Congratulations to Wade Boggs and Ryne Sandberg, both of whom are worthy inductees into the Hall of Fame. Those who question Sandberg’s election might ponder this: he combined offense, power and defense more successfully than any other modern second baseman including Hall of Famers Joe Morgan and Bill Mazeroski. Only Jeff Kent’s offensive totals exceed those of Sandberg, and Ryne’s defense was clearly superior.
Condolences to Bruce Sutter and Goose Gossage, who were equally deserving of election but were once again slighted by the majority of the membership of the Baseball Writers Association of America, which must be made up increasingly of people who skipped going to baseball games between 1972 and 1994 when these two dominant closers plied their trade.
Sutter, who was named on two-thirds of the ballots in his twelfth appearance on the ballot, and Gossage who was named on slightly more than half of them in his seventh year of eligibility, face increasingly long odds in their pursuit of baseball immortality.
Their best opportunity clearly will be next year when the list of eligible players won’t include any clear marquee names. After that, in 2007, the list will include Cal Ripken, Tony Gwynn and Mark McGuire. I wouldn’t want to be on that list unless my last name were Mays.