Apologies if these should be lockeroom items.

Pete Rose: HOF?

It's pretty well established that many of the contributors to this site don't like steroids or their users, and I count myself among them.

How do people feel about someone like Pete Rose? I don't think I need to recite chapter and verse for him, but I'll mention a few points:

  • 10 seasons with 200 or more hits, 3 more with 190+
  • Lifetime .303 batting average
  • Played in six Fall Classics, was a part of three World Series Champion teams
  • Led league in batting three times, was second twice
  • Rookie of the year in 1963, MVP in 1973
  • Hit king - 4,256 career hits

Yes, he lied and yes it's pretty well known that gambling is the cardinal sin for baseball players. But...I have always felt that MLB was being a bit pious, and given the recent ability to look the other way, maybe it was time to look past this. It also seems to me that baseball officials took Rose's refusal to say what they wanted to hear personally. Maybe he is a jerk. But being a jerk doesn't necessarily mean he shouldn't be in the hall.

I had a thought about this. Rose is a publicity seeker and it seems like he just wants to be able to put HOF after his name in order to make whatever money will be offered him for that distinction. Numbers-wise, he IS a Hall of Famer.

They could just put him in with no fanfare. In February. Put up the plaque with whatever disclaimer they feel is appropriate. Inform him that he is still banned from baseball and that he is not sanctioned by MLB to put HOF after his name. Hold no press conference and make no real announcement about this.

So I throw this out for thoughts, since I respsect the opinions of the people I've seen writing and commenting on this site.

What do you think? Should Pete Rose be in the Hall of Fame? Or am I just being a naive homer who is allowing the 1980 World Series to cloud his judgment?

Donny Baseball and Teddy Ballgame

I've probably spent way too much time thinking about this one, but that's what diehard, neurotic baseball fans do best, right?

I've been watching baseball games for as long as I can remember. I read whatever baseball magazines, books and/or baseball cards I could get my hands on as a kid and I never heard either one of these nicknames. Am I the only one?

I'd heard "The Kid" and "The Splendid Splinter" for Ted Williams. I swear to Abner Doubleday that I never even knew Don Mattingly had a nickname. I've asked a few Yankee fans I know about Donnie Ballgame and nobody had heard that nickname. But this is hardly conclusive.

So the question is: Had anyone heard either of these nicknames prior to, say, 1995? I will pull a Hank Steinbrenner here and feel that these nicknames are a product of ESPN and Chris Berman types who think that everyone has to have some catchy nickname.

If anyone has any written or substantiated reference to either one of these nicknames, I'd appreciate hearing about it.

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