Believe it or not, George Steinbrenner was not voted into the Hall of Fame this week. The late Yankees owner was not named on the required 12 of 16 ballots cast by the Veterans Committee. In fact, he didn’t come close.
Steinbrenner was torpedoed. The man who redefined Free Agency, received fewer than eight votes. To add insult to injury, he wasn’t the only Yankee who got blown out of the water. Ron Guidry, Tommy John and Billy Martin (for his managerial career) also received fewer than eight votes.
Former scout and executive Pat Gillick was the only person selected in this week’s vote. Gillick has spent 50 years in baseball and counting. During the Bronx Zoo, he was Yankees’ scouting director (1974-76). He also was integral in building successful teams with the Phillies, Blue Jays, Mariners and Orioles. Before I go further, Gillick may not be glamourous, but he is more than worthy of enshrinement.
I didn’t find it odd that Steinbrenner wasn’t inducted his first year on the ballot. I did find it odd how few votes he got. Executives are inducted based on their impact on the game (for example: Branch Rickey). Steinbrenner defined the Free Agent and redefined business acumen in the Expansion Era.
I’m not screaming Yankee bias. I don’t think that Guidry, John and Martin deserve the call. I don’t. Sorry. However, it should be noted that Union head Marvin Miller fell short as well. Like Steinbrenner, Marvin Miller redefined Major League Baseball (for better or for worse) in the Expansion Era.
Frankly, what was the Veterans Committee thinking?
In accordance to the Hall of Fame’s new voting regulations, the Expansion Era is defined as 1973 to today. Steinbrenner became Yankees owner in 1973. The Yanks won seven World Series Titles and 11 American League pennants during his reign.
The Expansion Era Committee will next consider candidates like Steinbrenner and Miller in 2013 for the 2014 induction year.
Interestingly enough, none of the voters were allowed to discuss their ballot.
To read more on the topic, check out:
YOU’RE DARN RIGHT I CAN!
Last night I was bored at work, so I challenged myself to see if I could field a team of Hall of Fame Lefties. After all, Left-handed position players account for 49% of all position players in the Hall of Fame. That’s parity and pretty impressive considering that Lefties only account for 23% of the population on a whole.
So, you think this would be pretty easy? Err, not quite. Ever hear of a Left-handed Second Baseman? Didn’t think so… This was harder than using those stupid lefty safety scissors from when I was a kid. In fact, out of my position players, only Ruth and Gehrig bat and throw lefty. Well, here we go.
1st Base: Gehrig
2nd Base: Carew
3rd Base: Brett
Shortstop: G. Davis (This is where it started to become a stretch…)
There’s two kinds of people in this world, Elvis people and Beatles people. Now Beatles people can like Elvis. And Elvis people can like the Beatles. But nobody likes them both equally. Somewhere you have to make a choice… – Mia Pulp Fiction
I ask you this. When it comes to Tom Seaver and Nolan Ryan, do you need to make a choice? I mean, they were both Miracle Mets in 1969. They both pitched no hitters (sure, Ryan has him by 6). They were both victims of poorly timed trades by the New York Mets and both were elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame by a ninety-eight percentile. (Seaver technically has Ryan by .05 of a percent, giving him the honor of being elected to the Hall with the highest percentage ever. But seriously, who’s counting?)
If you haven’t picked up on it, I’m a big Tom Seaver fan. My dad on the other hand lives and dies with Nolan Ryan and since I was a little kid, considered trashing Seaver a personal hobby. Now, let’s face it. Seaver doesn’t have a reputation for being a nice guy. I had two friends who worked with the Mets and cringed at the sound of his name and frankly, most of his interviews as a player come off as pompous. However, I didn’t care. Seaver was a brilliant pitcher and is still (unfortunately) the only player to be elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame as a Met. (Gary Carter went in a a defunct Expo? Really?) He also has an exceptional respect for the game and its history, something that many players of recent could use to take a lesson in. Anyway, Seaver has a card carrying right to be a jerk if he wants to. Like my dad always says, “Tom Seaver is the best pitcher in Baseball. Ask him.”
Or am I just trying to talk myself out of any possibility of disappointment?
If you read my blog on a regular basis, you may be picking up on the fact that I don’t do “well” when I meet childhood heros. What if Seaver was a jerk? Would I be ok with it? I had talked myself into it being ok. Or did I?
When I was an intern at the Hall in 2002, working the induction ceremony, Seaver was there to present the Ford Frick to Harry Kalas. My boss threw me infront of Seaver who was reviewing his notes and I just froze. A cold day in hell, dude!
A. He’s Tom freakin Seaver.
B. Do you think I’m going to interrupt that perfectionist as he’s rehearsing his speech?
C. God forbid, what if my dad was right?!
Well, a year later, Seaver was signing at a convention. My dad and I dragged ourselves out at some ungodly hour. I clutched my prized Number 41 Cooperstown throw back as my dad salavated (and it wasn’t because he just knocked off an Auntie Anne’s Pretzel). He was just waiting to prove his point to me that Seaver was an idiot.
Fast forward three blue slushies later, I put my jersey infront of Seaver and handed him my Mets’ Blue sharpee. I don’t know. Maybe it was because I was wearing my intern shirt? Maybe it was because I’m a girl? Nevertheless, Tom Seaver was an absolute gentleman. Sure, he made a joke about how he was going to make me work for my autograph. (Who’s the comedian here?) However, he chatted with me about my experience at the Hall of Fame, personalized the autograph the way I wanted it and was just an overall a cool guy. My dad moped for the rest of the day. Sorry, dude. Maybe next time…