Sunday, January 17, 2010

Jack Morris; or, The Best Pitcher not in the MLB Hall of Fame

So recently the National Baseball Hall of Fame voting took place. Each year, the Baseball Writers of Association of America vote for who they feel should be permanently enshrined in the Hall of Fame. Now, for those of you who don't know the process (and since I know all 3 of my readers, that's probably all of you), allow me to enlighten you. Basically what happens is everyone with a Hall of Fame vote is sent a ballot with the names of all eligible candidates on it. In order to be eligible for the hall, you had to play in the major leagues for at least 10 years, and be retired for a minimum of 5 years. At that time, you are placed on the ballot after all eligible candidates are screened to weed out and only have players who had a significant or stellar career. Now, writers are allowed to vote for up to 10 players. In order to be inducted in to the hall, a player must have his name on 75% of the ballots.

Ok, so all the boring parts are over, now on to the meat of this post. Growing up, I was a Detroit Tigers fan. Being a Tigers fan in the 80's meant that the names Trammell, Whitaker, Gibson, and Morris were the names I knew as some of my favorite players. That Morris was Jack Morris. He was the best pitcher on the team, and along with Gibson, had the greatest mustache.

Simply put, Jack Morris was one of the best pitchers in baseball for a decade. He won more games (162) in the decade of the 80's than any other pitcher. He was on 3 World Series winning teams, the 1984 Tigers, 1991 Minnesota Twins, and the 1992 Toronto Blue Jays. He was THE big game pitcher of his era. When your team needed to win a tough game, you wanted Jack Morris to be taking the hill. He threw a no-hitter in 1984, won 21 games in a season twice, and had possibly the greatest pitching performance in World Series History.

In 1991, pitching for the Twins against the Atlanta Braves, Morris pitched a gem of a game that is still talked about almost 20 years later. He was 36 years old, and on the downside of his career, but was still a gamer, and pitched 3 times in that world series including game 7. All he did that game, was pitch a 10 inning shut out, to win the game 1-0, and win the World Series.

He never finished higher than 3rd in the voting for the Cy Young award, but was also a 5 time all star, 3 time world champ, and when he took the mound, he wanted to finish the game. Morris was of the school of pitching that wanted to pitch all 9 innings, and win the game. He was and is a Hall of Famer in my book, and should get in. Morris deserves to be in, and I hope that it happens for him soon. After seeing Jim Rice get inducted last year, it keeps my hopes up that it will happen sooner rather than later. I will have to post sometime in the future about how the H.O.F. voting needs to be done in a different way, and not by the BBWAA. Writers can tend to be a bit petty at times, holding grudges against players they don't like (such as Jim Rice, who finally got in after almost 20 years).

Anyway, Jack Morris is a Hall of Famer, plain and simple. Let's hope next year the writers vote him in.

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elitza said...

Oh, come on... I (sort of) know the Hall of Fame process...

Tammy said...
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Tammy said...
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joe said...
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