Doug Wolter

Wolter: Too many in the baseball hall? Or too few?

The definition of this will be relaxation in grading, which in some teachers gives students better grades than they deserve.

That, and other issues come to mind now when we learn that because there are no new slam-dunk HOF choices qualified this year, the chances of Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens and Curt Schilling suddenly look bleak.

A baseball writer wrote online this week that the most important newcomers include pitchers Barry Zito, Tim Hudson, Mark Buehrle and AJ Burnett, and outfielder Torii Hunter.

Yes, it’s a very good year to be bonds, Clemens and Schilling.

Now, if you ask me, the best player in the newcomer group is the former Minnesota Twin Hunter, an outstanding team leader who collected 2,452 hits, 353 home runs and 1391 RBIs in his career. Hall of Fame goals? I just do not think so. Hall of Very Good. Certainly.

Maybe they should make a Hall of Very Good, and Torii would fit in nicely. They could build it in Minnesota – maybe St. Cloud or Rochester, or even Mankato. They could fill it with lots of photographs and sell peanuts, and they could even make money.

When it comes to the idea that the real Hall of Fame gets too crowded, I know there are a lot of hardcore baseball fans who agree with me. But there are probably just as many who think I have peanuts to the brain, and if you want to tell me that, just stand in line.

I saw another column from an author who said that instead of the hall being for the water, it is actually the opposite. He said that players from the 1970s until today are “incredibly underrepresented” in the hall compared to those who walked in front of them. But is that not proof of my point? Should we kick players upstairs in baseball heaven because of their careers, or just because they happen to be playing for a certain amount of time?

He also said this: Mike Mussina deserved his access to the hall in 2019. Why? Although he was not as good as Walter Johnson, he was better than Eppa Rixley, who played from 1912 to 1933 and was elected in 1963.

I do not know, but if we are to compare everyone with Eppa Rixley, I wonder where we are going next.

The fact is that choosing the Hall of Famers can be insanely difficult, and for as many voters as there are, there are just as many standards. For example, there are some experts who question the dignity of Detroit shortstop Alan Trammell, who won the entry in 2018. But if you compare Trammell with any other HOF shortstops (Rabbit Maranville, Luis Aparicio, Joe Tinker – just to name a few ) I take Trammell every time.

I was always a bit involved in the election of Tony Oliva. His knees probably kept him out. There are others who demand the election of Curt Flood, who bravely challenged the reserve clause in 1969. That is a fair assessment; Flood’s refusal to be traded literally changed the game.

Here’s another problem. ) (15 All-Star games, three gold gloves and an MVP award), Pie Traynor (.320 lifetime average, six times in the top 10 in MVP voting), Early Wynn (300 pitch wins) and Lou Brock (3,023 hits and 938 stolen bases) do not belong.

Interesting. For most of my childhood, Pie Traynor was considered by many to be a baseball expert for being the greatest third baseman of all time. What happened since then?

I did not want to throw out Traynor, Wynn or Brock for some reason. So am I wavering on my original point that the hall is watered out? Maybe.

But I might as well get back on my original track. Three famous infielders – Joe Tinker, Johnny Evers and Frank Chance (you’ve heard of them) are all Hall of Famers. They played together for the Chicago Cubs in the first decade of the 20th century and were the subject of a famous poem celebrating their doubles abilities. The fact is, however, that they were never exceptional at making double plays, and their HOF selection was primarily due to the fact that their last name could be tightened together in a good rhyme.

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