March 20, 2023

Hall of Doubt

January 19, 2013 by · 1 Comment 

In light of the recent Hall of Fame voting and the questions raised regarding a number of the candidates, perhaps the following poem is timely

The Hall of Doubt?

Michael Hoban


Baseball is our greatest game – I think it is quite clear

Its wondrous past and following, it really has no peer.

 The hit, the catch, the stolen base, the variety within

Where else does someone “sacrifice” to help his team to win?


When I was young we played the sport right on a city street

Or at least a variation – where a bunch of us would meet.

To us it was the sense of joy – that’s why we played the game.

We never dreamed great players would ever bring us shame.

It was a time of heroes – Mickey, Willie and the Duke

Knights in shining armor – not a single one a fluke.

We watched in green cathedrals that were spread so far and wide

And if we were really lucky, our Dad was by our side.


Of course, in time, we all grow up (at least older we do get)

And find some things our heroes did we sooner would forget.

 But even then, just human flaws – just what you might expect

Of other human beings – not the kind to lose respect.

 But cheating? – no, not ever – there just wasn’t any way

That those who played the sacred game could go that far astray.

But now we have to ask ourselves – unless we are just fools

How could our greatest heroes just have broken all the rules?


The game is just a business now – some skeptics would reply.

The rules we used to know so well just do not still apply.

And what about the records we all did hold in awe?

How can we be certain they have value any more?

Mark and Raf and Barry? – and add Roger to the mix?

And who knows all the others who were in on the sad fix.

And what about the players still deserving of the Hall?

Who is to say which players really did not take a fall?


Illicit drugs have changed the game – the one we all hold dear.

Their names are not the issue – be it Cream or just the Clear.

What is important is the fact that cheating has been done.

And sad to say the onus could just fall on everyone.

 Of course, we know that there are those who played within the rules.

At least we hope that is the case – lest we all look like fools.

Let us hope our sacred shrine is not the Hall of Doubt.

For then we’ll know with certainty that baseball has struck out.

Michael Hoban, Ph.D.

Professor Emeritus of Mathmatics, City U of NY

Author of Defining Greatness: A Hall of Fame Handbook



One Response to “Hall of Doubt”
  1. kieser78 says:

    Willie Mays did greenies
    Norm Cash corked his bat
    I bet that if the Babe had ‘roids
    he’d have been a lot less fat

    So you cry and whine about the game
    and want to keep it clean
    Gaylord Perry’s plaque’s opaque
    from a glaze of vaseline.

    tis really time to clear your eyes
    from a silly boyhood dream
    You can’t tell bad guys from the good
    just ’cause they’re on your team.

    Mickey Mantle was a drunkard,
    Ty Cobb did not like Blacks
    Your perfect game was never so,
    its time to face the facts


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