By Glen Sparks
(This is another short post. I’m linking to some interesting articles I’ve read over the last few days.)
First off, MLB.com columnist Richard Justice offers his thoughts about the Hall of Fame. He points out that 211 former players have been enshrined at Cooperstown. (Umpires, executives, etc., also have been honored.) Of the 211, the Baseball Writers’ Association of America has voted in just 115. The Veterans Committee and other committees have voted in the other 96.
Am I the only one who thinks that the number for the Writers’ Association seems low, and the number for the Veterans Committee seems high? Yes, I agree it should be hard to get into the Hall of Fame. But, as I mentioned yesterday, we’re getting quite a backlog of players who seem like worthy candidates. I’d encourage the Writers’ Association to begin electing some big classes.
Should Nomar Garciaparra get the call to the Hall? This seems like a stretch, but I always liked the athletic, energetic way that he played shortstop. He also put up some big years at the plate. Ben Cosman makes a slightly tongue-in-cheek case for the man called “No-mah.”
Finally, baseball retired Jackie Robinson’s No. 42 several years ago. Now, UCLA has retired the number for all sports. No one playing sports at the school will wear No. 42 again. (Three players currently wearing the numbers will be grandfathered in.)
UCLA also has renamed its athletic facilities “the Jackie Robinson Athletics and Recreation Complex.”
Robinson, who was born in Cairo, Ga., but who grew up in Pasadena, Calif., ran track and played baseball, basketball and football at UCLA before going on to break baseball’s color barrier as a member of the Brooklyn Dodgers. He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1962.