The Veterans’ Committee’s Vote
Today, the various configurations of the veterans’ committee made their selections for the baseball Hall of Fame. Sadly, they did not follow my advice, and therefore they are clearly a subset of the dumbest people on the face of the planet. In reality, they made two middling choices.
Though no one quite knows what criteria might get umpires into the Hall of Fame, Doug Harvey seems to meet any proposed. He umped a lot of games, a lot of World Series, did well on player evaluations, and even had small roles on TV broadcasts. If you are going to elect umpires, you should elect Harvey. The Veterans’ Committee did.
Whitey Herzog was the only other contributor elected. Herzog is not a bad choice. He led his teams to 6 division titles, 3 with the Royals and 3 with the Cardinals. The 3 Cardinal teams all made the World Series (1982, 1985, 1987), and the first team won it. So why elect Herzog? The problem is not his election, per se, but why him over the other candidates on the ballot. He wins less World Series than Danny Murtaugh or Tom Kelly. Herzog, instead, manages a variety of teams that choke in the postseason. The 1977 Royals lose to a Yankees team that won two less regular season games. The 1985 Cardinals fall to a Kansas City that wins 10 less regular season games. Don Denkinger should not have mattered. The 11-0 loss in Game 7 is simply disgraceful. The 1987 Cardinals fall to a Tom Kelly-managed Twins team that they thoroughly outclassed. Herzog was a good, not a great, manager. He is not a horrible Hall of Famer, but the Veterans’ Committee should have done better.
I don’t know what to say about the executives. Marvin Miller revolutionized baseball and can’t make the Hall of Fame. Jacob Ruppert invented the Yankees that we all either love or hate. Why are they not in the Hall? I cannot even begin to imagine. How the Hall of Fame could have Tom Yawkey and not Ruppert or Miller I will never understand.