To the average baseball fan the pilgrimage to Cooperstown is the ultimate experience. I have been going to the Hall of Fame induction in Cooperstown for the last eight years, as long as I have lived in New York State. We will be going to the 2009 Baseball Hall of Fame Induction on July 26th 2009. It is always nice to see the busload of fans from the city of their player’s team.
It is great to see some of the great players on the podium during the Induction Ceremonies, Hank Aaron, Johnny Bench, Joe Morgan, etc. It always brings home some to the feats of these players. Hank Aaron was so incredibly consistent, and every year he hit more than 40 home runs a year. There are the players from the Big Red Machine, my favorite team. Cincinnati fans will never see a team like this again, Cincinnati is now a small market city, and cannot afford players of the caliber of the Big Red Machine.
Rickey Henderson, Jim Rice and Joe Gordon are the three players that will be inducted into the Hall of Fame. Rickey Henderson was almost a unanimous choice (511/539). Why he wasn’t an unanimous choice, I do not know. He is one of the greatest lead off hitters in baseball. The only reason I think that he wasn’t on the other 28 ballots, was because the writers thought a MLB team would hire Henderson to play. He has been trying for years to play in the MLB, as he has been playing in the Minors off and on for a few years. He just cannot quit playing baseball. He is more than 50 years old now. He hit 297 Home Runs, had 1406 Stolen Bases, three years of more than 100 stolen bases, and 2295 Runs, a record he held until Barry Bonds broke the record.
It will be nice to finally see Jim Rice inducted into the Hall of Fame. This would have been his second to last year of eligibility – way too long. People complain that the only reason he was inducted into the Hall of Fame, was because of the organized campaign to have him inducted. Nothing is wrong with that. I have never liked the writers deciding on who is inducted into the Hall of Fame. The fans are paying the salaries for these players. It has been said that 400 Home Runs is a ticket into the Hall of Fame. Jim Rice had 382 in 15 years with the Boston Red Sox. He won an MVP in 1978. He was very much the heart and soul of the Red Sox.
Joe Gordon, a second baseman, will never stand on the podium at the Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony. He passed away in 1978. If it wasn’t for the Veteran’s Committee he would never have been elected to the Hall of Fame. He hit 20 Hrs 7 times, for a total of 246 in his career, a record for second baseman that stood until 2001. His fielding statistics are outstanding – he is in the top 10 for all fielding categories. Another reason that Writers shouldn’t be electing Hall of Famers.. They are only interested in muscles and offense. This is the second time in recent history that the Veteran’s Committee has selected a player for their fielding prowess. Many teams have won the World Series because they have an excellent defense.
I would like to start a campaign to get Andre Dawson into the Hall of Fame. He had 438 Home Runs, 1591 Runs Batted In and he won the MVP in 1987 and in 1977 he won the Rookie of the Year award. He played for the Montreal Expos and Chicago Cubs. Two teams that I am sure that he found it hard to get motivated to play for on some days.