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  • Caesar Cliffius

    My name is Cliff Eastham. I live in West Virginia with my wife Debbie, the loveliest lady in the world, and my youngest daughter, Holly who is equally as lovely as her mother.

    I enjoy writing about sports, and love a good healthy debate. My favorite teams are the Cincinnati Reds and the Washington Redskins.

    There are only a couple of sports that I don't write about, Hockey and Soccer specifically. My favorite sports are Baseball, Boxing, NFL, NCAA Basketball, MMA.

    Feel free to look around, and your comments are most welcome. Subscribe via email if you wish.

    It is decreed.....Caesar Cliffius
    this 8th day of December, in the Year of our Lord 2009.

The National Baseball Hall of Fame – Kiss up to the Writers

I would like to talk about the unfairness of the National Baseball Hall of Fame. It’s a sham when you think about it. No, I am not here to harangue about Pete Rose not making it in (although that is total BS). In fact it’s so wacky I don’t know where to start.

Let’s start with the most notable exclusions. We will begin with Andre Dawson. Please, somebody help me. 2,774 hits, 438 HR, 1591 RBI, and a career average of .279. He hit over 20 HR in 13 different seasons. Nice stats huh?

Let’s compare him with a Hall of Fame outfielder….say.. Max Carey. 2665 hits. 70 HR, 800 RBI, .285 AVG. Well, maybe Carey was the better fielder. Uh Uh….Dawson .983 Fielding Avg. Carey .966. Carey was a more prolific base stealer but come on, give me a break.

Maybe sports writers weren’t so arrogant back then. But if you compare donuts to donuts, you gotta take Andre. Did you know he had more RBI’s than Mickey Mantle? Go figure.

Someone who doesn’t belong there is Luis Aparicio. I am old enough to have seen him play (on TV) and know of what I speak. 262 AVG, 83HR , 791 RBI. Oh yeah he won several stolen base awards, but that even coupled with a good glove doesn’t get him in with today’s standards. He had fewer steals than Max Carey did.They must have been drunk when they let him in. He only had 2,677 hits. Today they usually say the “magic number” is 3000 hits. If you put ’em in because of their glove, let’s put Mark Belanger in there as well. I mean, ‘The Blade’ was known for his fielding prowess.
Ozzie Smith doesn’t belong there either. I don’t want to bore you with a whole bunch of numbers but he had fewer hits than Aparicio, not even 100 HR and less than 800 RBI while batting .262. Great glove, the Wizard of Oz. But give him some type of defensive prowess award, he is not worthy.

If he is, then so is Roger Maris. At least Rog won two MVP awards. He along with Dale Murphy are the only two time Most Valuable Player Award winners who are not in. He set a major league, single season HR record which stood longer than Babe Ruth’s. Was his career too short? Maybe, but look at Sandy Koufax. 12 seasons, and only the last 4 HOF material. Go figure. Great glove, strong arm. Maris Pissed off too many reporters. He will never make it unless the Veterans Committee decides what an injustice has been done and writes him in.

Now we can talk Rose. Best hitter of all times. All times. Cobb, Williams, Musial, you name it he tops it. What happened?

He bet on baseball games. Bet, he did not throw them. There is a difference. I know, rules are rules Cliff. Right, but he has done his time! Time to put him in or redefine a whole bunch of stuff.

Do we let alcoholics in? Sorry Babe. Do we let women chasing adulterers in? Sorry Mick and Whitey. Do we let cheaters in? Sorry Gaylord Perry (spitballs). Sorry George Brett (pine tar). Steroids. Sorry every modern day player on the field.
Steroids makes good conversation. Look at them. Bonds, Sosa , Palmeiro, McGwire, Brady Anderson, Luis Gonzalez. Wait, who said anything about Anderson and Gonzalez? Over 50 HR each. Never before or after was anything close. Coincidence, I doubt it.  Just sayin’.

It all boils down to getting your nose brown. You just have to suck up to the writers and broadcasters if you want in. Argue with them, show them no respect and you won’t get in. I don’t care if you win 300 have 3000 hits, 600 HR or a .320 AVG, make them mad and you are out! Yeah, I know Steve Carlton made it and hated the press corps. They had to let him in. I mean check those numbers out if you get a chance.

Some great players miss it and some run-of-the-mill players get in. It will never pan out.

Now I’ve pissed the rest of the writers off and will never get my chance to make the biggies as a writer.

The Five Best Players Not in Baseball’s Hall of Fame

There are many things we could disagree with or argue about concerning the Baseball Hall of Fame.

There are no set numbers one needs to reach before becoming enshrined into baseball’s holiest of holies.

Many are there who, in my opinion, do not belong. And of course, there are others who should be there who are not.

Obviously, Pete Rose would lead the list if he were eligible.

So, read on, and argue if you will, but these people have the stats to be in the Hall of Fame.


5. Dale Murphy

Okay, I can hear you guys crying already. Murphy wasn’t the greatest player of all time, I agree.

I also know that his overall stats alone say very little. For his career, he had 398 home runs, 1266 RBI, 2,111 hits, and a career average of only .265.

Total career statistics aren’t everything. Look at Sandy Koufax, for example. He only had five superlative years, the rest were mediocre at best.

Yet, he is revered as one of the best hurlers of all time.

If you take Murphy’s five best years and average them out, you get 38 home runs, 109 RBI, and an average of .294. Those are MVP stats right there, I don’t care who you are.

In fact, he won two MVP awards during that period. He and Roger Maris are the only two players to have won two MVP awards and not be in the Hall of Fame.

Shameful.

Dale was one of the best power hitters of the 1980’s.

4. Don Mattingly

That’s right, Donnie Baseball.

Again, his career stats won’t reveal what he truly was.
He was the American League MVP in 1985, won nine Gold Gloves, three Silver Sluggers, and lead the league in batting in 1984 with a .343 average.

In 1985, Mattingly knocked in 145 runs. As with Murphy and Koufax, if you take his five best years and average them out, you see that he belongs in the Hall of Fame.

3. Tommy John

Tommy John has won more games than any eligible pitcher not in the Hall of Fame.

However, John has also won more games than 52 pitchers already in the Hall of Fame.

In his long career, he won 288 games, compiled a 3.34 ERA, threw 46 shutouts, won 20 games three times, and was elected to four all-star teams.

He started more games than any left-hander in history, save for Steve Carlton.

If I had the time, I could show you head-to-head how he would beat many who are already enshrined. The man has a surgery named after him, for God’s sake (grin).

2. Bert Blyleven

Bert Blyleven is right behind John in career wins with 287. He ranks fifth on the all-time strikeouts list behind Nolan Ryan, Randy Johnson, Roger Clemens, and Carlton.

He threw 60 shutouts, which ranks him ninth on the all-time list. All eight pitchers ahead of him are in the Hall of Fame.

He won 17 or more games on seven occasions and had a lifetime ERA of 3.31.

When you look at some of the pitchers’ records who are already in the Hall, you begin to realize just how much Blyleven and John deserve to be in as well.

1. Andre Dawson

Andre Dawson is not in the Hall of Fame. That doesn’t quite sound right, does it?

He batted .279, hit 438 home runs, and knocked in 1,591 runs. He hit 20 or more home runs on 13 occasions and was the National League’s MVP in 1987 on a last place team.

He was also the Rookie of the Year in 1977.

Dawson was on eight all-star teams, won eight Gold Gloves, and four Silver Sluggers. He also batted .300 or more five times.

Year after year, he is overlooked by the writers.

If you have the time, compare Dawson’s statistics with those of Hall-dwellers Luis Aparicio and Bill Mazeroski.

Let the debating begin.


Cliff Eastham is a Featured Columnist at Bleacher Report where this article was first published.