Sunday, July 29, 2007

Head of the Class

*Picture from the AP*

Today in Cooperstown, NY, two of the greatest to ever play the game were inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Two men who spent their entire career in one city, who played the game the right way, and who never, EVER, had a scandalous word spoken about them.

Cal Ripken and Tony Gwynn are beacons of light in a sports world that is often littered with trash like drugs, cheating, and off the field behavior that would make a hardened criminal shake his head.

Cal, with his consecutive game streak, is credited for saving baseball after the strike of 1994: I don't know about all that. I DO know that the country was mesmerized those 2 days in Baltimore where he tied the streak, then broke it the next night. I remember watching and getting goose bumps seeing him go all the way around Camden Yards, touching as many hands as he could reach. But Cal wasn't just a guy who showed up everyday: when you have an MVP, 2 Gold Gloves, 8 Silver Slugger Awards, 3,184 hits, and a World Series ring, you are a bona fide Hall of Famer.

Gwynn gave me one of those "remember where you were?" moments also. In 1999, the All Star Game was played at Fenway Park, and before the game, Ted Williams was brought on the field to throw the first pitch to Pudge Fisk. In one of those unscripted moments you can't fake, all the players came out to shake his hand. It was Tony who led the nearly blind Williams to the spot where he was supposed to stand, then told him where Fisk was. If you saw it happen, and it didn't get a little dusty, you have no heart. He finished his career with 3,141 hits, 5 Gold Gloves, 7 Silver Sluggers, and a career .338 batting average.

Their numbers alone make them no-brainer Hall of Famer's: the fact they are both quality human beings is a bonus. So today, with Barry Bonds, cheating NBA refs, and a star NFL player being investigated for being lower than human, lets celebrate the honor bestowed on two of the all time greats.

Standing ovation for Tony Gwynn and Cal Ripken, the two newest members in a very select group.


Tex said...

Im giving a standing O for them....TEXAS STYLE...can you hear me???

Ted D said...

I can hear you Tex!

This may be the last HOF class that nobody questions. With steroids, etc.., it may get a little dicey from here on out.

The next 15 years or so will be strange for the hall voters. I'm glad I'm not in thier shoes.

KAYLEE said...

I never saw them play but from what I hear they were good players:)

::gives them a standing O anyway::

tex, i thought you did everything texas style?;)

scott h said...

Teddy Boy, slow down and smell the roses. You are going to blog your self into a brain freeze!
I think I am a walking zombie right now. And Karianne wants to swim at 10:20.

If their are any rain delays this week let me know which hospital you check into.

Telling Carol I am insulted I was left off her fave 5 and can't leave a remark.

KAYLEE said...

scott you back home yet?????

HorshamScouse said...

Ripken was the first player whose shirt I bought (Edgar Martinez' was the next: whole other story), and I made my first trip to San Diego in hopes of seeing Gwynn hit during his last season (he sat on the bench).

Two great sportsmen and honourable members of the HOF.

Not sure I agree with your suggestion that only the next few years' candidates will be questionable. I offer Ty Cobb and, conceivably, Babe Ruth as examples, #1 and #2 in the Hall.

Ted D said...

Bub, tell Karianne the pool closes at 10, and I'll be sure to let you know which hospital I'm at.

John, I agree with you on Cobb and Ruth as character issues: I guess my point was we can be pretty safe assuming they weren't on the juice: anyone in this era from here on out there will be questions on, and look at the 20% or so vote McGwire got this past time.

It's a fun thing to debate though.

gojohn said...

2 great ones, no doubt. And they both played with class!

Mattie said...

I have to admit, it got dusty around here reading the print copy of their induction. There's just something in us that resonates when good guys finish first. I think it's such a rare thing anymore (see said scandals) that we all stand up and take notice when a good guy makes good.

Ted D said...


If you got to see these two play, you were living in a great time for baseball.

Mattie, I read the speeches to: watching the game and forgot to flip over to it. It sounded like a great ceremony with record attendance.

scott h said...

Whats on the menu for this evening? Microwave or start from the box.
Maybe you ought to come out for Christmas or you could meet us in Daytona next summer.

Stacy said...

Glad to see good guys being recognized for all their contributions to baseball.

But I just have to say...Cal Ripken has the most gorgeous blue eyes! :)

KAYLEE said...

//Whats on the menu for this evening? Microwave or start from the box.//

LOL! All I can say is I am glad youre back Scott!

scott h said...

Stacy , they are glass eyes. Baseball injury but he did not miss a game getting them installed

scott h said...

Yes Kaylee , Im back in the saddle again. Any guess's music fans?

Ted D said...

Bub, dinner was fish, potato's, white beans, and corn bread, courtesy of my saint of a mother. She took pity on me.

Stacy, he's the Ironman: all you can comment on are his eyes? ;)

ROFL Bub: good to have you back.

And it's Aerosmith.

Mattie said...

Aerosmith? I think Gene Autry beat them to it.

Ted D said...

C'mon now crimewave, you can't count the singing cowboy: it's just not rock n roll.

Speaking of: you need to check the blog around 10: the 80's are BACK.

Mattie said...

Oh no...sweet Lord, no!

Tex said...

I canNOT wait!!!!