Thursday, August 03, 2017
Baseball Hall of Fame Inductions-2017
They opened the doors of the Hall, just slightly last weekend, to permit three players and two executives to pass into the Hall. Each is honoured with a plaque, a permanent reminder that each contribute significantly to the game of baseball. The Hall is located in Cooperstown, New York, an easy day's drive from this part of Ontario. It is a wonderful place, and a delightful town, well worth the effort.
Former Commissioner Bud Selig and John Schuerholz were inducted. But this is really about the players. The Baseball Hall of |Fame is the toughest of all four major sports' halls to enter. They don't just induct you. You become “enshrined”, almost like having your baby boots bronzed.
Tim Raines entered the Hall as a Montreal Expo. He played for the Expos from 1979 to 1990, with a brief stint in 2001. He also played for the White Sox, the Yankees, the A's, the Orioles, and the Marlins.
During one ten year stretch in his career, he was an elite player. From 1991 onward, he had more hits, more runs scored, and more times reaching base than any other player. Tim Raines could run. He stole more than 70 stolen bases in 6 straight years. He finished his career with 808 stolen bases. He was an all star outfielder his first seven seasons in the major leagues. He won the batting title in 1986. And he won two World Series rings with the Yankees, but not with the Expos. That is indeed a sore spot.
Ivan “Pudge” Rodriguez spent most of his career with the Texas Rangers. He was there from 1991 to 2002, also briefly in 2009. he also had stops in Florida, Detroit, with the Yankees, the Astros, the Nationals, and again with the Marlins. He won a World Series with the Marlins in 2003. He won 13 Gold Gloves as the best catcher in the league, and attended 14 All Star games.
Pudge hit .296 over the 21 seasons he spent in the major leagues. He finished his career with more hits, doubles, and total bases than any other catcher in the history of the game. He also caught 2 427 games to establish a mark for other catchers.
Jeffrey Robert Bagwell played his entire career with the Houston Astros from 1991 to 2005. He had a career batting average of .297. Other impressive numbers? He scored 1 517 runs, he drove in 1 529 runs over his 15 year career, and he hit 30 home runs in nine different seasons. He even chalked up 202 stolen bases. He was a durable player, with 160 or more games played in six seasons.
Bagwell was the “Rookie of the Year” when he broke in in 1991, and was the league MVP in 1994. He was an all star 4 times.
Expo fans anxiously await the results of next year's ballot. There is a good chance that Vladimir Guerrero will make the grade. Other potential inductees include Trevor Hoffman and Jim Thome. Always a fine occasion. See you there next July.
August 1, 2017.