OT: MLB Hall of Fame Induction

Submitted by Blerg on July 26th, 2015 at 5:11 PM

This afternoon Craig Biggio, Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez, and John Smoltz were enshrined in baseball's Hall of Fame.  All deserving in my, unimportant, opinion.  It's a pretty solid class, and it's very impressive what the pitchers accomplished during the height of the steriod era.  

Baseball was my first love growing up, and I was convinced, like many others, that I, too, would one day be a big leaguer. I followed the game religiously.  This, and last years class, are the first two that I watched for a meaningful amount of time (26 y/o).  So, these hall of fame classes are getting more special for me.

What says you? Any favorite memories from these guys?  As a Sox fan, I'll never forget Pedro's '99 All Star start and tossing Zimmer to the ground. 

Comments

Fralebomb

July 26th, 2015 at 5:24 PM ^

I was dissapointed not to see Ken Griffey Jr. Make it. I know he will, but he should've been first ballot. Easily top 10 CF of all time, probably top 6 or 8

ckersh74

July 26th, 2015 at 8:15 PM ^

Ken Griffey Jr. should approach Tom Seaver's record for highest percentage of votes received. Knowing the way some of the HOF douche canoes carry themselves, I'm not sold that this happens. 

oriental andrew

July 26th, 2015 at 10:10 PM ^

This is true. Greg Maddux is about as close to a shoe-in as you can get and even he missed 16 votes. How you don't believe Maddux is worthy of a HOF vote is beyond me. 

Note: Big Unit clocked in at 97.3% of votes, missing out on 15 votes. He also had only 549 voters compared to 571 last year. Mad Dog and Big Unit were practically even in the voting. 

Blerg

July 26th, 2015 at 5:48 PM ^

I didn't say that. I agree with you. See Clemens, and look at his voting results. I believe Hampton was juicing as well. But, do you honestly think Smoltz, Johnson, or Pedro were doing something?

Hank Hill

July 26th, 2015 at 5:53 PM ^

I don't think that anyone can be ruled out, especially when dealing with type A personalities competing against other type A personalities on a daily basis. I look at a case like Verlander or Roy Halladay and wonder if the drop off in performance (from elite to run of the mill) is not due to a positive test that was never made public, because there was no second positive test. I don't think it diminishes their accomplishments since such a large portion of the league was using, but I don't think that it makes their accomplishments any better either. Did you think Andy Pettite was using PED's?

Blerg

July 26th, 2015 at 6:00 PM ^

Fair enough. You make a good point. To answer your question, no, I never suspected Pettite of juicing.  I will say that it is more likely for pitchers to have a few dominant years and drop off more quickly than batters. It's just the nature of the position. I do agree with your overall point, and yes, most definitely pitchers were abusing PEDs as well. 

South TX MFan

July 26th, 2015 at 5:41 PM ^

So happy Biggio got in this year after the nonsense last year. Loved watching him play. My favorite memory is probably being on hand for his 3000th hit. It was a mad scramble for tickets as everyone tried to guess when he'd do it. He got held out of some games so it made it more difficult. I was able to get tickets for the first game back off a road trip but he ended up needing 3 hits for 3000 going into that game. After he grounded out in his first at bat I figured I was probably out of luck. He then got 5 hits in a row to finish 5-6. What a day.

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Jevy

July 26th, 2015 at 6:21 PM ^

Never understood all the hate Pedro got for throwing Zimmer to the ground? Idc if you're old or not, if you're coming at me I'm doing something to protect myself.

rob f

July 26th, 2015 at 6:44 PM ^

recorded it all for later viewing. 

What I did watch---and thoroughly enjoy---was John Smoltz giving his acceptance speech.  I don't yet know how the other speeches were (I suspect Pedro's was quite entertaining), but Smoltzie was as great on the podium as he was on the mound.  Worth a watch on YouTube or the rebroadcast later (9pm tonight on MLB Channel) if you haven't seen it yet.  Among other things he spoke of, he gave huge props to Alan Trammell for the leadership Tram showed by welcoming Smoltz to the Tigers organization when he first joined the Tigers upon being drafted.  Called Tram 'a Hall-of-Famer in my book".

Smoltz also credited Tommy John himself for encouraging him to get  'Tommy John surgery' when he had arm trouble in his early 30's, as it extended by several years the great career of Smoltz, while at the same time calling into question how and why so many youth league pitchers are mishandled and arms ruined at such early ages.

Though Smoltz never pitched in the majors for Detroit, he's one of my favorite players ever.  And while I understand why the Tigers traded him for Doyle Alexander (a trade that, for all intensive purposes won Detroit the AL East title in '87), I sure wish he had spent his career wearing the English "D".

bwo

July 26th, 2015 at 7:16 PM ^

Though Smoltz never pitched in the majors for Detroit, he's one of my favorite players ever. And while I understand why the Tigers traded him for Doyle Alexander (a trade that, for all intensive purposes won Detroit the AL East title in '87), I sure wish he had spent his career wearing the English "D".

I've always wondered if he would've had the same level of success with Detroit. Remember, the Tigers were a poorly runned team in the 90s. 

softshoes

July 26th, 2015 at 7:21 PM ^

Alexander for Smoltz was one of the best trades Detroit ever made. You can't look at trades like this with hindsight. The last 7 games between Detroit and Toronto that year was IMO the World Series for that year. Some of the best baseball you'll ever want to watch. Detroit spent so much that final week, they had nothing left to give.

And then the Metrodome ate them.

rob f

July 26th, 2015 at 7:49 PM ^

for the Tigers that season.  Turned out to be a win-win for both teams .  Without Doyle Alexander, the Tigers don't win the East that season.  Without Smoltz, it's doubtful the Braves put together such a great run (other than the fact they only got one World Championship) for over a decade in the 90's and beyond.  Sure they had a lot of other good-to-great pieces besides Smolts, but that pitching lineup of Maddux, Smolts, Glavine, Avery (and a few others who came along during that stretch) was the best starting staff in MLB for a long time.

Not likely that Smoltz would have had the same career success with Detroit, but we'll never know.  As he has often said, he grew up a huge Detroit Tiger fan, having been born and raised in metro Detroit.

rob f

July 27th, 2015 at 3:52 AM ^

an online interview (in the Lansing State Journal) in which Smoltz says he was a fifth-grader when he moved from Warren to Lansing. He then went on to say that the move allowed him a lot more opportunities to get involved in sports.

Being that he was a 5th grader at the time of the move, he probably would have been about 11 years old when he left Warren.

96goblue00

July 26th, 2015 at 7:15 PM ^

It is pretty ridiculous that he is being kept out of the hall because some nincompoop voters assume that, in the language of Ted Wells, it is more probable than not that Bagwell roided because he was a big guy, even though there is not a shred of evidence vis-a-vis Bags. He was always a stocky guy. His health naturally declined over the course of his career and, in fact, he missed a substantial amount of playing time because his body simply was in decline as he grew older.

bonsai

July 26th, 2015 at 7:22 PM ^

I was actually at the game when he hit the bird. Craziest thing I've ever seen at a sporting event in person. Watching in real time, where you just see a puff of white, my first reaction was, 'holy crap, the ball just exploded. Randy Johnson threw a fastball so hard that the ball exploded.'

Boner Stabone

July 26th, 2015 at 7:37 PM ^

It is a solid class, but why Jack Morris is not in the Hall is the biggest travesty.  He was the winningest pitcher of the 80's has just as good of numbers as these guys and I do believe he did beat John Smoltz in game 7 of the World Series.  

rob f

July 26th, 2015 at 8:28 PM ^

have HOF credentials but none of them are in (yet).  Maybe some day soon that will change, as the HOF Veteran's Committee will consider Expansion Era (1973-present) players in 2016 and again in 2019 and 2022.  Of the three (Tram and Sweet Lou, of course, the other two), I think Morris is the least likely to be inducted, though.  Best pitcher of the 80's, but still marginal---better than some who are in, but not as good as others who never made it, IMHO.

As for Morris in particular, he did himself no favors with the baseball writers during his pitching career, as he was well known for his surly attitude towards reporters in interviews, especially in the team clubhouse.  No doubt that some of those same writers and reporters, as members of the BBWAA, got even with Morris by omitting his name from their HOF ballots. 

Morris just wasn't a very happy-go-lucky guy with fans, either---I saw this for myself down in Lakeland back in the late 80's.  While on vacation there, we went to a Grapefruit League game in which Morris wasn't pitching.  During the game, he wandered into the first few rows of the stands behind the dugout to chat with some of his friends (we were seated about a half-dozen rows directly above him) and stayed there for a couple innings.  A youngster (probably about 8 or 9, dressed in his little league team shirt) approached Morris and asked for his autograph.  Initially, Morris ignored the kid, until the kid persisted---at which point Morris barked at the kid to leave him alone.  What a jerkwad!

I could somewhat understand Morris being somewhat stand-offish on days he was pitching, but what we saw that day was inexcusable. 

Swazi

July 26th, 2015 at 8:22 PM ^

Jack Morris has as good of numbers as Pedro and Randy Johnson?  Huh?

 

The only guy you can even think about comparing him to stats wise is Smoltz.  And he got in because of what he did as a starter and a closer.

 

Smoltz closed for three years and was a reliever for four and still has 600 more Ks than Morris.  And also a .57 lower career ERA.

 

Smoltz's career WAR (66.5) is also higher than Morris (43.8).  So no, Morris did not have as good of numbers as Smoltz, and certainly not Randy or Pedro.

 

And how, exactly, did he beat John Smoltz in game 7 of the World Series when it was 0-0 going into the 10th inning? Smoltz took a ND throwing 7.1 innings of shutout baseball.