Mets Hot Corner

Sparky, Bench and New Hall of Fame Rules?

Sparky, Bench and New Hall of Fame Rules? AP

I was on my way back to Long Island today, and of course, I turned on the FAN. To my surprise Hall Of Famer Johnny Bench was on. I can’t stand Francesca, but when he interviews the old ball players I can’t stop listening. All the stories and cool moments in baseball history – I’m such a sucker for baseball nostalgia.

Anyway, Johnny is on and they’re talking about the late great Sparky Anderson, who passed at the all too early age of 76 a couple of days ago. I remember watching him coach the Tigers back when I was a kid, especially his Topps 1987 baseball card. He stuck out the most out of all the manager’s cards because he just seemed like such a seasoned baseball veteran. Those wrinkles on his face spoke of long road trips, double headers, sweat soaked wool uniforms and all the hardship of a true, gritty baseball man.

I’m not going to sit here and say I know everything there is to know about the man, I am a Mets fan. But he is always included in conversations alongside LaRussa, Lasorda, Hodges, Durocher, McGraw and the countless other managers that have helped shape the game we love watching today. May he rest in peace.

The conversation between Bench and Francesca continued and Pete Rose was brought up. Bench talked about how Sparky went to go talk to Rose about the obvious and things were better than they used to be. Of course Francesca had to ask the question on everyone’s mind when Rose comes up – will he ever be in the Hall Of Fame?

Bench went on about how Rose was given multiple chances to apologize and get his name cleared up – give himself a chance at baseball immortality.  His answer was always, “I’m gonna beat it!” Well, he hasn’t yet and at this point will never get into the Hall. The greatest point Bench made in the whole exchange was that America is forgiving. He could have taken the heat back in the day and already be entered in to the Hall by now.

The most interesting point of the whole interview was Johnny Bench talking about how he is on a committee now that will be looking over the rules about induction into the Hall Of Fame. They are scheduled to meet in the beginning of December and we should be hearing something about the outcome two weeks or so after that. This interests me very, very much.

I don’t expect to hear some crazy moves or decisions, but it would be great to have some sort of revision to give Gil Hodges a shot. I am still so disappointed that he is not in Cooperstown with his brothers. I know he wasn’t God’s gift to baseball, but he was just “THAT GUY” you expected to be in eventually. What about being the manager of the Miracle Mets? That 1969 Series is still one of the most talked about in history and he played an integral part of that team. What is the deal?

And what about steroids? Do you think they are getting together to discuss how these players will be handled come their time? Will they be using a special set of rules?

You know they have to be pretty angry about watching their records fade away as time passes on and they hold their members and their records in very high regard. What would you do if the new players on the block with their large muscles and large bank accounts came into town and threatened your existence in the record books? I hope we hear something about that subject come December.

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