Wednesday, July 30, 2014


Cooperstown 2014

They gathered in great numbers last weekend to pay homage to three great baseball players. They were being inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame, the venerable institution situated in the middle of Cooperstown, New York. The town is within striking distance of New York City, but just a few hours from those of us close to the border. I strongly recommend a trip to every baseball fan. There are also countless craft shops and stores, so you can take the ladies there without getting into too much trouble.



Most players who enter the Hall of Fame decide what cap to wear. The cap is used on the plaque that is attached to the wall of the members of the hall. There is an exception to that rule this year, as Greg Maddux decided to go into the hall without any affiliation. “I figured that I was in Atlanta for 11 years, and I was in Chicago for 11 years, if you count the Minor Leagues. It was kind of 50-50. Obviously, I did a lot better in Atlanta than I did in Chicago. I never felt like I had to pick. When it was suggested that I go in this way, it sounded right to me.”



Frank Thomas spent parts of two seasons with the Toronto Blue Jays; however, most of his career was in a Chicago White Sox uniform. Some baseball purists disagree with his selection to the Hall. He played a majority of his games as a designated hitter. That position does not exist in the National League, and those that lean in that direction as fans are miffed at the selection. Tough beans, Senior League proponents. It is now part of the game.



Needless to say, this is a big moment in the life of the big guy. It goes without saying that some pitchers cringed when Thomas dig up at the plate. At six feet, six inches, and almost 300 pounds, he could be intimidating. “I’m looking forward to it. For me, it’s still a dream. I don’t think it will hit me until I get up there. It’s pretty serious at this point. I’ve put a lot of thought into it, getting my family prepared and my speech prepared. I want to have a great celebration being inducted into the Hall of Fame.”



Tom Glavine spent most of his career with the Atlanta Braves, but recorded his 300th victory with the Mets. As a player, he was chosen by the Baseball Writers of America. Another committee, the Expansion Era Committee, selects baseball figures outside the playing category. This year’s group of three: Tony LaRussa, Bobby Cox, and Joe Torre. They rank third, fourth, and fifth, respectively, in managerial victories in Major League history. The first two are Connie Mack with 3 731 wins, and John McGraw with 2 763.



Maddux and Glavine were elected on the first ballot. This is the second time in the history of the Hall that first-ballot pitchers were elected. The last time that this occurred was in 1936, when Walter Johnson and Christy Mathewson entered. Pretty select company.



Greg Zaun is a baseball analyst for the Blue Jays, and a good one. He got on his soap box the other day to spout off about the Hall of Fame. He has decided that Hall of Fame members, and not the media, should elect members to the Hall. He then continued his rant by adding that cheaters should be chosen. He thinks all players who dabbled in the drug pool should be eligible. And then he added Pete Rose to the pot. Not by this scribe! Never. Keep it clean, or, at least as clean as possible.



Stick to the present stuff, Mr. Zaun. That is your comfort zone.



James Hurst

July 29, 2014. 







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