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Koufax and Guidry

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  • #31
    Originally posted by jalbright View Post
    Please make the case for Guidry's worthiness rather than against the worst pitcher ever enshrined (Jesse Haines or Rube Marquard, perhaps?) or worse yet, against Koufax' first six seasons. Let's not put him in because other mistakes were made--let's only put him in if he can demonstrate his own worthiness of the honor. Personally, while I have no question he was a very good player, I don't think there's enough to merit the honor.
    My main point was that Koufax is in for what is essentially a six season career. 8 out of Guidry's first 9 full seasons were excellent. He followed those with 3 seasons of decline that Koufax didnt experience. What if Koufax had pitched another 10 seasons & the injury had returned him to the form of the *entire first half* of his 12 season MLB career. You say dont judge him against Koufax's poor seasons. Well why not? Why only credit Koufax with his 6 years of brilliance when a full half of his career was simply mediocre; and he (Koufax) also had no decline phase at all?

    What if Koufax pitched 10 more seasons, the injury was debilitating, and he kept on anyway, a lifetime as a cripple be damned, "I want to be in the Show as long as someone will hire me!!" ? A finish like or even worse than Steve Carlton's... even if it was only 5 more seasons, would Sandy still be a HOF-er?

    He gets HOF credit for 6 seasons & no debit at all for 6 mediocre seasons, and no debit at all for skipping his decline phase. It doesnt seem to me any other players get that consideration in MLB. Bring up Dave Orr or Bill Joyce or Bill Lange or Bob Carruthers and you hear, they didnt play long enough. But Addie Joss, Dizzy Dean and Sandy Koufax are all in the HOF as pitchers with careers that are essentially all less than 10 full "real" (appearing in 1 game is not a "season" in my book) seasons and all built on peak value rather than career value.

    Guidry had a 9 year run as a Yankee starter with 8 very fine seasons in that run. Was an All-Star 4 times. Won a Cy Young Award. Was in the voting 5 other times. Won 5 Gold Glove awards for his fielding. 2 of his BB reference comparables are Sandy Koufax and Lefty Gomez. His WL record in that 9 year stretch was 154-67. How is that not a HOF-er?

    I have no problem with Sandy Koufax (or Dizzy Dean or Addie Joss) being in the HOF, But once you allow one short career player in, (in defiance of the spirit if not the letter of the 10 year rule.) you have opened that door for others to receive the same consideration.

    As for Jesse Haines and Rube Marquard, well... I might not have chosen them for the HOF, and I didnt base my case for Guidry on them; or with them even in mind. But they are in there and like it or not they create sort of a basement floor, like Harry Hooper and Lloyd Waner and other hitters / position players do also. (We wont even bring Morgan Bulkeley up.) I feel that any player that posts a better career than some of the other players who are already enshrined has every right to feel: "If them, why not me too?" Why CANT we have some sort of review process and remove some of the plaques? That, to me anyway; is no more disrespectful to anyone or their memory than having thread after thread & post after post that calls Haines & Marquard (for example) "mistakes". Do a search and see how often either man's name is mentioned here WITHOUT the word "mistake" somewhere nearby in the text. How does THAT honor anyone?

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    • #32
      As much as I wish we could undo the mistakes of the past, I'm afraid removing people from the Hall would do incalculable damage to the institution itself (starting with how the honorees perceive the honor: if it can be taken away, how much of an honor is it, anyway? Remember that many players aren't perceptive historians of the game). It's a shame it is that way, but I don't think there's a better overall solution from the Hall's perspective, and they're the ones who would have to OK any such step.
      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.

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      • #33
        Originally posted by jalbright View Post
        As much as I wish we could undo the mistakes of the past, I'm afraid removing people from the Hall would do incalculable damage to the institution itself (starting with how the honorees perceive the honor: if it can be taken away, how much of an honor is it, anyway? Remember that many players aren't perceptive historians of the game). It's a shame it is that way, but I don't think there's a better overall solution from the Hall's perspective, and they're the ones who would have to OK any such step.
        I know the Hall will never take such a step. It seems to me the honor might actually be stronger for those that remain after a purge. (And.*IF* you believe "there is no such thing as bad publicity", well... everyone will sure be talking about the HOF for awhile after a move like that!! lol ) I think the whole selection process needs to be revamped. Especially the mechanisms for Veterans and figures from the distant past (thinking here of the recent O'Malley and Dreyfuss selections. Where's the basement floor ever going to be for owners and executives now? )

        I just wonder though... what if Haines and Marquard were alive today... doing card shows, appearances at parks, PR, etc. The usual kind of things... and having to hear everywhere they went, from fans, historians, SABRmetricians, whoever... that they are mistakes... in on a pass because they had a pal on the veterans committee or because they were in a chapter of a smash hit book about the early days of baseball, not on pure merit alone. How honored would they feel? I wouldnt want my own plaque (hypothetically, IF I had one, of course) to be there if thats how others felt about the whole thing. Kind of how Ernie Lombardi felt about the HOF when he never made it in, within his lifetime.

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