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Inspirational Reads

A Goose, a Hawk and a Steaming Bowl Full of Rice

January 9, 2008

Yesterday, Richard "Goose" Gossage was voted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. Behind him were Jim Rice and Andre Dawson, whom many of those "in the know" think will be voted into the hall next year.

Now, if you've read this blog at all, you know that I treat baseball season like a prolonged pecking by an annoying little bird while I make an "ow" noise over and over and over again. Think Peter Griffin on this one.

However, the Hall of Fame intrigues me because now I actually remember some of the guys who are being voted in (or not, in the case of Mark McGwire). I'm not sure how to take this. I don't feel old in many ways, and yet, players I loved as a kid are now up for induction to the Hall. Sheesh. That's an age marker right there.

Goose Gossage was a reliever for the Cubs for a few years (among a slew of other teams), so I always enjoy it when a former Cub makes it in. I also enjoy it when a member of the Facial Hair Hall of Fame makes it in, and Goose's mustache was nothing short of epic. I remember him being a typical Cubs reliever, though. Good at stretches, but enough to rip your heart out. I'm sure every team with a closer (that would be, every team) has the same thoughts on closers. Of course, not every team as Ryan Dumpster...er...Dempster.

I also remember having a lot of Jim Rice's baseball cards as a kid. Being that I can't stand the Boston Red Sox, I'll just say that he deserves to be in the hall. He was a good player. Fin.

The man I want to see in is Andre Dawson. His year in 1987 when he tied for the major league lead (with rookie sensation Mark McGwire) captivated me unlike any other season that I've toiled through as a Cubs fan. It was amazing because they ended up in last place, and yet Dawson came out and gave his all every freaking day. And though he was older and relied on for his power (which is funny now as you see the bulked up power sluggers like Bonds, Ortiz and M. Ramirez compared to the stick figure that Dawson seemed to have), he was still good for a dozen to two dozen stolen bases a season. Yes, he's not an overwhelming numbers guy when you look at his career, but his charisma and effort and never-say-die attitude were important for a team (the Cubs) that constantly was used to and expected nothing but mediocrity and below. He acknowledged the fans and, of course in Wrigley, was loved because he returned that love to the people sitting in the seats. Andre's Army was created because of his stint with the Cubs. I definitely feel he's Hall-worthy, and hopefully he will make it in. Granted, I'm looking through a filter and viewing only his time in Chicago, but when he was in Montreal, he was just as exciting and steady as he was in a Cubs uniform.

I was sad to see that Shawon Dunston won't be back on the ballots as he received less than 5% of the vote. Not that he deserved to be in, but he did have a cannon for an arm and excellent range at shortstop. Most of his errors came from over throwing the first baseman.

Tim Raines, while not a Cub, did play for a while on the South Side. He, too, I think, is hall-worthy, for much the same reason as I think Andre Dawson should be in. I just really liked Tim Raines and had hoped, for a while, that the Cubs could recreate that Dawson/Raines outfield, but it never came to be. Oh well.

Now back to the pecking. Owowowowowowowowowowowowowowowowowowowow.....

2 comments:

Chemgeek said...

I'm surprised Rice didn't get in. Probably next year.

I was disappointed Bert Blyleven didn't get in. Close, but not close enough. Maybe next year. Maybe it was his F-bomb during a live TV broadcast that kept him out... but then again, this is baseball we're talking about, so probably not.

Hap said...

I would have liked Rice to get in. I'm not very stoked about Blyleven - maybe he wasn't dominant enough for me (although he was pretty good over a long span, not just mediocre and long-lived). Gossage makes sense (I figured he almost created the closer role) - I didn't like his comments about Clemens, but they seem consistent with general feelings on potential steroid/HGH users (public and HOF voters - zero tolerance - look at McGwire).