COOPERSTOWN, NY – Last weekend up in C-Twon, the newest Hall of Fame inductees were enshrined. An estimated crowd of 35,000 fans showed up, along with 48 Hall of Fame members to welcome the newcomers. Congrats are in order to Bud Fowler, Gil Hodges, Jim Kaat, Minnie Miñoso, Tony Oliva, Buck O’Neil and David Ortiz. To all of them, except for first ballot inductee Ortiz, it’s about freaking time!
Fowler passed away in 1913, Hodges, who tragically died in 1972, was long overdue. Kaat, Miñoso, and Oliva had the stats, but apparently didn’t kiss enough ass throughout the process. O’Neil, who was the ambassador of the game, died in 2006.
Let’s forget all these documented facts for now, as there’s another bone to pick. The yearly tradition is having as many living Hall of Famers appear to greet the newest members. To have the likes of Ferguson Jenkins, Ken Griffey Jr., Sandy Koufax, and Reggie Jackson on the podium on induction day is surreal.
A couple of notable legends were missing and it’s not like they are old and feeble. Derek Jeter, who was inducted last year, was nowhere to be found. His message via tweet was the old Covid excuse. Roberto Alomar was another no-show. He’s been keeping a very low profile with his personal issues, and the more he hides, the guiltier he looks. My advice to him is, come out to play!
There’s a total of 268 players who are enshrined on these great walls. Currently there are 75 living members. Passing the torch is what makes this great event so unique. For youngsters like Jeter and Alomar to not show up, it just cheapens this special day.
It’s bad enough that they’re inducting dead bodies into The Hall, but when the ones still breathing don’t appear it makes the saying, “Nobody Cares!” Just that.