Hall of Fame

I’m sorry, but I’m sick of hearing sob stories from writers who’s favorite player didn’t get elected.

Now having said at multiple times that I am a huge fan of Rob Neyer, I can’t buy this argument about feeling that John Franco was slighted because he didn’t make the cut to stay on the ballot past his first year.  
I don’t have a sabermetric system for deciding who belongs in the Hall of Fame.  My system is the sight and smell system.
If a player looks like a hall of famer–stats or no stats–and smells like a hall of famer, well, he’s a hall of famer.
Barry Larkin?
Hall of Famer.
Jeff Bagwell?
Hall of Famer.
Jack Morris?  Edgar Martinez?  Larry Walker?
All in the Hall of Very Good.
Not the hall of fame.
The true travesty isn’t that John Franco didn’t get enough support to make the cut to stay on the ballot, but that Roberto Alomar needed more than one year to get in.
The guy was the best second baseman on the planet for his era and he needs two years to get in?
The hall of fame shouldn’t be (but probably is) about statistics.
The Hall, essentially like the first Yankee stadium, was built for Babe Ruth.
Because even if Ruth didn’t put up the kind of numbers that seem like video game stats, he was bigger than the game, transformed it.
Johnny Bench redefined the Catcher position.  That alone makes him a hall of famer.
Cal Ripken changed the way the short stop position is looked at.
Hall of Famer.
Sandy Koufax played only twelve seasons, the first eight of which he was an average pitcher, but his final four ripped off a stretch of dominance that hasn’t been seen since–with the possibilty of Pedro Martinez in the late ’90’s.
He, and Pedro, are both Hall of Famers.
Because Koufax was something else, more than just a player, even if for only four solid seasons.
It isn’t about numbers.
Franco might have four hundred saves.
But so what?
Mariano Rivera would be a hall of famer if he had three hundred instead of five hundred saves because he was special.
He did it with one pitch and he was feared by everbody.
Who was afraid of John Franco?

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