Tuesday, January 9, 2007

Congratulations Tony Gwynn and Cal Ripken Jr.

Congratulations to the two newest elected members of the Baseball Hall of Fame. I was priviledged to watch both Ripken's and Gwynn's careers from start to finish. Each played his entire career with one team, a rarity. I saw Gwynn play in person fairly often because the Padres are division rivals with the Giants, and also because I visited San Diego a number of times during his career.

Both players were highly respected by everybody, and I had as much respect for Gwynn as almost any player I ever saw play. Each had an entire career full of something to watch. Ripken's chase of Lou Gehrig's record was realized early in his career, and because the nature of his record was playing every day, it could be projected into the future. Just as Ruth brought the game back from the gambling scandal of 1919, Ripken helped the game's image from the strike of '94.

Gwynn broke in with immediately hitting in the high .300's, and never looked back. Ironically, it was the '94 strike that ended his bid for a .400 season, stopping it prematurely (on the way up) at .396. His attention to detail and his study of the art of hitting were unparalleled. Both were fixtures on the 11 o'clock news.

Tony Gwynn and Cal Ripken Jr.: Hall of Famers

2 comments:

  1. Do you think the Hall of Fame voters missed anyone?

    ReplyDelete
  2. James,
    That'll be the topic of my next post.

    ReplyDelete