Yesterday, something truly incredible happened: My brother raised a good point.
Jason and I were having a conversation about the Baseball Hall of Fame. And, like most of our conversations about baseball, it was one-sided; I make a bunch of brilliant, insightful statements, while my brother listens, drools, and occassionally grunts and/or passes gas. And then, like a lightening bolt out of the blue, Jason made a valuable point: If the Hall of Fame were only for the 20 or 25 greatest of the great players, it would be a boring place.
We all know about the greats like Mike Schmidt, Willie Mays, Joe DiMaggio, Ted Williams, George Brett, Hank Aaron and others. But, as someone who has been to the Hall many times, much of the fun is strolling through the Great Hall and reading the bios and stats of a lot of players who you might have forgotten about, but who were truly great in their day. Learning this history gives visitors a better appreciation for players and the game, and makes the Hall experience that much more enjoyable.
Do I think Jim Rice deserves to be in the Hall of Fame? Absolutely. Do I think guys like Phil Rizzuto, Don Sutton, Wade Boggs, Tony Perez and others deserve to be in there? No way. But that’s the great thing about being baseball fans. We get to passionately debate numbers and players til we’re blue in the face. And the Hall of Fame provides a great forum for encouraging this passion and interest in the game. I can’t wait to go there in July.