Over at “Baseball Past and Present” the guy is running a poll asking you to pick the 50 guys who are the core of the Hall of Fame. In many ways he’s asking you to tell him who you’d pick if Cooperstown was open to only 50 players. All the players on his list are current Hall of Fame members, so you can’t pick current players or those on the HoF ballot. Over at the “On Deck Circle” (see the blogroll at right) Bill Miller has posted his list for all to see. Obviously this means I’m a glutton for punishment. So here, for the first time ever on a blog, (still your beating hearts, team) is my list of the 50 people I think the Hall of Fame absolutely has to have in it (drum roll, please).
My list is put together alphabetically by position with no inference of the order the 50 would be in if I listed them one after the other.
1B: Jimmie Foxx, Lou Gehrig
2B: Eddie Collins, Charlie Gehringer, Rogers Hornsby, Napoleon LaJoie, Joe Morgan
SS: Cal Ripken, Arky Vaughan, Honus Wagner
3B: George Brett, Eddie Mathews, Mike Schmidt
LF: Rickey Henderson, Stan Musial, Ted Williams, Carl Yaztrzemski
CF: Ty Cobb, Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle, Willie Mays, Duke Snider, Tris Speaker
RF: Hank Aaron, Roberto Clemente, Mel Ott, Frank Robinson, Babe Ruth
C: Johnny Bench, Yogi Berra, Roy Campanella
P: Grover Cleveland Alexander, Bob Feller, Bob Gibson, Lefty Grove, Carl Hubbell, Sandy Koufax, Christy Mathewson, Kid Nichols, Nolan Ryan, Tom Seaver, Warren Spahn, Walter Johnson, Cy Young
Negro Leaguers: Oscar Charleston, Martin DiHigo, Josh Gibson, Satchel Paige, Turkey Stearnes
and Jackie Robinson. If you look just at his statistics, you can make a good case for excluding Robinson (as you might for Clemente if you wanted to), but his importance as the man who integrated the game is significant enough to elevate him to the list (as Clemente’s importance for the advent of Latin players is significant enough to add him on without reference to his stats).
My original list ran about 70 or so long. Cutting out the last 5 or 6 was tough. I’m certain a different day, a different interpretation of the stats and other evidence might yield a different bottom few, but overall I’m satisfied with this list. BTW Campy was the last guy in.
Tags: Hall of Fame