Friday, January 18, 2013

Still Thinking About Hall of Fame Voting

Been doing plenty of googling on the Internet recently between quarters here at Heald College on Howard Street in San Francisco. And I'm reading what many writers have to say about the flaws and overall do's and don'ts for what would be a good manner in which to vote for someone considered a Hall of Famer.

Carl Zimring ( had a few things to say that interested me about the subject. He mentions that a blank ballot counts against all and that is something the voters should be aware of. Their moderate stress type focus needs to adjust to the overall picture versus a particular task or problem. But for those who do not vote for anyone they border on severe stress and panic stress. Which is to say they have a definite inability to focus on details and have a tendency to be very indecisive. As for those exhibiting panic stress, let us hope they are not in the position of wanting to remove themselves from the situation entirely. If there is even a hint of such a thing someone in a position to relieve them of their privileges, show some intestinal fortitude and give them the hook.

But like other writers, Zimring is of the ilk that not everybody in these hallowed halls is a saint. Or at least excluding the quality of always behaving according to moral principles that they believe in. Knowing right from wrong and adhering to their influence for determining such a stance. Or in the words of John Cougar Mellencamp: YOU'VE GOT TO STAND FOR SOMETHING OR YOU'LL FALL FOR ANYTHING.

Zimring continues: "Until the current era, the Original Sin of gambling has been the taboo disqualifying prospective hall of Fame members. Players were not being denied for forms of cheating which gave them a better chance to win games. Although the use of the spitball was banned before he was born, Gaylord Perry flaunted his association with the pitch, even writing an autobiography titled "Me and the Spitter," during his career. Gaylord Perry is lauded as a 300-game winner and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1991. Nor was PED use in baseball novel in the 1990s."

In 1991, after 314 wins over twenty-two seasons, Perry was inducted into the Hall of Fame. George Owens of the Utica Observer-Dispatch described the ceremony: "When Rod Carew was inducted into baseball's Hall of Fame, Panamanian flags waved. When Ferguson Jenkins was inducted, Canadian flags were flown. When Gaylord Perry was inducted it began to rain."

"Following widespread use of amphetamines in the US military during World War II and the Korean War, these stimulants made their way into baseball clubhouses, assisting performance in an era when westward expansion and (after 1960) longer seasons made greater demands on players' endurance. Players from this "golden era," including Mickey Mantle, Yogi Berra, Willie Mays, Hank Aaron, and the acclaimed fighter pilot Ted Williams, are characterized as the greatest of players despite playing in a time rife with illegal amphetamine use (widely credited with improving concentration and endurance). In the 40 years after World War II, career records in home runs and stolen bases were broken by men who easily won enshrinement in the Hall. Amphetamine use was considered widespread throughout the late twentieth and early twenty-first century, and sanctions for amphetamine use by active players are the same as the sanctions against steroid users."

And in closing, Carl Zimring wraps a bow around this tidy piece of information,"The history of the baseball Hall of Fame, with its spitballers and speed-freaks reminds us that true cleanliness is illusory. In the biological realm, we know this to be true. Our obsession with disinfectants result in superbugs; our need to constantly remove waste from our bodies and homes puts tons of excrement and synthetic garbage in our waterways and landfills. Absolute purity is impossible to reach, there is no such thing as clean. Even if definiing purity in the Hall of Fame is simply a lack of PEDs, it is hard to argue that the current hall is not already populated by players who have augmented their bodies with these substances."

Bravo Mr. Carl Zimring.

Kevin J. Marquez