Ron Guidry elevated the great teams he played on

6 01 2011

After my friend Jim Brady tweeted that he was pleased about Bert Blyleven’s election to the Baseball Hall of Fame, I tweeted back, yes, but … with a link to yesterday’s post, explaining why Ron Guidry belonged in the Hall of Fame ahead of Blyleven. Brady initially dismissed the importance of wins:

Too much focus on wins. He calls a season Blyleven had an ERA a run lower a tossup? Can’t use Ws as centrally as he did, IMHO.

I replied:

Isn’t the pitcher’s job to win the game?

And Jim responded:

Sure, but they only have limited control over that. Its a lot easier with Reggie Jackson and an all-star lineup.

Brady’s a Mets fan, so you know he didn’t grow up with any love for the Yankees. I did, so we both come at this with huge biases. So let’s look at the facts: Read the rest of this entry »

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Bert Blyleven belongs in the Hall of Fame, but not before Ron Guidry

5 01 2011

Let’s just get it over with and rename the Baseball Hall of Fame the Hall of Longevity. Because longevity is more important in Hall of Fame voting than a person’s fame or achievements.

Ron Guidry, photo I took in 1977 with his daughter

I’ll start by saying that I think Bert Blyleven, who was elected today, probably belongs in the Hall of Fame. He was a great pitcher with one of the best curveballs of his era. He had one of the best Chris Berman nicknames (Bert “Be Home” Blyleven). I don’t fault the Baseball Writers Association of America for voting him in. This makes more sense than many of the decisions by that inconsistent and inexplicable group. Blyleven was one of the dozen or so best pitchers of his time. But the only way that he belongs in the Hall of Fame before Ron Guidry is if longevity is the most important consideration. In every other consideration, Guidry was at least a comparable pitcher and in many respects, he was far superior. He was one of the two best pitchers of his time (admittedly a shorter time, fewer pitchers to overlap with). Read the rest of this entry »