Saturday, January 1, 2022

Nolan Ryan vs. The White Sox You win some and you lose some

If you mention Nolan Ryan and the Chicago White Sox many people conjure  an image of  Arlington  Texas August 4 , 1993. As depicted in the video below White Sox 3rd baseman
 and future manager Robin Ventura took exception to  being beaned by Ryan to start the inning rushed the mound and preceded to get pounded by Ryan.

Until today I never saw footage  the incident.  I liven  in Russian from December 1992 to November 1994 and even though I heard about the altercation had not seen the footage until now.  The melee was near the end of a storied career by Nolan Ryan. The Hall of Famer threw a record 7 no hitters from May 15, 1973 to May 1, 1991.  He also took 5 other  potential no hitters into the 9th inning.

The first of these disappointments came against the White Sox on 8/7/1974 when Ryan was with the Angels.

Watching the last inning of this game was very nostalgic for me.  The 1972-1974 Dick Allen era White Sox represent the beginning of my almost 50 year obsession with the White Sox.  Listening to Harry Caray call the action years before he headed over to the north side, watching the likes of Allen, Jorge Orta, Ken Henderson and Bill Melton harkened me back to those early days.

This game  features  3 future hall of famers in prominent roles.  Frank Robinson homered in the 2nd to give the Angels a 1 run lead.  Jim Kaat pitched a 9 inning gem scattering 6 hits and only allowing 1 run on the Robinson smash. Through 8 innings Ryan was the star of the show until the 9th inning when should be hall of famer Dick Allen broke the no hitter by running flat out on a check swing.  Click here to read a great account of the game along with a historical perspective of the time in which it was played.  

Monday, December 13, 2021

Minoso, Kaat, Hodges and Oliva make Hall. Dick Allen snubbed again.

 On Sunday, December 5th of this year.  The Golden Days Era Committee voted on the 10 candidates up for the Hall of Fame.  Before they met I wrote my analysis here.  We had a busy day on Sunday celebrating my Daughter's 16th birthday a day early and picking out and decorating our Christmas Trees.  It wasn't until my daughter's actual birthday the next day, that I saw the results of the voting.  The Committee voted to put Minnie Minoso, Jim Kaat, Gil Hodges and Tony Oliva in the Hall.  In my opinion they are all worthy of induction.  I am especially happy about Minoso and Kaat's election. also the look on my Dad's face when he heard that Gil Hodges, who hit a home run at the first MLB game he ever attended was one of the biggest thrills of my life.  

However as much joy as I feel about who the committee did include pales in comparison to the misery I feel about the exclusion of Dick Allen who for the 2nd time missed the HOF by 1 vote,   Allen was my first White Sox hero and in my opinion more deserving than any of the aforementioned 4 of enshrinement.  

Some might say that I'm not objective, as I've already declared that He was my hero. The truth is he was my hero over 50 years ago and for years I accepted the story that he had not played long enough and was not a high character guy as legitimate reasons for him not being in Cooperstown.

Over the past 10 years as I have  learned more about the racism he encountered in Philadelphia from the fans and the Press and as the advanced stats that were not available until a few decades ago that have validated his career as one of the best players of his generation have made me realize that my first White Sox hero is probably the best baseball player not in the Hall of Fame. (

is one of many fine articles that articulate why he should be in the Hall.)

I guess it is possible to be  deeply disappointed and delighted at the same time.  I am delighted that Minnie Minoso long career has finally been validated, and at the same time,  I am deeply disappointed that Dick Allen's family could not celebrate along with Minoso's.  I am also hopeful that in 5 years time when the committee meets again that Dick Allen's HOF caliber career will finally be recognized. 

Jim Kaat HOF class of 2022

Minnie Minoso HOF class of 2022

Gil Hodges HOF class of 2022

Tony Oliva HOF Class of 2022

Dick Allen
Still Waiting???!!!???!!!

Sunday, December 12, 2021

My Golden Blogging Birthday

12 years ago today.  on 12/12/09 I premiered this blog with the following post ...

Crazy Uncle Dave's Sports Blog: Hello Sports Fans: There's a new blog in town! I have been blogging for almost a year at my main blog: Home School Dad. Like me, my blog is eclectic. I ...

12 years later this blog is still kicking.  Which is pretty surprising as blogging is certainly not what it was in 2009.  But as long as I keep enjoying putting these semi whenever sports rants I will continue to do so!

Friday, November 26, 2021

Golden Days Era Ballot

 On January 25, 2022 the attention of the baseball loving public turns once again  to Cooperstown, New York for the announcement of  those who will be inducted into the  2022 class of Baseball's Hall of Fame   

Each year the BBWAA (Base Ball Writer's Association of America) is tasked to pick among the most elite of the previous generation of ballplayers who will be placed with the rest of the legends of the sport.  

This process now can take approximately 15 years as players are placed on the writer's ballot 5 years after retiring from the game and players are allowed to be on the ballot up to 10 years while trying to receive the 75% of the sportswriters votes  needed to be elected to the hall. 

This is not the only avenue available for players to be enshrined into Cooperstown.  There is a path for players not elected by the BBWAA as well as managers, umpires and executives to be included into the HOF.  This path formerly called the veteran's committee now has 4  individual committees  based on the era that the individuals were involved in the sport: The Today's Game Committee (1988 to Present) , Modern Baseball Committee (1970-1987), The Golden Days Era Committee (1950 to 1969) and the Early Baseball Era Committee (1871-1949).

At least one of the committees meets each year at the annual Baseball Winter Meetings . The Today's Game and Modern Baseball Committees meet twice every 5 years.  The Golden Days Era meets once every 5 years while the Early Baseball group meets once every 10 years.  On December  5th of this year the Golden Day's Era Committee and the Early Baseball era  Committee (each comprised of 16 members)will both vote on 10 people to be considered for Cooperstown.  Any one receiving 75% of the vote or more will be among those announced in the Hall of Fame on 1/25/2020 and inducted on Sunday, July 24th 2022. 

The remainder of this article is about the Golden Era Ballot.  

These are the  9 former players and 1 former manager who are under consideration on the Golden Era Ballot

Dick Allen  Years Played:  1963-1977 Teams: Philadelphia Phillies , Chicago White Sox , LA Dodgers, St. Louis Cardinals,   and Oakland Athletics 

Allen was the 1964 NL Rookie of the Year when playing for the Phillies and the 1972 AL MVP for the  White Sox as well as a 7 time all star.  Allen has been considered by the committee on 3 past occasions missing enshrinement by 1 vote in 2015. Dick Allen passed away on December 7, 2020 at the age of 78.

Ken Boyer Years Played: 1955-1969 Teams: St. Louis Cardinals, LA Dodgers, NY Mets, and Chicago White Sox.

While Dick Allen was earing his NL Rookie of the Year award in Philly, Boyer was the  NL MVP  for the 1964 World Champion Cardinals. He was also  an 11 time all star with 5 gold gloves at third base.  Boyer has also been considered by the committee on 3 past occasions.  Ken Boyer died on September 7. 1982 at the age of 51.

Gil Hodges Years Played:1943 - 1963 Teams: Brooklyn & LA Dodgers and New York Mets.

Hodges was an 8 time all star with 3 gold gloves,  He played for the World Series Champion 1955 Brooklyn Dodgers and 1959 WS Champ LA Dodgers.  He managed the 1969 Mets so he has caused a little misery to both Chicago teams over the years.  Hodges has been considered by 4 previous veteran's committees, the most recent being in 2015. Gil Hodges only  lived to the age of 47 dying on April 2, 1972. 

Fun Fact: Gil Hodges homered in the first baseball game my Dad ever saw on 6/28/1953 in County Stadium in Milwaukee.  Fellow Golden Era nominee Dick Allen homered in the first White Sox game I ever went to but I think I had been to a few Cubs games before that.

Jim Kaat Years Played 1959-1983 Teams Washington Senators and Minnesota Twins (same franchise), Philadelphia Phillies, St. Louis Cardinals, Chicago White Sox and New York Yankees. 

Kaat is a 3 time 20 game winner (twice in a row with my beloved White Sox), a 3 time all star and owner of a whopping 16 consecutive gold glove awards. Kaat pitched in the 1965 World Series for the Twins as they lost to the Dodgers and in 1982 pitched in the World Series as his Cardinals beat the Milwaukee Brewers. Kaat has been considered on 3 previous occasions missing enshrinement by only 2 votes in 2015. Jim Kaat is one of 3 living former players on the ballot and turned 83 earlier this month.

Roger Maris Years Played 1957-1968 Teams New York Yankees, Cleveland Indians. St. Louis Cardinals,  and Kansas City Athletics.  

Maris won back to back AL MVP awards in 1960 and 1961  for the Yankees  In 1961 Maris broke Babe Ruth's home run record with 61. Maris was in 7 all star games , 7 World Series (winning with the Yankees in '61 and in '62 and with the Cardinals in '67. Maris has been on the veteran's ballot 1 previous time in 2007. Roger Maris lived until 1985 dying at the age of 51.

Minnie Minoso Years Played: (1946-1980) *includes his time in the negro leagues and his return to baseball in 1976 and 1980* Teams: Chicago White Sox, Cleveland Indians, New York Cubans, Washington Senators, St. Louis Cardinals.

Minoso had a life time batting average of .298 and was 37 hits shy of 2000.  A 9 time American League All Star (4 time all star with the negro leagues). Minnie had 4 gold gloves and his only post season play was when the New York Cubans won the Negro League World Series in 1947. Minoso was the first black player to play for the White Sox.  Minoso has been on 4 previous Veterans committee ballots, in 2015 he received 8 of 16 possible votes.  Minnie Minoso died in 2015 less than 9 months before he would have turned 90.  

Danny Murtaugh Years Managed (1957-1976) Team Pittsburgh Pirates

Murtaugh is the only person on this years Golden Days Era Ballot that I had not previously heard of. Murtaugh played  second base for the Philadelphia Phillies, Boston Braves, and Pittsburgh Pirates from 1941 to 1951 in between serving in WW II.  As a manager, Murtaugh led the Pirates to two World Series championships in 1960 and 1971 and managed 3 all star games..  Murtaugh has been twice considered by veterans committees previously in 2008 & 2010. Danny Murtaugh died at the age of 59 on December 2, 1976 just 2 months after retiring as the Bucs manager.  

Tony Oliva Years Played (1962-1976) Team Minnesota Twins

Oliva like Murtaugh did as a manager, retired from playing baseball after the 1976 season.  In the American League( like Dick Allen in the NL)  was  the 1964 Rookie of the Year. Oliva won back to back AL batting crowns in 64&65 and a third in 1971 and was an all star for 8 consecutive years beginning in his sensational '64 campaign. Olivia received as much as 47.3% of the BBWAA votes in his 15 years on their ballot.  This is his 5th time being considered by committees and like Allen he missed enshrinement by only 1 vote  in 2015.  Unlike Allen, Tony Oliva who turned 83 earlier this year may still be alive if Cooperstown does finally come calling.  

Billy Pierce Years Played 1945-1964) Teams Chicago White Sox, San Francisco Giants, Detroit Tigers, 

Pierce is among  5 former White Sox players being considered for the HOF by the committee this year.  While he neither began or finished his illustrious career with the Sox, he hurled 13 seasons for the pale hose and had his # 19  was retired by the club back in 1987. Pierce was a 7 time all star and was the AL pitcher of the Year in 1955 with an  era of 1.97.  Pierce was on the veterans ballot for the first time in 2015.  Billy Pierce died in 2015 at the age of 88.  

Maury Wills Years Played:1959:1972 Teams Los Angeles Dodgers, Pittsburgh Pirates, Montreal Expos.

Wills was a 7 time all star with back to back gold gloves at shortstop in 1961 and 1962. In 1962 Wills was the NL MVP as well as the All Star MVP.  He played in 4 World Series for the Dodgers winning the championship 3 times. This is Wills 4th time being considered by the veterans committee  receiving 9 of the minimum 12 votes needed for enshrinement back in 2015.  Maury Wills turned 89 this past October.  

Fun Fact: Wills, Pierce and Hodges all played in the 1959,  World Series.  This does not include Minnie Minoso  who  played for the White Sox   in all but 2 seasons between 1950 and 1961.  Alas, one of those season was 1959, otherwise 4 of the 10 players on this years ballot would have been in that  series.  


This is a very deserving class and itis more than a little mind numbing that some of these players were not enshrined long ago.  I have a well earned reputation as a Sox homer so it should not be surprising that I think I can make a good argument for inclusion into the HOF for 4 of these former southsiders. That being said, I think the two most logical candidates for enshrinement this time out are the two players (Dick Allen and Tony Oliva) who missed it by one vote in 2015.  This would allow for my first  White Sox hero to achieve in death what I think he most certainly earned in life and to have Oliva avoid the same speedbump on his eventual road to Cooperstown. 

If there are more than these 2 enshrined look to Kaat, Wills and Minoso as the logical candidates. The rest of the field are also quite deserving and have 1 two time MVP in Maris and 1 MVP in Boyer not to take anything away from Pierce, Hodges or Murtaugh.  I guess we will have to wait until December 5th to find out if any of these fine baseballers are Cooperstown bound.  We've been waiting  so long for some of them, what's another 10 days?

Saturday, October 16, 2021

Batting .500 on first round of very biased MLB playoff predictions

Right before the MLB playoffs began I wrote down my predictions for the playoffs and posted them here.

I picked the White Sox to win it all, which might seem the ultimate heart instead of head choice, but I 80% believed that the Sox could be the 2021 World Series Champs.

Of course, this was not meant to be.  The Astros beat the White Sox in 4.  It was a series of blowouts with Houston winning 3 of the blowouts and the Sox winning only game 3.  The White Sox had their chances leading 3 0f the 4 games but the Astros led all 4 games and their hitting was relentless.

In my other ALDS prediction I correctly picked the Red Sox to beat the  Tampa Bay Rays in their AL East rivalry. I also correctly picked the NL Wild Card (and 2020 reigning World Series champ) LA Dodgers over their NL west rival over the San Francisco Giants. 

In the pick I felt less certain about I did pick the Brewers to beat the Braves in the other NLDS and I was quite wrong about that.  (Fun fact: Both the Brewers and the Braves once called Milwaukee County Stadium their home. ) It's just as well as the Dodgers Braves NLCS match-up is a rematch of my the first baseball my game my Dad ever attended.  This was back when the Dodgers played in Brooklyn and Jackie Robinson played for them and the Braves were playing in Milwaukee.

The Red Sox lost game 1 in the ALCS and the Dodgers Braves NLCS gets underway today,  Now that the White Sox are out of the mix, I am not as invested in the results but I would not be surprised if any of these teams were to win the World Series this year.