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Sports Then and Now



Cooperstown Will Have Many New Members in 2014 5

Posted on January 05, 2014 by Dean Hybl
Greg Maddux could become the first unanimous selection to the Baseball Hall of fame.

Greg Maddux could become the first unanimous selection to the Baseball Hall of fame.

After no modern candidates were selected for the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2013, Cooperstown should have a slew of new additions in 2014.

They are already guaranteed of three quality inductees as former major league managers Bobby Cox, Tony LaRussa and Joe Torre have already been announced as members of the Class of 2014.

Now on Wednesday we should see at least two, and likely more, modern era players earn baseball immortality.

If the baseball writers who vote for the Hall of Fame weren’t so self-righteous, the Class of 2014 might include the first unanimous selection in Hall of Fame history.

Any writer who believes he can legitimately justify leaving Greg Maddux off his Hall of Fame ballot should be immediately awarded a Pulitzer Prize, though it would be more a work of fiction than of fact.

During his 20 year career, Maddux won 355 games, including 17 straight seasons with at least 15 wins, four Cy Young Awards and posted a career ERA of 3.16 despite playing primarily during an era when many hitters were using Performance Enhancing Drugs (PEDs).

If that isn’t enough to justify Hall of Fame induction, consider that Maddux won 18 Gold Glove awards as the top fielding pitcher. His total eclipsed the previous record of 16 Gold Gloves set by third baseman Brooks Robinson and matched by pitcher Jim Kaat.

While Maddux is a Hall of Fame lock, his longtime teammate Tom Glavine might have a little tougher time getting in during his first year of eligibility.

Interestingly, Glavine had more 20+ win seasons (5) than Maddux (2), but finished with fewer wins (305) and a higher ERA (3.54). Glavine was a two-time Cy Young winner and teamed with Maddux and John Smoltz to form one of the greatest starting pitching trios in baseball history. Read the rest of this entry →

Tom Glavine and Frank Thomas: When Will They Be Cooperstown Bound? 8

Posted on February 14, 2010 by Dean Hybl
Will Frank Thomas and Tom Glavine enter the Hall of Fame when they become eligible in 2014?

Will Frank Thomas and Tom Glavine enter the Hall of Fame when they become eligible in 2014?

Now that Frank Thomas and Tom Glavine have both officially retired from Major League Baseball, it is time for that time honored tradition of debating whether they are Hall of Fame bound.

In both cases, I don’t think it is a matter as much of ‘if” they will get the call from Cooperstown, but instead “when” they will actually receive the prestigious honor.

With first-year nominee Roberto Alomar just missing selection in 2010, it served as a reminder that not everyone who seems a lock to get into the Hall of Fame will receive enough support in their initial year of eligibility.

In fact, when you look at players with comparable careers to both Thomas and Glavine, it might actually be considered a surprise if either of these great players actually reach the 75% mark during their first year of eligibility.

Given that he eclipsed the magical 300-win plateau, it might be a bit of a surprise to suggest that Glavine is not a first ballot lock.

However, both the history of similar candidates and the other candidates on the ballot in 2014 could conspire to hurt Glavine’s chances of first time induction.

Of the 20 pitchers with 300 or more victories and who are now eligible for the Hall of Fame, all 20 have plaques in Cooperstown.

However, of the eight pitchers who have reached 300 victories since 1950, only three (Tom Seaver, Steve Carlton and Nolan Ryan) reached the Hall of Fame in their initial year of eligibility. Read the rest of this entry →

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  • Vintage Athlete of the Month

    • Bill Freehan: Michigan Man
      May 12, 2018 | 6:21 pm

      The Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month was an 11-time American League All-Star at one of the most demanding positions in baseball, yet outside of Detroit his exploits have been largely forgotten.

      For more than a decade, Bill Freehan was the rock behind home plate for the Detroit Tigers. In addition to earning All-Star honors 10 straight years and 11 times overall, Freehan was a five-time Gold Glove winner and in 1968 finished second in the American League in the MVP voting.

      A true “Michigan Man”, Freehan played his entire sports career representing teams from Michigan.

      Read more »

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