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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.

Is The National Baseball Hall of Fame a Place Just for Altar Boys ?

Baseball fans wake up!

After reading an article by my good buddy and colleague Illya Harrell about how Pete Rose, as a manager, ruined the career of Mario Soto, I had to write this.

In his article, Illya said that because Rose pitched Soto on three days rest repeatedly, he killed Soto’s career prematurely. He also said that should be another reason why Rose should not be enshrined in the Hall of Fame.

It has always been my view that the Hall of Fame is for players who were exceptional on the field, period. I don’t feel it is necessary to involve the FBI with background checks, or investigators vetting someone to rattle all the skeletons from their closets.

The Hall of Fame is in critical condition folks. It is replete with drunkards, racists, adulterers and other forms of ill repute and debauchery. What is one more going to hurt?

Wait Cliff, you say drunkards are in the HOF? Yes, the great Babe Ruth was a known imbiber as well as Mickey Mantle, Whitey Ford and probably three-fourths of the men who played in the “dark ages.”

Racists, come on now. Okay, Ty Cobb was probably a card carrying member of the KKK if indeed it was in full vigor during his day. Cap Anson wouldn’t even allow his teams to play if there was a Negro on the opposing team. Color him Racist with the capital not edited out.

Adulterers, really Cliff? Don’t be so naive. There have been men throughout the ages who have stepped out on their wives. Baseball players are no exception. It was a common occurrence in the bygone days for men to “hook up” with women in certain cities on their schedules. Mickey Mantle comes to mind, sorry Mick I love you man.

What I am trying to show is that the Hall of Fame is not a place for “do-gooders”, Sunday school teachers, or altar boys. Not to say that there aren’t some in there, and I love them, but that is not, or should not be part of the criteria for enshrinement.

I am all in favor of role models, don’t misread me. That being said, I like what Hall of Fame member Bob Gibson said. “Why should I be a role model for your kid? Be a role model for your kid yourself.”

You could probably go checking into the lives of everyone of those men in the hallowed hall and find something with which to exclude many of them. I know gambling is against the rules, in fact the Golden Rule of baseball. However, when a man who has had more hits than anyone whoever put on a jock, won seven batting titles, had over 200 hits nine times, has done 20 years of humiliation (albeit self-imposed), he should be paroled.

Give him his due. If you who are reading this article feel he is such a criminal and low-life that he doesn’t belong, please open your own closet and let the skeletons walk free. Let them say, “Free at last, free at last. Thank God almighty, I’m free at last.”

Sources: Baseball-Reference.com

(c) 2009 Clifton Eastham All Rights Reserved.

Cliff Eastham is a Featured Columnist on Bleacher report, where this article was first published.

The Top Five Achievements by the “Over the Hill” Gang

Some of the greatest accomplishments in sports history were achieved by athletes who were considered “over the hill.”

The best competitor on a certain night is not necessarily the strongest, fastest or youngest. Many times it is the one who has heart, courage, intestinal fortitude and a history of conquests.

It is a difficult task to list the greatest achievements by the senior citizens of the sports arena, but I am up to the challenge. Following are the Top 5 events which were won by the “over the hill gang.”

These five are not in any particular order, It was gut-wrenching to narrow it to five, let alone trying to put them in sequence.

I hope you enjoy this nostalgic walk down memory lane.

Nolan Ryan’s No-Hitter at Age 44

On May 1, 1991, Nolan Ryan, then with the Texas Rangers, tossed the seventh no-no of his career. That is impressive on its own merit.

The fact that he was 44 is remarkable!

Ryan was exceptional during that game. He only walked two, while striking out an amazing 16 batters.

Most baseball players have been retired for five or six years by the time they are 44, not doing things that most pitchers only dream of.

As an aside, this was his last no hitter of his illustrious career.

John Elway: MVP of Super Bowl at Age 38

John Elway was voted MVP of Super Bowl XXXIII at the ripe old age of 38.

Elway, engineer of as many two-minute comebacks as any

one who ever played, threw for 336 yards as the Broncos beat the Atlanta Falcons 34-19.

It was the second consecutive Super Bowl win by Elway and the Broncos.

Wilt Chamberlain: Rebounding Title and Best FG Percentage at 36

At the old age of 36, Wilt Chamberlain began his last season.

He won his 11th rebounding crown, as well as shooting .727 from the floor, an NBA record.

The “Chairman of the Boards” topped off an excellent career when many had written him off as “over the hill.”

George Foreman KO’s Michael Moorer for Title at 44

George Foreman proved that if you have the desire and the fortitude, you can achieve your goals.

Many laughed and joked about the ex-champ when he began his comeback as a roly-poly, out-of-shape heavyweight.

After demolishing has-beens and never-weres, he began to take apart credible foes.

After Michael Moorer oupointed Evander Holyfield to win the Heavyweight Title, he took the Foreman fight as a paycheck. He, as almost everybody else, thought big George didn’t have a chance.

After trailing badly on the scorecards through nine rounds, George clipped Moorer right on the chin with a huge right hand that sent him reeling to the canvas.

At age 44, George had regained the Heavyweight Title and much respect from the boxing world.

Ty Cobb – Batting .357 with 175 Hits at 41

Ty Cobb was a great hitter; that cannot be denied.

The fact that he batted .357 at the age of 41 is incredible. It was done by collecting 175 hits over 134 games. He also scored 104 runs that year.

The Georgia Peach proved that if he could make it to the plate, he could still bat well over .300.

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