August 28, 2014

No Tears for George

December 7, 2010 by · 2 Comments 

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.  On Monday, December 6, the sports newscaster announced that George Steinbrenner was not elected to the Hall of Fame – and that was it.  No mention that Pat Gillick was elected or any comments about the other candidates on the ballot.  I thought to myself:  No wonder non-New Yorkers think of us in a certain way.

If ever the “character” issue was relevant to someone being in the Hall of Fame, it is for Boss George.  George Steinbrenner was suspended from baseball not once but TWICE.  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.  And Fay Vincent suspended him for paying a gambler to dig up dirt on Dave Winfield (a true Hall of Famer).  Character?  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 “character” issues.  So, here is my thought.  If “character” is supposed to be a consideration for induction into the Hall of Fame, I believe that the Veterans Committee should adopt the following resolution:  “Be it resolved that George Steinbrenner will be considered next for the Hall immediately following the induction of Dick Allen.”

I really enjoyed the quote attributed to Johnny Bench after the election regarding Steinbrenner’s ability as an owner:  “It’s kind of like, if Glass had $200 million a year in Kansas City, he’d probably be a winner, too.”  Amen to that.

Mike Hoban is professor emeritus of mathematics at City U of NY.  He is the author of the soon-to-be-available, A GOOD CAWS: The 2011 Hall of Fame Handbook.

Comments

2 Responses to “No Tears for George”
  1. I’m not going to get all impassioned arguing for George Steinbrenner’s Hall of Fame candidacy, but that Bench quote is a joke. Sure, Steinbrenner had the New York advantage going for him, but he deserves some credit for building that franchise back up to what it once was, so he’s part of the reason they have $200 million to spend in the first place. The character argument is a much better one.

    Will Bench’s logic apply to Joe Torre when he’s up for the Hall as a manager? In fact, during the years that the Yankees payroll far outgrew the rest of the league, he didn’t win. Should that work against him? Maybe it should, but considering every manager whose won three or more World Series is in the Hall, I doubt it will.

  2. Put Steinbrenner in the Businessmen’s HOF, if there is such a place, as he turned once respected organization that had gone to the dogs back to respectability and then some.

    Put Steinbrenner in the Yankees’ HOF for the same reason. Isn’t his plaque in Monument Park something like three times larger than anybody else’s? What does that tell you?

    But Steinbrenner didn’t do shit for baseball. Like a poker player with more chips than everyone else at the table combined (and he came into the game with a lot of that large stack), he won because he bought hands, not because he outplayed the other players.

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