Thursday, January 06, 2005

He wuz robbed!

I was going to write about this yesterday, but I thought Will Eisner deserved to have the floor to himself. On Tuesday, the 2005 Baseball Hall of Fame class was announced. Wade Boggs and Ryne Sandberg won the required number of votes to be inducted. I have no argument with either of those players; both were two of the best players at their respective positions (Boggs at 3rd base - mostly for the Red Sox and Yankees, Sandberg at 2nd with the Chicago Cubs) during my formative years as a baseball fan. Actually, Sandberg was probably three years overdue for his induction.

But it really bothers me that pitcher Jack Morris wasn't among the class of 2005. I'm biased, to an extent, because Morris was the best pitcher the Detroit Tigers had during my lifetime as a Tigers fan. But I think fans of the Toronto Blue Jays and Minnesota Twins would agree with me, as well. Morris led all three of these teams to World Series championships as their ace starting pitcher. In the 1991 World Series, Morris pitched a 10-inning shutout for the Twins, beating the Atlanta Braves in Game 7. Considering the circumstances, it was one of the best pitching performances in the history of Major League Baseball. Morris didn't reach 300 wins, considered the gold standard for Hall of Fame starting pitchers, but his 254 shouldn't be dismissed - especially considering how significant many of those wins were for his teams. He won more games in the 1980s (162) than any other pitcher.

(blurry, but the best I could find)

I take solace in the fact that's Jayson Stark agrees with me, calling Morris "the ultimate ace of his era." I've grudgingly accepted that Tigers shortstop Alan Trammell might never be inducted because he was overshadowed during his career by Ozzie Smith and Cal Ripken. But I can't get over Morris's snub. He deserves to be in the Hall of Fame.