy Koufax only had 6 HOF years, even though few questioned his inclusion.
            Please read Baseball Fever Policy and Forum FAQ before posting. 2007-11 CBA
            Rest very peacefully, John “Buck” O'Neil (1911-2006) & Philip Francis “Scooter” Rizzuto (1917-2007)
            THE BROOKLYN DODGERS - 1890 thru 1957
            Montreal Expos 1969 - 2004

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by The Commissioner
              I'm not saying that Jackson doesn't bring up some valid points, however here are a couple of things for Reggie to ponder:

              -while it's true that Oliva's 947 RBI fall 754 short of those tallied by Mr. October he also amassed 1952 less strikeouts over his career

              -if Tony Oliva had gone 0 for his next 1000 at bats, he would have still wound up his career with a higher BA than Reggie did.
              I would never question Oliva's skills. Do you think that it was Oliva's lack of WS titles that might've influenced Reggie? I just looked and saw that Tony Oliva played from 1962-76 for the Twins, which had last won the WS in 1924 before him, and 1987 afterwards.

              Several people have said that slick-fielding but weak-hitting Bill Mazeroski only got in because of a 9th inning blast in the 1960 WS.
              Please read Baseball Fever Policy and Forum FAQ before posting. 2007-11 CBA
              Rest very peacefully, John “Buck” O'Neil (1911-2006) & Philip Francis “Scooter” Rizzuto (1917-2007)
              THE BROOKLYN DODGERS - 1890 thru 1957
              Montreal Expos 1969 - 2004

              Comment


              • #8
                I think Reggie, and perhaps quite a few others, were more influenced by the fact that they'd rather remain part of a highly elite class than metaphorically share the wealth. Reggie's been allowed in this elite fratenrnity, why should he want to admit more members? It's not in Reggie's self interest, and let's face it, no one has ever accused Reggie of being a team player. I can fully appreciate the arguments against any of those ballots being admitted to Cooperstown. Although, I don't agree with a lot of them, I don't mind hearing them when they are well thought out and sincere. However, does Reggie truly think no one on that list deserves to be in the same category with him?

                Comment


                • #9
                  I think Reggie's a good example of what might be wrong with having HOF members on the veteran's committee.
                  Retired players aren't always the best students of baseball history, stats, etc.
                  Jackson didn't need more than a quick glance at the 26 players on one ballot and 15 managers, execs and umpires on the other ballot to decide that he didn't want to participate.
                  I think Ron Santo and Dick Allen deserve more than a "quick glance" whether you eventually vote for them or not.
                  I often remain high in the stadium, looking down on the men moving over the earth, dark as ants, each sodding, cutting, watering, shaping. Occasionally the moon finds a knife blade as it trims the sod or slices away a chunk of artificial turf, and tosses the reflection skyward like a bright ball.
                  --W.P. Kinsella "The Thrill of the Grass"

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Reggie shouldn't be in the main hall ..................

                    much less on a committee ...........................
                    Living with the Curse of Keith Hernandez since 1982

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      The Hall of Fame graciously bestowed voting privileges on all living members of the Hall (and the Spink and Frick Award recipients).

                      The rules state quite clearly that submission of a blank ballot would count in the voting. If you don't feel anyone is worthy, Reggie, why didn't you just mail in a blank ballot? By not submitting a ballot at all, your voice wasn't heard one way or another. So you can sermonize all you want about being a guardian of high standards, but the fact is your dance card is empty because you were too dumb to show up for the ball. If Jackson had used his brains, he'd have turned in a blank ballot, thus making it more difficult for anyone to get elected. He acted both stupidly and lazily (go figure) and then spouts off about what a great guy he is for protecting the Hall from idiots who think someone besides him should be elected.

                      Furthermore (and I feel very strongly about this), any voters who choose not to participate (as Reggie and several others did), should have their voting privileges permanently revoked. It's insulting enough to be made to feel that Reggie Jackson (or whomever) is somehow more competant to judge the qualifications of Ken Williams, Marty Marion, Allie Reynolds, etc. (yet alone Tony Oliva, Bobby Bonds and Joe Torre) and we are not. Just because Jackson could hit a home run 500+ times at the major league level? That makes him smarter than us? Or more concerned about the Hall than us? He obviously isn't willing to do any research whereas I'd wager almost every single poster here at Baseball Fever has spent at least some amount of time researching candidates. But refusing to turn in a ballot (for any reason) is ridiculously poor behavior. (I should have suspected Reggie.) It's a slap in the face to the Hall and its rules. It's a slap in the face to the history of this great game and the great men who played it. It's a slap in the face to us, who are willing, but unable to vote.

                      Lastly, Reggie (accidentally) touches on a poignant topic. There should be a Hall of Famer for the Aarons, Cobbs, Mantles of the world. There should be some demarcation line - something to separate Bill Mazeroski from Rogers Hornsby, to separate Drysdale from Sandy Koufax, etc. An "inner circle," if you will. Because the fact is that, far from maintaining a high standard all these years, the Hall of Fame's standards for admission have been all over God's green earth and there's such a large gray area that it is difficult to distinguish who is and who is not a Hall of Famer sometimes.

                      Of course, I guess in Reggie Jackson's ideal world, Cooperstown's Hall of Fame would have just one plaque. His. There wouldn't be room for any more than "the magnitude of [Reggie]."
                      "It is a simple matter to erect a Hall of Fame, but difficult to select the tenants." -- Ken Smith
                      "I am led to suspect that some of the electorate is very dumb." -- Henry P. Edwards
                      "You have a Hall of Fame to put people in, not keep people out." -- Brian Kenny
                      "There's no such thing as a perfect ballot." -- Jay Jaffe

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Chancellor
                        Lastly, Reggie (accidentally) touches on a poignant topic. There should be a Hall of Famer for the Aarons, Cobbs, Mantles of the world. There should be some demarcation line - something to separate Bill Mazeroski from Rogers Hornsby, to separate Drysdale from Sandy Koufax, etc. An "inner circle," if you will. Because the fact is that, far from maintaining a high standard all these years, the Hall of Fame's standards for admission have been all over God's green earth and there's such a large gray area that it is difficult to distinguish who is and who is not a Hall of Famer sometimes.
                        I get the impression that whoever is elected to this "secondary HOF" if you will, would feel like it's a backhanded compliment. Sort of like an asterisk had been placed onto their plaque, the way that Maris' 61 HRs had this.
                        Please read Baseball Fever Policy and Forum FAQ before posting. 2007-11 CBA
                        Rest very peacefully, John “Buck” O'Neil (1911-2006) & Philip Francis “Scooter” Rizzuto (1917-2007)
                        THE BROOKLYN DODGERS - 1890 thru 1957
                        Montreal Expos 1969 - 2004

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Does anyone know who the other people were besides Mr. Goodbar that didn't turn in a ballot?

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            That is weird that he didn't even submit a ballot. I actually would have voted for Ron Santo, but I don't think there were any other HOFers on that ballot, and I would rather submit an empty ballot if I felt strongly about none of them getting in, as it would lower their %.

                            I think that this new system will result in more years with nobody getting elected by the VC. We'll see how long the powers that be in Cooperstown allow that to continue, but I think it's great if it becomes a little harder to get in the "back door". The VC has been responsible for far too many low-quality picks over the years, a little discretion will be nice.

                            And, as far as Oliva, I think that he was a Hall of Fame talent that didn't have a Hall of Fame career. I'd say the same thing about Dick Allen.
                            "The kid doesn't chew tobacco, smoke, drink, curse or chase broads. I don't see how he can possibly make it." - Richie Ashburn

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Is Reggie right?

                              To not return the ballot?

                              No.

                              To not vote for any of the candidates?

                              Yes
                              pb::

                              Comment

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