No Tears for George
I am a native New Yorker who still lives in the NY/NJ area and I watch the 6 PM News on NBC each evening.Â On Monday, December 6, the sports newscaster announced that George Steinbrenner was not elected to the Hall of Fame â€“ and that was it.Â No mention that Pat Gillick was elected or any comments about the other candidates on the ballot.Â I thought to myself:Â No wonder non-New Yorkers think of us in a certain way.
If ever the â€œcharacterâ€ issue was relevant to someone being in the Hall of Fame, it is for Boss George.Â George Steinbrenner was suspended from baseball not once but TWICE.Â And this happened under TWO DIFFERENT COMMISSIONERS.
Bowie Kuhn suspended Steinbrenner after he pled guilty to conspiring to make illegal contributions to the re-election campaign of Richard Nixon.Â And Fay Vincent suspended him for paying a gambler to dig up dirt on Dave Winfield (a true Hall of Famer).Â Character?Â What is such a person even doing on the ballot for the Hall of Fame?
We all know that Dick Allen is not in the Hall because of alleged â€œcharacterâ€ issues.Â So, here is my thought.Â If â€œcharacterâ€ is supposed to be a consideration for induction into the Hall of Fame, I believe that the Veterans Committee should adopt the following resolution:Â â€œBe it resolved that George Steinbrenner will be considered next for the Hall immediately following the induction of Dick Allen.â€
I really enjoyed the quote attributed to Johnny Bench after the election regarding Steinbrennerâ€™s ability as an owner:Â â€œItâ€™s kind of like, if Glass had $200 million a year in Kansas City, heâ€™d probably be a winner, too.â€Â Amen to that.
Mike Hoban is professor emeritus of mathematics at City U of NY.Â He is the author of the soon-to-be-available, A GOOD CAWS: The 2011 Hall of Fame Handbook.