JoeBlogs Hall of Fame: The First Class
OK, the Super Bowl’s over, pitchers and catchers are reporting, it’s the perfect time to begin: Let’s build the JoeBlogs Hall of Fame!
I’ve written some about this already, but before announcing the first class (with a cool baseball card for each player), let me scribble down a few thoughts about this adventure. And the first thought is that I keep thinking about the word “legendary.” It’s overused, sure. All the puffed-up words from legendary to magical to epic to classic get overused, and I should know since I’m one of the chronic overusers.
But when I think of that word, legendary, I do think about something that transcends the field, something that goes beyond the stats, something that isn’t always easy to put into words or analysis. Our first class of 13 does not necessarily feature the players who are highest in WAR, though they are certainly all great players.
Instead, I’m trying to choose people who in my view best represent that word, “legendary.” These are the players we still tell stories about, the players we will always tell stories about, the players who not only played the game at an exalted level but left us as fans feeling lucky to have seen them play the game. I mean no disrespect to any of the players in the Hall of Fame, because they were all outstanding players, but there are not many of them who left us with that feeling.
To review, each of our first 10 classes will have 13 people in it. The 13 will include:
Eight players, one from each position on the field
Two wild-cards who could be players, pitchers, executives, contributors, announcers, writers, umpires or innovators — we’re going to have a lot of fun with the wild-cards.
I’ll say again that only our first 10 classes will be structured like this. That will get us to 130 people, about half the size of what I expect the JoeBlogs Hall of Fame to be.* After that, we’re going to change what the classes look like … and you’ll play a big role in that! But that’s a little bit down the road.
*There are 342 people in the Baseball Hall of Fame, 278 people in the Baseball Think Factory Hall of Merit and 309 people in the Gallery of Renown. I figure the JoeBlogs Hall of Fame will end up being somewhere in there as well.
Obviously, the first few classes will not be controversial EXCEPT in the order that they’re put in. That is to say, I suspect there’s nobody in this first class who will make anyone out there think: “Nah, doesn’t belong in the JBHOF.” But I can see there being some disagreement about some of these players being in the first class over other legends. There are a couple dozen people who I wish I could have put in this first class; in fact, I originally thought about having 25 people in the first class just so I could get some of them in there.
But let’s not rush this. Let’s slowly build our JBHOF and enjoy every step along the way.
Here’s your first class in alphabetical order!