Saturday, January 17, 2009

Congratulations to the 2009 Hall of Fame inductees

Congratulations to Jim Rice, who was finally inducted on his fifteenth and final ballot. Seriously, aren't his stats the same today as they were fifteen years ago? As someone smarter than me noted though, only now are the stars of the 70s and 80s getting their due. Rice has steadily increased his vote total over the years, even though he initially garnered less than 30% of the vote in his first year. At least this increasing appreciation is one good thing to come out of the steroids era.

Also, Rice's election no doubt pleases Red Sox Nation. However, our equally impassioned base of Cubs fans should be encouraged, not discouraged, by Andre Dawson's near miss. Given the relatively unimpressive candidates coming onto the ballots in 2010 and 2011, Dawson should be elected within the next two years. Dawson was undoubtedly one of the most feared sluggers of the 1980s, and his prowess was overlooked for much of his career until he left Montreal in 1987.

Congratulations are also in order for Rickey Henderson. Won't that be an interesting acceptance speech? Here's a good drinking game--take a shot each time he refers to himself in the third person. While he was certainly no student of the game, there is no player who revolutionized the game more in the 1980s. Although isn't it interesting how lead off hitters with his skill set have all but disappeared today? Stolen bases been deemphasized throughout MLB, and the days of power/speed combos at the top of the lineup card are mostly gone.

Finally, here's my prediction for next year's HOF results: the inductees will be Dawson and Roberto Alomar. But here's hoping that Barry Larkin isn't overlooked...

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