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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? 9

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 →

  • Vintage Athlete of the Month

    • Drew Pearson: Mr. Clutch
      August 7, 2021 | 6:59 pm

      Drew Pearson

      The Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month is a former NFL wide receiver know as “Mr. Clutch” for his penchant for making big receptions at crucial moments of the game. After waiting for more than 30 years, he is finally earning his rightful place in the Pro Football Hall of Fame as a member of the 2021 Hall of Fame Class.

      During his decade with the Dallas Cowboys, Drew Pearson had a habit of making the big catch at the right moment to help the Cowboys time and again snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.

      The favorite target of Hall of Fame quarterback Roger Staubach, Pearson was widely recognized as one of the great receivers of his era. Though at the time of his retirement many expected Pearson to easily breeze into the Hall of Fame, his enshrinement was derailed by changes to the game which artificially inflated receiver stats and made the numbers he produced during a time when wide receivers weren’t catching 100 passes a season seem inferior.

      Read more »

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