Results tagged ‘ Hall of Fame ’

1/6 Hall of Famers vs. the Cubs

Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez, John Smoltz and Craig Biggio were inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame on Tuesday. How did they fare against the Cubs?

* Randy Johnson career vs Cubs: 13-0 in 15 games (14 starts). Three complete games, 1.91 ERA

* Pedro Martinez: 5-3 in 14 games (nine starts), 4.22 ERA. His last game against the Cubs was Aug. 12, 2009, at Wrigley Field, when he gave up three runs over five innings and got the win in a 12-5 decision.

* John Smoltz career vs. Cubs, 15-5, 3.32 ERA in 40 games (30 starts). He fanned 175 over 208 2/3 innings pitched. He had three complete games at Wrigley Field, including a pair of four-hit shutouts (July 10, 1992, and May 29, 1996). In the second game, the right-hander struck out 13.

* Craig Biggio posted a slash line of .275/.364/.460 in 246 games vs. the Cubs, totaling 61 doubles, 34 home runs, 109 RBIs. His 34 homers are the most by him against any opponent.

1/6 Hall of Fame

On Tuesday, the Baseball Hall of Fame will reveal the Class of 2015. As a voting member of the Baseball Writers Association of America, I want fans to know I take this responsibility very seriously. I’ve always felt the Hall was reserved for baseball’s elite, and wish there was a “Hall of the Very Good” for the many others.

That said, to borrow from the San Francisco Chronicle’s Henry Schulman’s post Monday, the biggest issue is how to deal with steroid users and suspected users, and that is completely subjective no matter who votes and how the ballot is structured. I have voted for Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens in the past. I’ll never forget Cubs manager Jim Riggleman saying that when he faced Bonds, he was aware of when Bonds was due up throughout the game and the goal was to make sure no one was on base ahead of him. Bonds’ and Clemens’ numbers speak for them. But after talking to Hall of Famers and other players, I can’t vote for either with a clear conscience because of the cloud of steroid use. Giants fans back Bonds. Clemens has his supporters, and some very intelligent writers who I respect have voted for them. You and I can have completely different beliefs about a player, and legitimate reasons for supporting that player. Neither one of us is a fool; we just look at a player’s career differently.

So, go ahead and discuss who is worthy. Here’s one more story I’ll share (and why I feel the Hall is only for the very elite): I went to Cooperstown for an induction ceremony, and during an open house for HOF members and family, I saw Rod Carew quickly walking through the building, trying to escape. I asked where he was going. Carew said he couldn’t look at his plaque because the significance of being in the Hall was so overwhelming, he knew he couldn’t control his emotions. And this was a few years after he had been inducted.

It’s an honor to be able to vote. Let the discussion begin.

— Carrie Muskat

1/4 Hall of Fame

On Tuesday, the Baseball Hall of Fame will reveal the Class of 2015. As a member of the Baseball Writers Association of America, I have a ballot, and this year, I voted for seven players:

Craig Biggio
Randy Johnson
Pedro Martinez
Tim Raines
Curt Schilling
John Smoltz
Alan Trammell

I have voted for Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens in years past, but I was always uncomfortable doing so. No more. After talking to several Hall of Fame players — and other current players — I can’t include their names any more.

— Carrie Muskat

1/26 Hall of Fame

In a tip of the cap to the Cubs, Greg Maddux has announced he will go into the Hall of Fame with no logo on his cap. The Baseball Hall of Fame announced the cap selections that will appear on the Hall of Fame plaques last week. Induction ceremonies will be Sunday, July 27 in Cooperstown, N.Y.

According to a statement by the Hall, the plaque serves to reflect the totality of a career, details an individual’s accomplishments in the game in approximately 90 words, while listing each team on which an individual played or managed. The HOF works with the inductees on their decision. Here was Maddux’s statement regarding his pick of no logo:

“My wife Kathy and I grew up in baseball in Chicago, and then we had just an amazing experience in Atlanta with the Braves,” Maddux said. “It’s impossible for me to choose one of those teams for my Hall of Fame plaque, as the fans of both clubs in each of those cities were so wonderful. I can’t think of having my Hall of Fame induction without support of both of those fan bases, so, for that reason, the cap on my Hall of Fame plaque will not feature a logo.”

— Carrie Muskat

1/8 Hall of Fame projections

As of this morning, four players are projected to be elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame today, including former Cubs pitcher Greg Maddux. The Baseball Think Factory compiles ballots from voting members of the Baseball Writers Association of America, and Maddux has received 99.5 percent of the vote. Tom Glavine (95.4 percent), Frank Thomas (89.7 percent) and Craig Biggio (78.4 percent) also were expected to get into Cooperstown, according to their results. A player needs 75 percent of the ballot to be inducted.

Hopefully, the following is a link to their results:

1/9 Sosa: “It’s an honor” to be on HOF ballot

Sammy Sosa said it was a “great honor” to be included on the baseball Hall of Fame ballot, and adds that even though he wasn’t elected on Wednesday, “there is always a next time.”

For the first time since 1996, the Baseball Writers Association of America did not elect anyone into the Hall of Fame. Sosa, the former Cubs slugger who belted 609 home runs in his career, received 71 votes (12.5 percent). A candidate must receive 75 percent of the vote from eligible BBWAA members to gain election to the Hall of Fame. Craig Biggio was the highest vote-getter in the results announced Wednesday, receiving 388 votes (68.2 percent). Former Cubs closer Lee Smith received 272 votes (47.8 percent).

“It has been a moment of great honor for me to have my name on the ballot for the first time along with some of the game’s greats,” Sosa said in a statement released Wednesday. “Even if we weren’t inducted on our first time, we are still winners and there is always a next time. God has blessed me with a beautiful family, great career, and I know He will determine my future in the years to come. Baseball has been very, very good to me. Kiss to the heavens.”

Sosa did receive enough votes to be included on next year’s Hall of Fame ballot. This was the eighth time the BBWAA did not elect someone into Cooperstown since the voting began in 1936.

— Carrie Muskat

1/9 Fergie on MLB Network

Former Cubs pitcher and Hall of Famer Fergie Jenkins suggested there may be at least one player already in Cooperstown who has used steroids. During an interview on MLB Network Wednesday, Jenkins said he was quite surprised that no one was elected into the HOF. The controversy over which players did or didn’t use performance enhancing drugs created difficult decisions for the BBWAA voters.

“I’ve heard rumors about four years ago that someone who has been in the Hall of Fame now for a couple years was in that particular situation,” Jenkins said. “There haven’t been any names put to the rumors. I’m not going to be the one who spreads it around but it’s rumors that you hear.”

Bob Costas of MLB Network tried to clarify Jenkins’ statement.

“There have been some rumors,” Jenkins said. “No names involved, just some rumors. He played in the ’80s and ’90s and now is in the Hall of Fame, but that’s just a rumor.”

If someone who did knowingly take PEDs was elected to the Hall, would Jenkins attend the induction ceremony?

“I’d have to think long and hard about it,” he said. “There have been a few players who have voiced their opinions, and it’s been publicized. I think they’d be embarrassed to show because they played the game honest and now they have someone in the game who possibly cheated.”

— Carrie Muskat

1/9 Sosa receives 12.5 percent in HOF vote

Sammy Sosa was in his Miami office on Wednesday, working on his new business ventures. For him, it was a normal work day on a day that was anything but normal for baseball’s Hall of Fame. For the first time since 1996, the Baseball Writers Association of America did not elect anyone into the Hall of Fame. Sosa, the former Cubs slugger who belted 609 home runs in his career, received 71 votes (12.5 percent). A candidate must receive 75 percent of the vote from eligible BBWAA members to gain election to the Hall of Fame. Craig Biggio was the highest vote-getter in the results announced Wednesday, receiving 388 votes (68.2 percent). Former Cubs closer Lee Smith received 272 votes (47.8 percent).

“There was just too much controversy, in my mind, and it hurt guys like Biggio,” Hall of Famer Billy Williams said of the balloting. “[Biggio] had the numbers — you talk about 3,000 hits.”

The controversy revolved around players suspected of using performance enhancing drugs. According to a New York Times story in June 2009, Sosa allegedly was among 104 Major League players who tested positive for PEDs in 2003. Sosa never was found guilty by an official MLB entity.

“I’m like everybody else — you don’t know enough about it,” said Williams, 74, who was inducted into the Hall in 1987. “We, as outsiders, don’t know. We can only look at the numbers they put up. I was just telling [my wife] Shirley, and remembering that they talked about the people who were on steroids [in the New York Times report], that there were 103 people. We don’t know who was on that list. We don’t know who the 103 were. There’s not enough information to say ‘yay’ or ‘nay.'”

Williams said he would not want any player who did take steroids to be elected to Cooperstown.

“If he took steroids to make himself a better ballplayer, he altered himself as a ballplayer by taking drugs like that,” Williams said. “If he did this, and I was thinking to myself, if a guy did this on a Major League level, and hit home runs, not only did he hurt the Major Leagues but he hurt baseball. There’s hitting and running and stealing bases that make you a baseball player and that makes the game good.

“Eventually, some of these guys will go in [the Hall] when it dies down a little bit,” Williams said. “I think there was too much controversy with this election. Look at Lee Smith. Here’s a guy who was the all-time saves leader for a long time and he’s getting 50, 55 [percent of the] votes every year. He led the league in saves for a long time.”

Williams will be at the ceremony in Cooperstown on July 28. He doesn’t expect the heated and lengthy debate over the Hall of Fame ballot next year because of the players who will be eligible.

“[Tom] Glavine and [Greg] Maddux will overshadow the steroid talk,” Williams said. “You’ve got some great players coming up next year — Frank Thomas, too. We’ll see.”

— Carrie Muskat

11/28 Hall of Fame decisions

The Hall of Fame releases the 2013 ballot at 11 a.m. CT today, and it should prompt some interesting discussions. Sammy Sosa is one of the players on the ballot for the first time. In 18 seasons, Sosa hit more than 600 home runs. He’s the only player with three 60-homer seasons, hitting 66 in 1998, 64 in 2001, and 63 in 1999. He’s one of two National League players to reach 160 RBIs in a single season, which he did in 2001. The other was another Cubs player, Hack Wilson, who holds the single-season mark of 191 set in 1930.  He was a seven-time All-Star and six-time Silver Slugger winner. He won the Roberto Clemente Award in 1998 and the Hank Aaron Award in 1999. He hit more home runs (479) than anyone for any 10-year period. He’s the only player in NL history to have six consecutive seasons of 40 home runs. He is the Cubs’ all-time home run leader (545), passing Hall of Famers Ernie Banks, Billy Williams and Ron Santo.

But Sosa’s career also has other elements for Hall of Fame voters to consider. According to a NY Times story in June 2009, he was allegedly among 104 Major League players who tested positive for performance enhancing drugs in 2003. Sosa was never found guilty by an official MLB party. In 2005, he joined McGwire, Rafael Palmeiro, and Jose Canseco at a hearing before Congress regarding drug use in baseball. Sosa’s attorney testified on his behalf, saying the slugger had never taken illegal performance enhancing drugs.

The Hall of Fame ballot states: “Voting shall be based upon the player’s record, playing ability, integrity, sportsmanship, character, and contributions to the team(s) on which the player played.” That’s it. Do the members of the Baseball Writers Association of America, who vote for the HOF, exclude players who did not test positive but are perceived to have taken drugs? We can all agree that taking steroids or other performance enhancing drugs is cheating. But the Hall of Fame is dedicated to preserving baseball history.

“I think you have to judge people for the era they were in,” said former Cubs GM Jim Hendry in 2005. “Unless all the facts are in, speculation is a waste of time. You’ll never be able to go back and figure out who did what for sure. I’m not condoning it at all. As long as there is competitive athletics and people can get away with things, they’ll try to get a competitive edge.”

Where do you stand? Should Sammy Sosa be voted into baseball’s Hall of Fame?

— Carrie Muskat 

7/27 Ron Santo Day at Wrigley

Long time Cubs third baseman and radio analyst Ron Santo, inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame last Sunday, was celebrated on Friday at Wrigley Field. There were No. 10 flags on top of the ballpark and a “10” imprinted in center field in honor of Santo, who passed away in December 2010, one year before the Golden Era committee voted him into the Hall of Fame. Santo’s wife, Vicki, and Santo’s sons, Ron Jr. and Jeff, and daughter Linda and her two children, Sam and Spencer, received a photo from the ceremonies in Cooperstown in which the family posed with the plaque. The family then shook hands with Cubs manager Dale Sveum, the coaches and all the players lined along the dugout. Santo’s grandson Spencer Brown threw a perfect strike to recently retired Cubs pitcher Kerry Wood for the ceremonial first pitch. As they took the field, the Cubs players clicked their heels as they did last Sunday in St. Louis in honor of Santo, who first did the celebration in 1969.

— Carrie Muskat