Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
July 28, 2008
BASEBALL: Cooking With The Goose

In honor of Goose Gossage's Hall of Fame induction, go here for my Armchair GM piece arguing for the Goose in the Hall. I'd been making the case for Gossage since this January 2001 column, but the Armchair GM piece pretty much sums up all the best stuff I'd written about him in the intervening years.

Posted by Baseball Crank at 9:26 AM | Baseball 2008 | Comments (11) | TrackBack (0)

I think, now that the Goose is in (about time), we are going to hear from the idiots now campaign for Jim Rice. My own feeling is unless you have a Hall where hitting into double plays and creating scores of unnecessary outs as a good thing, he is a Fenway Fraud. Blyleven had maybe the greatest curveball you ever saw, and I really can't understand the reticence about him.

I'm also tired about the Gil Hodges for the Hall campaigns. The best teams in history don't have their fifth best player in the Hall, and I certainly don't see why Hodges (clearly behind his teammates of Robinson, Campy, Snider and Reese) should be in. Look, I love what he did with the Mets, and he deserves every bit of credit in getting the most out of Tommy Agee, but objectively speaking, managers with one ring should not be there. If you really want a Dodger first baseman to get the call, then campaign for Garvey. he belongs there -- so does Will Clark, but his name doesn't get mentioned much.

Posted by: Daryl Rosenblatt at July 28, 2008 10:47 AM

Another Yankee great in from the outstanding 1977-78 teams. Definitely worthy.

Posted by: MVH at July 28, 2008 11:41 AM

Whenever you see a campaign for a good but not great player for the HOF, in addition to cherry picked statistics, we always read that he was a "hell of a guy, just a great guy and a great teammate."

Posted by: steve at July 28, 2008 2:43 PM

"The best teams in history don't have their fifth best player in the Hall"

Phil Rizzuto might be an exception. I'm thinking he'd be behind Mantle, Berra, DiMaggio and Ford, but then again, I'm not sure these five were all on the same team at the same time.

Posted by: MVH at July 28, 2008 4:23 PM

I was looking at the late 1920's Yankees teams, and the 1929 team had -seven- Hall of Famers, quite amazing - Ruth, Gehrig, Lazzeri, Combs, Dickey, Pennock and Hoyt. I wonder if that is the most for one team in one year.

Posted by: MVH at July 28, 2008 4:42 PM

It is not. I believe the 1932 Yankees hold the record with ten: 9 players (Ruth, Gehrig, Dickey, Lazzeri, Combs, Joe Sewell, Pennock, Ruffing and Lefty Gomez) and manager Joe McCarthy.

Posted by: The Crank at July 28, 2008 4:52 PM

Wow - I don't think that record will be topped. Can you imagine what it would cost a team to field 9 players of that caliber today?

Posted by: MVH at July 29, 2008 7:42 AM

When I mentioned Hodges as fifth best, I meant position players. I ignored pitchers, too different a breed. I admit I did think about the 1939 and 1927 Yankees, and also the '31 As and '98 Yankees. They aura affect got Coombs, Sewell and probably Lazzeri in also. Gordon isn't in, and he was better than any of these three. The Ruth/Gehrig aura is better than the DiMaggio one I guess.

Also, MVH, think about it. 1951: You have Mantle who was really young, DiMaggio, who was really old, and Berra, who was really great. Then Rizzuto (I took pitchers out, remember). I love Hodges, but he is NOT the best player not in the Hall. He is maybe the third best first baseman not in. Fourth, if you count some of Dick Allen's later years at first, the early 70's he was still great). Clark-Hernandez-Garvey. Mattingly didn't last long enough but he was better too.

Posted by: Daryl Rosenblatt at July 29, 2008 9:04 AM


I really wasn't debating with you. I pulled that statement out of your post because I thought it was an interesting point, and I wondered if there actually were any situations where the Hall went more than four deep on any particular team. Certainly it is unusual, and Rizzuto is a borderline candidate even if you do count pitchers.

I don't know a damn thing about Gil Hodges other than that he was a Dodger, nor do I have any opinion about whether he belongs in the HOF. I truly believe Mattingly would have made it if the back injury hadn't interfered, but such is life.

Posted by: MVH at July 29, 2008 9:46 AM

Goose's HOF credentials appear slim. Luis Tiant deserves to be inducted far more than Goose: Tiant had four 20 win seasons and as far as I know, no pitcher has had four 20 wins seasons and not been gone straight into the HOF.

Posted by: Patrick at July 29, 2008 4:59 PM

Patrick -

I looked up Tiant and Gossage on baseball-reference. Tiant only has a HOF monitor rating of 99, whereas Gossage has 126. I'm not sure how to account for that difference.

I was much too young during Tiant's best years, so I can't really say if I thought he was HOF quality at the time. By the late 70's, I was aware that he was a very good pitcher, but I don't recall that he instilled that kind of "fear" in hitters that Goose did. But being a big Yankee fan, I definitely remember Goose in the late 70's and early 80's, and I'm not surprised at all the he is in the HOF.

Posted by: MVH at July 30, 2008 12:09 PM
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