I’ll Come Back From 1894 In A Moment. But First…

…just mentioning in passing. Nothing against Pat Gillick, but he was the General Manager most deserving of election to the Hall of Fame? Hogwash. Charlie Finley served as his own GM and built three straight A’s World Champions of the ’70s himself, lost them all to Free Agency, then rebuilt a contender by 1980. How about John Schuerholz? General Manager of the Royals, 1981-90 (that would include a World Series win in 1985 and the AL West in 1984), General Manager of the Braves, 1991-2007 (something about 14 straight division titles?). What about Al Rosen with the Yankees?

Buzzie Bavasi, perhaps? Seven NL pennants as General Manager of the Dodgers. Got the Padres started from scratch. Two division titles with the Angels (and a third with basically the same team, two years after he retired). 
Gillick’s selection – combined with the embarrassing ignoring of George Steinbrenner and Marvin Miller, to say nothing of Ron Santo, to say nothing of the BBWAA’s incompetent annual voting – proves the voting has devolved into a popularity contest. It also underscores the necessity of scrapping the Hall of Fame election process in its entirety. I’d sooner have Bill James individually pick the members of the Hall than stick with the current system.

LAST ABOUT 1894:
Until something new pops up, of course. If you’ve been following Baseball Nerd’s Crack Coverage of the 1894 Temple Cup (2nd Place New York Giants upend Pennant-Winning Baltimore Orioles, 4-0, for NL Crown), you might enjoy this:1894GIANTS.jpg
Back Row: C Parke Wilson, C Duke Farrell, CF George Van Haltren, 1B Roger Connor (HOF), P Jouett Meekin, P Huyler Westervelt, P Amos Rusie (HOF). Middle Row: P Dad Clark, P Les German, IF Jack Doyle, 2B-MGR John Montgomery Ward (HOF), OF Mike Tiernan, 3B George Stacey Davis (HOF), SS Shorty Fuller, LF Eddie Burke. In Front: IF-OF General Stafford, IF Yale Murphy
The copyright is attributed to “Prince, Fotographer” – yep, spelled that way.

7 Comments

Hi Keith, Great stuff! And it’s always interesting to read old documents, especially before spelling was standardized. P.S. – Okay, give… what DID you do with the Temple Cup? ;) Kidding! Hugs, and take care of yourself!

Every fan of Baseball has bias and I’m biased towards the Philadelphia Phillies.Despite my bias I’m a rational enough thinker to realise that Mr. Gillick is very deserving of the honor having won 2 world Series 1 against the Phillies and 1 with. The arguement for Stienbrenner on the other hand is based purely upon name recognition,his recent passing and the fact that he was the owner of the most Storied Baseball Franchise in history and that is not enogh to justify enshrinement in the Hall.

I’ve very much enjoyed all of these antique photos.
But how in the world did the fotographer get his two subjects in front (Stafford and Murphy) to agree to strike such an undignified pose?

I think this clears the way for more GM’s and practically guarantees Schuerholz eventual entry, which will be richly earned.

The next name that came to my mind was Gabe Paul, based on that series of shrewd trades he used to rebuild the mid-70’s Yankees.

Keith, don’t forget that Charlie Finley also sold off his team (yes, so did Connie Mack) and was a terrible owner to work for, and that strikes me as a different kettle of fish than whether someone is a decent person; what kind of success might he have enjoyed if he had actually hired good baseball men and not been even more rotten to his employees than George Steinbrenner, not to mention how bad his team was for so long? It’s also hard to judge others: Buzzie Bavasi deserves it, in my opinion, but I could just as easily argue that his success in Brooklyn and LA was the result of the farm system that Branch Rickey built and Fresco Thompson operated.

Also, Ron Santo wasn’t eligible under the current system. The shame is of course that he should have been in a while ago. I’m not sure what your beef is with the baseball writers themselves, since most of the controversy has been over Veterans Committee selections–though I wonder why they never seem to be unanimous about anybody.

Anyway, congratulations are in order today for Dave Van Horne, a fine broadcaster for many years, on receiving the Ford Frick Award.

Steinbrenner is borderline, considering he was suspended by two different Commissioners and, for all the good he did, managed to work the system to his benefit to have stadiums built and his businesses rescued.

But the Veterans Committee should be made up of baseball historians, not a mishmash or writers, historians and — most suspect — of several Hall of Famers who are intent on policing the membership of their club. If you want to keep the HOFers involved, give each of them a vote, but pool them together — so if 75% of HOFers vote for Miller (or whoever), then that becomes one vote to the committee. If the committee’s votes, plus the HOFers’ 1 vote, reaches 75%, then he’s in.

But the Veterans Committee should be made up of baseball historians, not a mishmash or writers, historians and — most suspect — of several Hall of Famers who are intent on policing the membership of their club. If you want to keep the HOFers involved, give each of them a vote, but pool them together — so if 75% of HOFers vote for Miller (or whoever), then that becomes one vote to the committee. If the committee’s votes, plus the HOFers’ 1 vote, reaches 75%, then he’s in.

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