Wednesday, November 12, 2014

A Hall of Fame Factoid

I heard an interesting tidbit in a radio interview with Richard Justice this morning.  The subject was the upcoming convening of the "Golden Era Committee" that will deliberate and vote upon Hall of Fame membership from a ballot of ten people, including, yes, Gil Hodges.

Justice told the listeners that there are currently 306 members currently enshrined, with one of those cool plaques on the wall, in the Baseball Hall of Fame. Of that number, only 115 of those members were voted in there by the Baseball Writers Association of America.  A mere 37.5%, which means that an overwhelming majority of HOF members are in there because of the work of these smaller, select committees.

Now it needs to be noted that these various committees are responsible for selecting managers, executives, Negro Leaguers and such people, and no one will deny the need to include such people in the HOF.  Also, such committees can serve as a sort of corrective mechanism for players who, for one reason or another, never were voted in by the BBWA during the period of their eligibility.  However, it doesn't take much delving into history to know that there are several members of the HOF, who are in their because of cronyism among the guys who served on the Veterans Committee in years past.

Does this cheapen the Hall of Fame?  Perhaps, and Justice did point out that there are guys serving on these committees today, such as Pat Gillick, who take this duty very seriously and go to great lengths and pains to "get it right".  As for me, I have stated that whether This Guy is in the Hall while That Guy is not, is not a matter that causes me to lose sleep at night, so whenever someone gets in, whether I agree or not, I usually just will say "good for him".  

On the other hand, I have to wonder about Committees who voted Bowie Kuhn into the Hall of Fame, and continually fail to elect Marvin Miller.

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