Tag Archives: Hall of fame

Mike Tyson Gets His Due

Yes, Mike Tyson was inducted today into Boxing’s HOF. For better or worse Mike Tyson was a force in the sport. He was a crazy ear biter, but I think that’s what made him good like most fighters. It’s rare you meet boxers like Pacquiao or Forman, and it’s much more common to come across bastards with Tyson or Mayweather like attitudes. While I was growing up Tyson WAS boxing even more so than Sylvester Stallone, err, I mean Rocky. He was the most feared man alive, and I barely could beat him in Nintendo’s original Mike Tyson’s Punch Out. Luckily for him he’s stayed away from being broke jumping in a few movies lately, and seems to have a new perspective on life making him look a little sane. Anyways, after hearing he got inducted to the HOF, I had to jump on youtube to relive some of his clips to kill a little of the afternoon, and thought I’d post some for for you to remember just how awesome he was…


Pippen, Malone, and The Dream Team Inducted Into the HOF!?!

I was scanning the headlines, and saw that Malone and Pippen were elected to the Hall of Fame deservedly so. The second part I read was really confusing to me. They inducted the 1960 and 1992 USA Basketball Dream Teams into the Hall of Fame as well. I’m all for celebrating these teams, but doesn’t that mean all of those guys are now in the Hall of Fame? Granted 11 of the players on the 1992 squad should be or are already in the HOF, but then we are including Christian Laetter. On the 1960 team they had the Big O, Jerry Lucas, Walt Bellamy, and Jerry West, but not a whole lot behind them. So, my question is, why are they inducting teams into the HOF now, and why these two in particular? I get the 1992 team, sans Laetter, but why the 1960 team? I can’t answer that one maybe you can…

Anyways, Pippen was one of the greatest sidekicks we’ll ever see to the best player we may ever see. Remember that season Jordan retired? Pippen showed he could be the alpha dog putting up averages of 22.0 points, 8.7 rebounds, 5.6 assists, 2.9 steals, 1.9 three-pointers, and 0.8 blocks per game, while shooting 49.1 FG%, and 32% from 3PT. He was one of the best defenders, and will always be linked to MJ for life, but there’s many worse distinctions you could have. Malone was impressive as well, even though he ended his career as a weak link on the Lakers squad that fell short. Too bad he didn’t just stick it out in Utah, and end his career with “his” franchise.

Los Angeles Lakers owner Jerry Buss, WNBA star Cynthia Cooper and U.S. high school coaching great Bob Hurley, Sr., were also in the class. I have to mention them or this wouldn’t be completely informing you about this joyous event.

NBA veterans Dennis Johnson and Gus Johnson and Brazil star Maciel “Ubiratan” Pereira will be honored as well. I’ll be happy to hear Gus talk at the ceremony, the guy is unmatched in the booth, and has to give one hell of a speach. Too bad CBS is terrible at covering the March Madness, and he saved them calling some good games. What do you think will happen if they expand the tourney? Is CBS going to have their 12th team out there covering games? We already saw the D-Leaguers of announcing during the first couple rounds. They should give the rights up to ESPN if the expansion happens.


The Big Hurt Will Be Missed!

Frank Thomas hung up the spikes today, after his VERY hall of fame worthy 19 year career. He was easily one of the most dominating hitters while I was growing up, and I’m sure I still have a few of his rookie cards laying around in some boxes. I’m not sure if his trade mark will be his large set figure or his big smile. Admittedly I wasn’t a White Sox fan, but always enjoyed watching Frank battle at the plate as he never took a pitch off, and was great at figuring out where pitchers were trying to attack him. He never said the word “retire” in his statement, but did say things like “life goes on”, and “I’m done.” He feels he can still play, but seeing friends like Jermaine Dye struggling to get a contract agreement, he felt his time was probably up.

He compiled some Hall of Fame worthy stats over his career; .301 batting average, .419 OBP, 521 home runs, and 1,704 RBI’s. He walked more than he struck out. He won back to back MVP’s in 1993 and 1994. He won a batting title in 1997 (.347). His numbers through the 90’s are reminiscent to what Pujols has been doing over the past decade. Big Frank is number one in twelve of the all-time categories for the White Sox, and will surely be wearing their cap when he is enshrined into the HOF.

He wasn’t on the A’s for long, but I’m grateful for him for single handedly helping the A’s get to the ALCS in 2006. He hit .270 with 39 HR’s, and 114 RBI’s that year, and it was his last year as a true star at 37 years young. He’s a guy with no ties to steroids, and it’s refreshing this day in age to assume a great player didn’t use PED’s especially since his double 0 decade was filled with injuries. It makes me that much more sure he didn’t use PED’s, because he never came back quickly from those injuries.

Sharing that smile and power with the A's made me even more of a fan of his!


NFL HOF Induction is a Joke… For Some of the Players At least…

The day before the Super Bowl we were made aware of the players that were going to be enshrined into Football’s Hall of Fame. Obviously there were two of the best offensive players of all-time in Emmit and Jerry that were a lock to get in. It was pretty cool to see how choked up they got when they were named to the HOF! You could truly tell that they were genuinely honored by the induction from their interviews, and the anti-Jordan speech will surely come at the ceremony. I’m a huge fan of the professionalism that Emmit and Jerry showed on and off the field, getting it done without being pre-madonnas. I have to admit I didn’t like Jerry for much of his hayday in a Niners uniform. Mostly because I was surrounded by Niners fans, and was constantly reminded of how good he was. Not to say that I liked the Cowboys or Emmit, but since they did shut up the Niners fans up here and there, I didn’t mind them nearly as much! All that changed when Rice went to the Raiders and helped us get to the playoffs. Too bad his work ethic and love for the game didn’t rub of our young guys like Jerry Porter, but oh well.

The thing that gets me about the Football Hall of Fame, is the voting. I’m not sure exactly what the selection process is, but I feel like there’s a ton of guys on the ballot that are as deserved as the guys that got in. I understand if you don’t let a guy like Tim Brown in, because it’s his first year of eligibility, but if he doesn’t make it next year that’s NOT cool. If for some reason Chris Carter and Tim Brown don’t get in, I won’t feel the HOF is a valid achievement. They were easily top 10 recievers of all time, and if they didn’t play in the same era as Rice, they would be close to the top all time receiver. So here’s my list of guys that should have gotten in over Rickey Jackson who wasn’t even the best linebacker on those late 80’s Saints teams; Tim Brown, Chris Carter, Charles Haley, Eddie George, Shannon Sharpe, and Kevin Greene. I’d say one of the biggest snubs was Haley, since they seemed to pick out of a hat on who to let in. The guy was flat out dominant for the Niners and Cowboys and has five rings!?! He was an integral part of the defenses that won those Super Bowl’s, and I feel that he was better than John Randle that DID make it in. I’d say that Dick Labeau and Floyd Little shouldn’t have made it in, but I never really saw them play since their careers ended before I was born. Based solely on their numbers I wouldn’t have voted for them, if I had actually had a vote. I guess you could give Labeau some credit for his coaching career after playing, and built up the Steelers defense to the way it is today. I think the NFL needs to make an eligibility length like there is with baseball’s HOF, because if these guys haven’t made it in on their first 20 tries, they shouldn’t be elected in. Seems like a fair rule to me, especially because I made it up. Another thing that bugs me about the NFL enshrinement, is that they are required to elect 5-7 guys each year. Instead of just picking out of a hat, they should consider just allowing the best to get in no matter how few or many guys it happens to be. I feel like some of these inductions are rendered meaningless, since they weren’t even the cream of the crop in their era!


Tim Raines, A Hall of Famer in My Book!

Tomorrow the Hall of Fame elections will be made public, and there’s a possibility that two guys, Blyleven and Dawson, could be the first pair inducted after being on the ballot for over nine seasons, but I doubt it. I guess perceptions have changed since the first time they were on the ballot, and there is a possibility that they could get in this time around, but I won’t hold my breath or really care all that much if they do. I’m guessing that Roberto Alomar and Barry Larkin will make it in on their first attempt. Both were outstanding shortstops and deserve a spot in the Hall. Mark McGwire, who I feel should be in the Hall regardless of his steroid use, probably won’t get the votes, but will be in the conversations regardless of the percentages he gets. The whole steroid era is a little too heavily criticized by Hall of Fame voting even though everybody was using them, it’s just the era so let the best of that era in. If it’s pretty close to even across the boards, why not let those guys in? I won’t go down that road on this post since it’s a completely different topic altogether. The main reason for this post was to question why Tim Raines isn’t even being considered on most voters Hall of Fame ballots. They all have ten votes each, how is he not one of their top 10!?! I guess most voters don’t vote for all ten of their votes or even five of them for that matter, but I believe Raines should be on them.

Maybe I’m a little biased on leadoff hitters, since my childhood mancrush was Rickey Henderson. I guess my main question to the voters is why? I honestly didn’t like him when I was younger since he was a threat to Rickey’s league leading stat categories, but that doesn’t mean that he shouldn’t be considered worthy. He played in an era with the best leadoff hitter of all time, how can the second best in that era not garner a look from voters. The past two years he’s only received 24.3% and 22.6% of the votes, and I can’t figure out why. He had an amazing career, and was consistently battling for the league lead in stolen bases, batting average, and runs scored. He reached base more times that Tony Gwynn, Lou Brock, Roberto Clemente, and Honus Wagner. From 82-88 he led the league in getting on base. He’s the only player to ever steal 70 or more bases in six straight years. He is the only player with an on base percentage of (.385) NOT in the Hall. He hit .295 over his career. Out of the 808 stolen bases (4th all time), he was only caught 146 times. That’s fewer times caught than Juan Pierre has had so far in his career (156). Who knows, maybe voters are caught up on his former cocaine addiction that he once had. Sometimes lasting images stay in the heads of people, kinda like Mark McGwire’s congressional hearings. He was young, and did things that I’m sure he regrets, I get it, I’ve done that too. In case you forgot, Raines testified that he’d have gram of coke in his uniform pocket at most games. I don’t really see how that would help you while playing baseball, but since IT was the 80’s it was hard to avoid it. I’ll bet that half the league was dabbling in some blow at the time, and is probably fairly comparable to the amount of guys on steroids nowadays. Maybe it was his admission that he slide head first so it wouldn’t break his vile he carried around with him that makes voters shun him. I could care less what the voters reasons are, but here’s a couple of reason’s voters didn’t pick him last year which were lame. He deserves to be in the Hall even if he altered some of his playing style to support his habbit! Aren’t we used to that by now, give the man his due!


NFL Hall of Fame Nominees are Out!!

We are the best aren't we hahaha!

We are the best aren't we hahaha!

The NFL released a list of the Hall of Fame nominees for the class of 2010. The list of 131 is highlighted by Jerry Rice, Emmit Smith, and my favorite Raider outside of Bo Jackson growing up Tim Brown. Although the NFL won’t be releasing who is going to be inducted this year until February 6th, the day before the Super Bowl, there are some great names that I’m sure I’ll revisit with some memories of them as it gets closer.

I hope the Raiders entire reciever core can catch as many passes as one of Tim Brown's seasons.

I hope the Raiders entire reciever core can catch as many passes as one of Tim Brown's seasons.

Chris Carter, Herschel Walker, Eddie George, Sterling Sharpe, John Randle, and Andre Reed are also nominated. There are a lot of good players on this list, but how many do you want to induct with possibly the two best at their positions of all-time? Rice and Smith are a class of their own as they hold firm leads in career yardage, and both won numerous super bowls playing key roles on those teams.

One time Emmit Smith was golfing in a celebrity event at Pebble Beach when I was working there. He was playing chess with someone in the lobby of The Inn at Spanish Bay, and a waiter dropped a trey full of plates and glasses. Emmit didn’t flinch as he was thinking out his next turn, and made it just seconds after the trey fiasco. (I’m not a stalker, I just had a drink at the lobby bar while waiting for a friend to get off from work, and happened to observe this.) It was like that Seinfeld episode where Kramer hit the table to try to distract DiMaggio from dunking his doughnut. Just shows you how focused the best are. Anyways, I’m sure we’ll put up more memories of our childhood favorites when they announce who will be inducted. Until then, I’ll spare you the stats, because you can just look at them here for Emmit and here for Jerry.


Is the Kid Going to Ride Off into the Sunset?

Ken Griffey Jr. Ichiro Suzuki laugh

If this ends up being the final season for the Kid, it will be the same way many stars end their careers, on the down slide. Junior returned to Seattle in hopes of regaining that effortless swing that bashed back to back 56 home run seasons in 97 and 98, and consistently played gold glove defense robbing homers regularly, but that wasn’t meant to be in this chapter of his career.The Kid Ken Griffey Jr. Junior is hitting .221 with 14 homers and 43 RBI’s in his return season to the great northwest. His smile is still the same, and his body looks relatively the same, except maybe a extra spare tire around his gut that he didn’t have in his first tour with Seattle. He was my favorite non-A’s player growing up, and you couldn’t ask for a better role model. He showed us how dominating a game can be made to look easy from defense to that perfectly smooth swing.

If this is in fact his final season, why isn’t there more chatter about him? I find it odder than Rafael Nadal’s freakishly smaller right arm that Griffey, one of baseball’s golden boys in the steroid era, isn’t being paraded around like a hero during his last tour of duty. He is Pujols clean from a PED standpoint, so shouldn’t the MLB be kicking up a mini campaign to celebrate his career as it comes to a close. It’s not like he’s going to be like Barry Bonds, and be able to play three more seasons averaging 45 home runs a season. Which is a shame since we all were so sure he’d be past the all time and season home run records by now.Ken Griffey Jr I wouldn’t blame him if he wanted to continue to play as all stars like to hang on, unless you’re weird like Barry Sanders. His return to Seattle mirrored many stars that are past their prime trying to hang on. It may not have looked good numbers wise for The Kid this year, but Steve Kelley of the Seattle Times really believes his time there this year has been worthwhile. It’s good to see a player end their career where it started, even if he never had the chance to play in a world series. He’s going out like Hank Aaron going back to Milwakee and Willie Mays going back to New York. He is undeniably a first ballot hall of famer with his 625 home runs (and counting). It’s a shame, that not even The Kid can fight off the old age…


Air Jordan’s Enshrinement Caps Off a lot of Memories

Michael Jordan First Trophy

His Airness will be enshrined into the Hall of Fame on September 11 in Springfield Mass, and he is undoubtedly the head of this class. He’s probably the greatest competitor and basketball player we’ll see in our lifetime. I don’t think I fully appreciated until I was about 12 years old around the time of his first retirement. Growing up a Warriors fan, I probably didn’t even realize the importance of the playoffs. I honestly couldn’t stand Jordan in my youthful days. I did like his shoes, commercials (Jordan and Bird playing H-O-R-S-E was my favorite), and of course Gatorade. I just despised him because he always won. Maybe that’s why I’ve never really been a Tiger fan, but I would and do watch whenever a great player is displaying their talents. I can’t even fathom how hard they work to be that good.

By the time he was on his way to his second three-peat I started to become a fan, and realized that this was a type of player that we’d never see again.michael jordan rings He was such a competitor that he didn’t let business and pleasure ever come together. He never really befriended his teammates calling them “co-workers”. He decided against playing in a second Olympics, for what many felt were selfish reasons. Jordan showed Barkley in the 92 Olympics how a player works so hard on a daily basis to be at the level he was. Jordan let out some of his secrets that showed other guys in the league what made him great. He payed for it, as Barkley had his best year following those Olympic games. MJ showed Chuck too much of what he did to prepare himself, and Barkley must’ve taken notes winning the MVP over Jordan in that 92-93 season. Never again would Jordan play in the Olympic games. You have to admire a man who goes out of his way to not get to close to teammates or play for a gold medal to avoid showing them what makes him tick.

I looked through his stats awhile back when comparing him to Kobe through the first part of his career, so if you double those that’s about what he ended with. Here’s a few random ones that you don’t always see 30.1 PPG (highest average of all time), 32,292 points (Kareem and Malone had more), 2,514 steals (2nd to Stockton), and the best shoes in the game. We all know about his MVP’s and Championships as well, that dubbed him the greatest of all time. There’s still youtube clips of him tearing it up. It almost looks like he could still play in the NBA. Good thing they don’t count your post career to get into the Hall of Fame, because he is not a good GM or Owner. I guess it would be hard when you expect your players to be as good as you or possibly just doesn’t care.

Also joining him in the very good class of 2009 is John Stockton, David Robinson, and Jerry Sloan. Once again Stockton will be in the shadows of Jordan even being enshrined into basketball immortality. Tough break for short shorts.Hall of Fame 2009 Stockton Jordan Robinson The Admiral won a couple championships and gold medals. Stockton won gold medals, but unfortunately he played his prime in the Jordan era. Jerry Sloan is being inducted, but is still coaching. I never understood this, why induct a coach for coaching if they are still roaming the sidelines?!? I think they should have to wait until 3 or so years pass after they coached their last game to be eligible. It makes so much more sense!


Rickey Does Oakland Proud

Rickey Henderson was the star of the show today.  Jim Rice was, for all intents and purposes, the opening act for what was Rickey’s show.  It was probably the first induction ceremony I’ve ever watched in my life.  I sat intently through the Joe “Flash” Gordon and Jim Rice tributes just to see the man.  The man I took for granted as a child because I didn’t know how rare and special of a player he was.  How was I to know Rickey Henderson was a once-in-a-lifetime player?

Well, today Rickey Henderson got his due.  Today was his day.  It was great to see all the green and gold in the audience today, at a time when the A’s fan base is in pergutory.  That’s because Rickey was one of the greatest players we have, and will see, in our lifetimes.  His speech left a little to be desired.  I felt like I was watching Forrest Gump to be honest.  That’s not a jab at Rickey.  I would never insult Rickey’s intelligence, for he is an Oakland Tech alum, like my grandmother.  But let’s be real,  no one’s ever accused him of being the smartest leadoff hitter in the history of baseball!  Did he not have someone proof read his speech?  At any rate, I still watched without distraction, much like I did in the late 80s / early 90s in during the peak of his career.

Next weekend, the Rickey-fest continues back home in Oakland, as the A’s will retire his number 24.  If I don’t have an eyewitness account posted here by Monday morning, feel free to question my devotion to the Oakland Athletics forever.  Congratulations, Rickey.  And in the meantime…. Eric Patterson ladies and gentlemen!!!


Rickey Says Nobody Can Wear 24

rickey_henderson_batRickey Henderson is getting honored for his services in Oakland as the Athletics will retire his number 24 in a pre-game ceremony on August 1st. (Catcher Kurt Suzuki already switched from 24 to 8 at the beginning of the season) Rickey is also a very deserved first ballot for the Hall of Fame inductee this year, and got in as easy as it was to tell himself that he was the best (with 94.8% of votes). I’m already excited for his induction speech that will fall on July 26th! Rickey was my favorite player growing up.rickey_henderson22 I even bought those ridiculous neon green Mizuno batting gloves, and practiced the snatch catch in my little league days. He played 14 of his 25 seasons in Oakland wearing green and gold for most of his prime including his lone MVP season. It’s only fitting that they retire his number, as he was arguably the greatest leadoff hitter of all time and always an Athletic at heart. It will be a long time until we ever see a player that can steal bases and hit for power (81 leadoff homers the MLB record) from the top spot in the order.

His induction to the Hall of Fame on January 12th could be one of the last first ballot players to make it for awhile with the steroid cloud looming over many of the players that will become eligible in the upcoming years. Rickey will be remembered for his cocky attitude and strong opinions that made him the fun player he was on and off the field. A reporter once asked Henderson about Ken Caminiti’s estimation that 50 percent of Major League players were taking steroids. His response was, “Well, Rickey’s not one of them, so that’s 49 percent right there.”

His constant self appraisal from the third person is always entertaining, “Listen, people are always saying, ‘Rickey says Rickey.’ But it’s been blown way out of proportion. People might catch me, when they know I’m ticked off, saying, ‘Rickey, what the heck are you doing, Rickey?’ They say, ‘Darn, Rickey, what are you saying Rickey for? Why don’t you just say, ‘I?’ But I never did. I always said, ‘Rickey,’ and it became something for people to joke about.”

And

“Do I talk to myself? No, I just remind myself of what I’m trying to do. You know, I never answer myself so how can I be talking to myself?”

rickey_henderson36His stats speak for themselves as he is on top of some of the all time lists:

#1 all time with 1,406 Stolen Bases and 2,295 Runs, 1990 MVP, 10 time All Star, 12 time stolen base champ, 1 Gold Glove, 297 Home Runs, 3,055 hits, 2nd all time with 2,190 walks, and 2 World Series Rings 89 in Oakland and 93 with Toronto. I’d list more, but you can check them out on baseball reference if you’d like to.

I hope you tune in to his HOF induction and number retirement ceremony, because I’m sure his speeches will be classic!