The Hall of Fame ballots came out today and, naturally, they’re going to bring up a wellspring of unhappy voters, unhappy fans, and unhappy column writers.
Put simply, there is no way to write a Hall of Fame article without upsetting a large majority of your readership. Until now. Like the Hallmark Channel, Old Time Family Baseball has uncovered the one Hall of Fame article that can upset no one.
Reprinted from the Lansberg Evening Times:
The Hall of Fame Ballot: A Smorgasbord of Delight by Morgan Sandler
Earlier today, the BBWAA, or Baseball Writer’s Association of America, released their annual Hall of Fame ballot. The ballot has 36 former players on it, and boy, did these guys sure play baseball.
I could never quite cut it baseball, no sir. Sure, I gave it the ol’ college trying, swatting at the ball with that big ole piece of lumber, but time and again I’d come up missing, walking home with my tail between my legs, crying into my mother’s apron. Those were dreams dashed, but they helped turn to the pen and paper, giving me the ability to write about these players. These players, who, nuh uh, never had days like that.
Looking at the list, where does one even begin? So many options, it’s a veritable Baskin Robbins of baseball.
Even getting to vote for the Hall of Fame reminds me of what a great country America is. True democracy, that’s something, with the grand game of baseball leading the way. Makes me wonder if George Washington would have been a good ballplayer, if the game existed when he was alive.
You know, there was once a ballplayer named George Washington Zabel, though he went by the name Zip for some reason. Hall of Fame name, even if he’s not in the actual Hall of Fame.
Anyway, where was I? Oh yes, the Hall of Fame voting. Well, you could vote for pitchers like wowee! Armando Benitez! He sure did throw the ball hard. And he holds the record for blown saves in the playoffs. You know what they say, you can’t lose the game when you’re not in the game. So I’ll put him down as a maybe.
And hey, there’s Mike Piazza. Did you know that he wrote a book? Don’t know if I’d call it a Man Booker Prize winner, but he should really hold his head up high for finishing it. An author/baseball player/10-10-220 pitchman? Talk about a triple threat. Another great maybe on my ballot.
Greg Maddux. Wow! He wore glasses, not a lot of ballplayers wear glasses. And even fewer win more than 300 games. Definite maybe from me.
And look at these sluggers with all of their big, towering flyballs. Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa, Barry Bonds, Jeff Bagwell. Wow. Watching those big flyballs leave the ballpark always made me think of the first time I got on an airplane. It was a crop duster and me and Pa were spraying the fields. We were up so high, the people looked like little ants. It was the most magical day of my life. Of course, that crop duster came down and Pa never did walk again, but I can’t hold that against these players. They didn’t cause the massive engine failure. Big maybes.
Then there’s Tim Raines, he invented head-first sliding, a regular Steve Jobs of baseball. Todd Jones, he had a mustache! And, gee, Sean Casey is on this ballot too?
I tell ya, I ran into Sean Casey at an Eat ‘N Gulp and he was practically the nicest guy I ever met. We talked for 20 minutes about everything, the weather, how expensive haircuts were getting, where to find the best deals on Tommy Bahama. Everything. Real class act. Huge maybes all around.
You know, this voting business is going to be awfully difficult, and I’m going to have to do some hard thinking on each of these guys. Might turn out to be like the Presidential election when I voted for both Barack Obama and Mitt Romney. They told me I couldn’t do it, but hey, who’s gonna stop me from punching out both chads?
No matter how it turns out when the results are announced in January, they’re all Hall of Famers in my book.
Morgan Sandler has been writing for the Lansberg Evening Times for 37 years and has been a BBWAA member for 33. His wife makes the best blueberry pie in three counties. Come on over on Thanksgiving and have a slice, she’d love to see ya!