Monday, July 25, 2011

Alomar, Blyleven, Gillick elected to Hall

Roberto Alomar, Bert Blyleven, and Pat Gillick were enshrined in the National Baseball Hall of Fame on Sunday in Cooperstown, NY. Alomar became the first player to go in as a Blue Jay and only the 3rd Puerto Rican (Clemente, Cepeda), and he is arguably the greatest defensive 2nd baseman of all time. He was also an great switch-hitting talent, amassing over 2,700 hits during his 17-year career. Blyleven finally got the call on his 14th year on the ballot and perhaps was only handicapped by his reputation during his playing days as a selfish whiner. He finished his career just 13 wins shy of 300 and 5th all-time in strikeouts with 3,701, and certainly by the numbers did not deserve to have waited this long to get into Cooperstown. Pat Gillick was a 3x World Series Champion as a general manager and was the engineer of the Toronto Blue Jays over the course of 3 decades. He retired in 2008 following his World Series Championship with the Phillies. Every single team he was a part of made the playoffs at least twice, and neither the Blue Jays, Orioles, nor Mariners have made the playoffs since his departure. Besides capturing back-to-back titles with the Jays in 1992-93 (teams that featured fellow inductee Alomar), Gillick is perhaps most known for heading the team with the highest single-season win total of all time, the 2001 Mariners (116-46).

With the advent of the MLB Network and, I've been able to watch parts of the induction ceremonies over the past few years, and it looks like an amazing experience. The groves of people that came in from Canada, Holland, Minnesota, and Puerto Rico to pay tribute to these three baseball greats was simply incredible. I know that being the baseball fans that we are, that Erik and I eventually have to make the trek out to rural New York to attend an Induction Sunday. But when do we go? Here are some of the players coming up for election in the next 5 years:

2012 - Bernie Williams
2013 - Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Craig Biggio, Curt Schilling, Sammy Sosa, Mike Piazza, David Wells, Kenny Lofton, Jose Mesa
2014 - Moises Alou, Tom Glavine, Greg Maddux, Mike Mussina, Jeff Kent, Frank Thomas
2015 - Carlos Delgado, Nomar Garciaparra, Pedro Martinez, Randy Johnson, John Smoltz, Gary Sheffield
2016 - Ken Griffey Jr, Trevor Hoffman, Andy Pettitte, Billy Wagner

I mean, look at some of these classes, 2013 is a beast! I feel really honored that I got to see all 9 of those guys play in their final season during our '07 tour. I think holding out for Glavine and Maddux going in together would be my top choice right now but you can't go wrong with any of these years. It would be interesting to see if they intentionally don't vote in Glavine and Maddux on the first ballot so that they can go in with Smoltz in '15. The only bad part about this imminent trip to Cooperstown is that the Oneonta Tigers moved, so we'll have to drive 90 minutes to Binghamton to actually watch ball. Oh well.

Brewers 54-49, -- (3 v. Cubs, 3 v. Astros)
Reds 50-51, -3.0 (4 v. Mets, 3 v. Giants)
Twins 47-54, -7.0 (4 @ Rangers, 3 @ Athletics)

Erik - 10
Peter - 30

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