Why The Hall Not?

Every year the Baseball Writers Of America vote to induct famous baseball players into the Hall Of Fame.

And every year there is controversy. I'd like to present my case for some guys that I have always thought should be enshrined at Cooperstown, but are not.

Ted Simmons

Ted played for twenty one seasons with the St. Louis Cardinals, Milwaukee Brewers and Atlanta Braves. He hit 248 home runs, drove in 1,389 runs and batted .285. Plus he was a switch hitter.

Ted Simmons was an eight time Major League All Star and hit over .300 six times. He finished with 2,472 hits. He also has a .986 fielding percentage.

Let's see how Simmons compares to other catchers in the Hall Of Fame. Ted Simmons played in more games(2,456) than Johnny Bench(2,158), Gary Carter(2,295), Yogi Berra(2,120), Roy Campanella(1,215), Bill Dickey(1,789) and Ernie Lombardi(1853).

Ted has more hits(2,472) than Bench(2,048), Carter(2,092), Berra(2,150), Campanella(1,161), Fisk(2,356), Dickey(1,969) and Lombardi(1,792)

He has more home runs(248) than Campanella(242), Dickey(202) and Lombardi(190). Simmons drove in more runs(1,389) than Bench(1,376), Carter(1,225),Campanella(856), Fisk(1,330), Dickey(1,209) and Lombardi(990).

Simmons had a career batting average of .285. Bench finished at .267, Carter at .262, Campanella at .276 and Fisk at .269.

What exactly do the sports writers want? I realize that Bench, Fisk and Berra were the "big boys on campus" during their careers. And I know the writers take more into consideration than just stats. But come on. Simmons led them in most offensive categories. So, what they go by? In my opinion, Ted Simmons should be in the Hall Of Fame.

Dale Murphy

I think this is another no brainer. Here's all Dale Murphy did during his 18 year career. He played in 2,180 games. In those games Dale hit 398 home runs and drove in 1,266 runs. He was a seven time Major League All Star and won the Gold Glove five times.

Murphy won the National League's Most Valuable Player Award in 1982 and 1983. That makes him one of only six National Leaguers to win the award in back to back seasons. The others were Ernie Banks, Joe Morgan, Barry Bonds, Mike Schmidt and Albert Pujols.

During his 1983 MVP season, Dale Murphy joined the 30-30 club (36 Homeruns and 30 stolen bases), making him only the sixth player at that time to accomplish it.

Also in 1983, Murphy became the only player in MLB history to bat .300(.302), hit at least 30 home runs(36), drive in at least 120 runs(121), score at least 130 runs(131), steal 30 bases(30) and walk at least 90 times(90).

In the ten seasons between 1981 and 1990, Dale Murphy hit more home runs(299) and drove in more runs(923) than anyone.

Dale Murphy also exemplified the meaning of a true professional. I had the chance to meet Dale several times during my own minor league career. He was a catcher with the Braves at that time.

I really think he is being over looked by the Baseball Writers for induction into the Hall Of Fame.

Danny Murtaugh

Danny Murtaugh had four stints as the manager of the Pittsburgh Pirates. Fifteen seasons total. His record as a manager is 1115 wins and 950 losses. That's a winning percentage of .540.

Murtaugh is also one of only 36 managers in MLB history to win over 1,000 games.

In 1960, Danny Murtaugh guided the Bucs to the World Series against the extremely powerful New York Yankees. Mickey Mantle and the Yanks out hit the Pirates 91 to 60 and outscored them 55 to 27 in seven games. But Murtaugh, with some help from Bill Mazeroski's series winning home run, beat the Yankees.

Murtaugh and his Pirates were back in the World Series in 1971. This time against the Baltimore Orioles who featured four twenty game winning pitchers. Most experts gave little hope to the Pirates.

After losing games one and two, Murtaugh's Bucs won the next three in Pittsburgh. Game six went to the Orioles and then the Pirates won game seven to give Danny Murtaugh his second World Series win against huge odds.

He was named the "Man of the Year" by Sport magazine in 1960 and was the Sporting News Manager of the Year in 1960 and 1970.

Danny Murtaugh should be given more consideration for the Hall of Fame than he has gotten.

Gil Hodges

Gil Hodges played 18 Major League seasons with the Dodgers and Mets. during his 2,071 games he hit 370 home runs and drove in 1,274 runs.

Hodges was an eight time All Star. Only his team mate Duke Snider had more home runs or runs batted in than Hodges during the decade of the 1950s.

He was the first Dodger to hit 40 or more home runs in a season(40) in 1951 and is still second all time in Dodger home runs behind Snider.

Gil Hodges is the only one of 21 players who had at least 300 home runs at the time of their retirement who is not in the Hall of Fame.

In 1969 he managed the Miracle Mets to their first World Series title against the highly favored Baltimore Orioles.

Lee Smith

Lee Smith was one of the most feared relievers of his day. He is third all time in career saves with 478. Only Trevor Hoffman and Mariano Rivera have more. He was the Rolaids Relief Man of the Year in 1991, 1992 and 1994.

Smith has more saves than Hall of Famers Dennis Eckersly, Rollie Fingers, Goose Gossgae and Bruce Sutter. So what's the hold up for the Hall of Fame?

Pete Rose

And last but certainly not least, Pete Rose. We all know the controversy surrounding Rose.

I agree that what Pete did with gambling should have netted him a life time ban from the game. But not the Hall of Fame. Come on, the guy had more hits than anyone, ever! By far. Imagine what a joy it would be to watch baseball if everybody played like Pete Rose did?

The thing that kills me is that Major League Baseball continues to over look the damage the steroid era has done. Nothing Pete Rose did enhanced his play on the field. His stats are not artificially bloated by drugs. It was all Pete.

Rose is the career leader with 4,256. He got at least 200 hits in a season ten times. Who does that once anymore? A three time National League Batting Champ, Pete was also the 1963 Rookie Of The Year, the 1973 National League Most Valuable Player and the 1975 World Series MVP.

He played in 17 All Star Games(at 5 different positions), is sixth in career runs scored(2,165) and seventh in career total bases with 5,752.

Recently, Mark McGwire was passed over again for induction into baseball's Hall Of Fame. And I don't think he should be elected. He cheated. So did Barry Bonds, Sammy Sosa and a host of others. I know the argument that there was no Major League policy against enhancement then. But it's still artificial.

But what happens when Alex Rodriguez, Manny Ramirez and David Ortiz are eligible for the Hall? If you exclude one player for steroids, seems to me you can't leave others in.

In my opinion, these players did tremendous damage to the game, especially the record books.

We can't for one second allow gambling in baseball. So kick Pete out of baseball, but don't keep him out of the Hall of Fame.

These are just a few players that always seem to be passed over at Hall of Fame time. There are others who I think deserve more consideration too, like Steve Garvey, Bert Blyleven, Tony Oliva and Jack Morris. But I guess we will always enjoy arguments on this subject.

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