April 06, 2006

MLB Cooperstown Collection: Koufax, Clemente, Mr. Cub . . . and Dr. K?: Someone in the marketing department has been doing too much cocaine.

posted by Dan121377 to baseball at 11:28 AM - 35 comments

Good for a laugh, thanks Dan#. (Hey, it's those armchairgm guys again.)

posted by Amateur at 11:37 AM on April 06

Oh, man, I typoed "Clemente." Can someone fix that?

posted by Dan121377 at 11:43 AM on April 06

Yes, good for a laugh, but let's remember that it is the Hall of Fame and Museum. In Wednesday's USA Today, there was an article where the Hall was in contact with Bonds about memorabilia relating to his upcoming pursuit of Ruth and Aaron. Since they hd nothing from his breaking of the single season record, they want to have someting from this period in his career. The article went on to discuss how they are not passing judgement on his accomplishments at this time, that is for future generations to do, but regardless of how he is seen in the future, what he is doing IS part of the history of the game.

posted by elovrich at 11:46 AM on April 06

Yeah, but, uh, couldn't they have picked Seaver?

posted by Dan121377 at 11:58 AM on April 06

Oh, man, I typoed "Clemente." Matt Clement isn't a HoFer? Perish the thought.

posted by yerfatma at 12:13 PM on April 06

We all do realize that "Cooperstown Collection" is just a brand name and has nothing to do with HofF status? You can even buy Seattle Pilot hats from the "Cooperstown Collection."

posted by ?! at 12:32 PM on April 06

I have my Gary Carter '86 Met Jersey. Gooden and Strawberry are very good picks also, but I couldn't see my self with a crackheads name on my back.

posted by Robb Dubbs at 12:36 PM on April 06

You can even buy Seattle Pilot hats from the "Cooperstown Collection." Ah yes, the Pilots. The franchise that gave us a commissioner and 2 Hall-of-Famers.

posted by rocketman at 12:40 PM on April 06

And "Ball Four."

posted by Dan121377 at 12:50 PM on April 06

I always feel weird because I have to almost defend myself when saying I still really like certain individuals as athletes. Whenever I even try to bring up how fantastic O.J. was to watch, or what a great player Pete Rose or Doc Gooden was, people look at me like I condone murder, rampant cocaine use, and gambling on major league baseball. Hopefully, someday, people can still have discussions (maybe even on this site) regarding the athletic abilities and memories these guys (and others) provided without having to either defend our views on crime and punishment or whether or not we think someone's an asshole for throwing their life away on drugs. I realize this is a bit of editorializing, but Gooden really was a dominant pitcher in his day.

posted by dyams at 01:07 PM on April 06

dyams, you're absolutely right about Gooden, and the play where O.J. slides on the frozen field in Buffalo, lands on his ass, makes it back to his feet, cuts back, and outruns everybody on the field to the endzone is one of the best plays I've ever seen in my life. Double murderer or not, that guy was hell on wheels when it came to football.

posted by The_Black_Hand at 01:20 PM on April 06

Amen y'all, and nobody played harder than Rose.

posted by mjkredliner at 02:59 PM on April 06

Not to pull the dead horse card (please). I to whole-heartedly agree with all three of you. It truely is ashame adults (term used very loosely) can't have a conversation about professional athelets with-out haveing their personal lives brought into it.

posted by Folkways at 03:37 PM on April 06

Matt Clement isn't a HoFer? Perish the thought. I don't know yerfatma, because if zippinglou is any kind of seer it just might happen.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 04:53 PM on April 06

this link was worth it if only for my annual trip back to BBref to check out sandy's stats. in 8 games of the WS, he went 4-3 with a 0.95 ERA! that's a crime... also, gotta love that '65 season w/ 382 Ks and 27 CGs. i know, i know. i'm a stat nerd, but that just seems like a line i'd only see in MVP baseball 2005...

posted by ninjavshippo at 09:12 PM on April 06

Did you miss me while I was in Kwameland for a week on another leg of my life-long quest to find a single shred of evidence that life is serious? I drove right past Cooperstown. Why? It's a joke! It will always be a joke, at least until it includes Pete Rose. So he made a dipshit mistake. Make a note of it. After all, it is a part of his fame.

posted by Bud Lang at 02:00 AM on April 07

Gooden. Geez! Makes me feel even worse about Pete Rose (as I put on his HOF jersey) Hey where's Strawberry? Heard Steinbrenner needs a draw at the Stadium....

posted by OldSchoolBall at 05:15 AM on April 07

If you "idolize" these worthless sports stars like Gooden, Rose, and especially the double murderer O.J, you are giving them more credibility as human beings. Its like saying well, Mussolini made the trains on time and Hitler loved dogs. The reason all you a-holes want to separate the playing field from the real life reality is because you ARE ashamed of who your heroes are!

posted by tanuki11 at 08:27 AM on April 07

Yeah, right tanuki. Excellent comparison. Mussolini and Hitler with Gooden and Rose. I never said anything about idolizing anyone. All I'm talking about is appreciating their play on the field. Most people, except the perfect (like yourself) can differentiate between what they did as athletes and what they did when they quit playing. Thanks for making my point clear, though.

posted by dyams at 08:38 AM on April 07

God knows Rose isn't one of my heros. But if any player belongs in the Hall of Fame it is the man who also bet on baseball, Pete Rose. Mike Schmidtt said again the other day that MLB needs to respond to Rose's request for reinstatement. Put Rose in the HofF as a player and make absolutely no mention of his managing days.

posted by ?! at 09:46 AM on April 07

I dunno, tanuki11. Why not compare them with Tojo and Unit 731? Because it's dumb to compare sports stars with insane dictators, war criminals, and cannibals. The Juice was great, and so was Doc, and so was Rose. If they weren't, nobody would care about their foibles. To say they weren't fun to watch play in their prime is just the kind of historical revisionism that your heroes Hitler and Mussolini were famous for. And I'm impressed that you called everyone who disagrees with you assholes (I assume that's what you meant by a-holes). Good one, friend!

posted by Hugh Janus at 02:33 PM on April 07

But if any player doesn't belongs in the Hall of Fame it is the man who also bet on baseball, Pete Rose. Mike Schmidtt said again the other day that MLB needs to respond to Rose's request for reinstatement. Put Keep Rose in out the HofF as a player and make absolutely no mention of his managing days him. I cleaned up what you wrote.

posted by grum@work at 03:24 PM on April 07

I'd have to disagree with you on that point grum. In my opinion, Rose does belong in the Hall of Fame.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 03:46 PM on April 07

A good editor really does make all the difference.

posted by yerfatma at 03:48 PM on April 07

A good editor does make a difference. However, grum@work is to a good editor as is Thomas Bowdler is to John Mack Carter. What grum did was more in the vein of a copy editor who feels he should have a voice. The truly good copy editors are those who can clean up a piece without changing the truth of the article. Grum failed there. I'd say grum was more like the delinquent wielding an ink pen in the library. Sure, he uses letters like the writers found there, but he's merely derivative.

posted by ?! at 06:33 PM on April 07

However, grum@work is to a good editor as is Thomas Bowdler is to John Mack Carter. Oh, get off your high horse. I never said I was "editing" your comment (that was yerfatma's follow-up joke). I quickly presented my point of view by simply altering a few words in your (opposing) comment and posting it under my name. To suggest that I'm "bowdlerizing" your comment is laughable since your original comment remained untouched. The fact that you took it so seriously suggests that you might want to loosen the stick that is wedged deep in your ass.

posted by grum@work at 01:17 AM on April 08

grum. Why the irritation? What's that saying about those who give should expect to get? A casual reread of my last comment will show that I did not address it directly to you. I was riffing off yerfatma's comment. Easily seen as my comment followed directly yerfatma's comment and I mentioned his use of "editor." (You know you can understand why he thought of "editing" -- you used the term "cleaned up" -- a common term used by copy editors.) "Altering a few words" is exactly what Bowdler did. Obviously, you didn't do it to remove the titillating parts, but you did change the meaning and tone. I'd say it was an effective allusion to those who build upon another's words to make their own point. You certainly understood it. I'm not sure where in that hyperbole you thought "serious" was the tone of the day. As far as sticks, my dear, we could say it's time to consult an ophthalmologist about that beam in your eye.

posted by ?! at 09:39 AM on April 08

grum. Why the irritation? I apologize for my response to your comment. It was obviously past my bedtime and I guess I took it more personally than I should have. I should follow my rule of no comments past midnight EST. The "stick" portion of the comment usually isn't how I respond, and reading it the next day reinforces that I was "tired typing".

posted by grum@work at 04:45 PM on April 08

No blood. No foul. I did think you were @work a bit late.

posted by ?! at 06:17 PM on April 08

I find it interesting that the same people who say that Rose's accomplishments shouldn't be disregarded by the Hall of Fame because of one simple indiscretion feel that the whole Hall of Fame is a sham because of the omission of a single player. (I guess we should just forget that Rose made a mockery of the game and that his actions are the sort that threaten the integrity of the entire sport of baseball.) I wonder, if OJ was up for election to the Hall of Fame now, if these same people would fight so adamantly for his election.

posted by BullpenPro at 02:11 PM on April 10

Dude, don't let O.J. hear you talking like that.

posted by The_Black_Hand at 03:16 PM on April 10

BullPenPro: As one of those people. Yes. And I'd still tee a ball off OJ's knees if I saw him. The problem isn't that the Hall of Fame is a sham without a single player. It's a sham because of the silly rules that allow someone's personal life to interfere with admission. And it's a rule that is applied only sporadically. Rose didn't threaten the integrity of the "entire sport of baseball" any more than Joe Jackson did. Rose screwed up. Like Ty Cobb. Like Tris Speaker. Like The Sox groundskeepers. Like Gaylord Perry. Like Albert Belle. Like Sammy Sosa. ad naseum. The way to fix the Hall of Fame is to make induction 10 years after a player retires and base it on his numbers. If you were in the top 1% of players in your era -- you're in. It doesn't matter if you traded wives with another starting pitcher. All this "integrity of the game" is for an entertainment enterprise. That's all. It is no where near the pure game we played in our teens. And even then I bet a few guys corked their bat.

posted by ?! at 08:05 AM on April 11

First, just to clarify, the Hall of Fame did not hire an investigator to uncover Rose's gambling habits, nor did they ask him to sign a confession that essentially banned him from baseball. MLB did that. The Hall of Fame and MLB are two distinct organizations -- while they have a close working relationship, MLB does not run the Hall of Fame, and regardless of whether or not the Hall changes its rules and lets Rose be inducted, he will continue to be banned from baseball until MLB and its commissioner let him back in. The rule that precludes Rose's election is this: 3. E. Any player on Baseball's ineligible list shall not be an eligible candidate. This is, in my opinion, a reasonable rule, and it is in no way enforced "sporadically." Nobody on MLB's ineligible list has ever been elected to the Hall of Fame. The way to fix the Hall of Fame is to make induction 10 years after a player retires and base it on his numbers. If you were in the top 1% of players in your era -- you're in. That is a tough standard to enforce because you would basically have to take all of a player's stats -- both hitters and pitchers -- and somehow combine them into a single number. Plus, guys like Ozzie Smith (who, in my opinion, definitely belongs) would never make it. The Hall of Fame currently holds roughly 1% of all the major leaguers in history, so I would say your threshold is being met there. It is no where near the pure game we played in our teens. And even then I bet a few guys corked their bat. If a generation is 25 years, then you are probably the fifth generation to make that very same statement. Overall, the game has changed very little -- the rules are the same, and there are (as there always has been) a handful of people who are cheating the system to get an edge. John McGraw used to grab the belts of players as they rounded bases to slow them down. If he were alive today he would be so juiced. I'm not sure what you meant specifically by "pure" game, but you and I are probably less pure now than we were in our teens. Maybe that's what you meant. Rose didn't threaten the integrity of the "entire sport of baseball" any more than Joe Jackson did. Absolutely right. They both severely threatened the integrity of the game by their actions. Imagine if you found out that the pure game of your nostalgia was rigged, that every game you ever saw had a predetermined outcome, and the players were just actors in a script. Gamblers have no place in baseball, and while you can argue that Rose only bet on his team and so on, I say if you turn your head on Rose you are no better than the people who turned their heads on Bonds or any of the steroid users. The rules aren't arbitrary -- they're in place for a reason. A zero tolerance policy on gambling is a must to keep the sport from becoming professional wrestling. It doesn't matter if you traded wives with another starting pitcher. Heh. I hope you aren't suggesting that Fritz Peterson and Mike Kekich have been exempt from election because of THAT. Rose is in the Hall of Fame. He is prominently displayed in the museum, in the case for the Big Red Machine of the '70s. It is an institution that preserves ALL of the history of the game, not just the top 1%. Physically, the plaque gallery takes up a very small percentage of the building, and intellectually, it takes up a very small percentage of the Hall's focus and mission. They have shelves of archival film and book collections. They have a jaw dropping collection of photos and newspaper clippings, with individual folders for nearly every person who has ever been associated with the game. It kills me when people say they are willing to throw all that history away because a guy who didn't follow the rules had to pay a price.

posted by BullpenPro at 10:40 AM on April 11

Good comment BullpenPro. "you and I are probably less pure now than we were in our teens. Maybe that's what you meant." Close. I meant MLB has never been pure. The only "pure" baseball is when teens played on sandlots for fun. All organized baseball is tainted to some degree. (Tainted includes playing for cash. Purely my line in the sand, I know.) You made my point with McGraw. MLB has always been tainted. Some players have cheated, fibbed, or did whatever it took...legal or not. I know the rule that stops Rose from being eligible for induction. I don't agree with it. What bans a player from currently playing or managing should not proclude him from HofF consideration. My opinion of course, and obviously not shared by the HofF. "That is a tough standard to enforce ecause you would basically have to take all of a player's stats -- both hitters and pitchers -- and somehow combine them into a single number." -- That gives me an idea. See you in a month. "A zero tolerance policy on gambling is a must to keep the sport from becoming professional wrestling." There's a sports bet line on wrestling??? I did not know that. I could argue the rules are in place to make sure the gamblers don't screw up the betting line. I have been to the HofF. I saw more than enough Rose outside the hall of plaques. He hasn't been "inducted." Which is what I meant by "in" the HofF. "It kills me when people say they are willing to throw all that history away because a guy who didn't follow the rules had to pay a price." I completely agree. It kills me they're willing to throw away all his playing history because of what he did as a manager. I guess I don't see the HofF as anything more than a Library with a special display hall. To ban Rose from that one display room is a waste. (I was just joking about Fritz and Mike.)

posted by ?! at 11:35 AM on April 11

It kills me they're willing to throw away all his playing history because of what he did as a manager. Quick note: He was a player manager for a while, so his betting on baseball games may have (and probably did) include times when he was involved in the game as a player while still managing (1984-1986).

posted by grum@work at 12:23 PM on April 11

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