The Happiness Hall of Fame

First in a ??-part series.

Some of you old timers might remember how, a few years ago, I did an experiment in which I would try to write shorter but more often. My idea was to write 500-word pieces on a bunch of different things.

I actually did more of these than I remembered:

500 words on Novak Djokovic

500 words on Pete Rose

500 words on John Daly

500 words on collapses

500 words on golf and getting old

500 words on the coolest guy in the room

500 words on wrestling heels

500 words on Ben Zobrist

There might be more. Anyway, life got busy and I got away from the idea. But I think now that we've got this whole Patreon thing going pretty well*, I'm going to revisit the basic concept, but in a whole new way.

Well, first let me tell you my inspiration for the plan.

Last week, I pointed to this INCREDIBLE video on Twitter.


That video, best I can tell, is a J.C. Penney commercial in which a young woman just HAPPENED to come across Adrian Beltre and his family in the store. I haven't done any actual research on it (and do not plan to do any research, because it's too good). Maybe it's more than what it first appears. But it sure looks to me like she has absolutely no idea that she's interviewing one of the greatest players in baseball history, a first-ballot Hall of Famer and one of the joys of every baseball fan's life.

And I love it so so so so so so so so so much.

I have watched this commercial something like 500 times already, and shown it to everyone I know, and it wasn't until about the 250th time that something obvious finally occurred to me: Adrian Beltre just appeared in a commercial with no credit and for no money? The video is the gift that keeps on giving.

In any case, seeing this commercial led me to Tweet this out:

This led someone to ask a question: If I could put any five players in the Hall of Fame unanimously, who would I put in?

It's not a bad question. I suspect, though, that I don't have an interesting way to answer it. I'm sure my unanimous picks -- Aaron, Mays, Stan, Teddy, Bench, Morgan, Tom Terrific, Maddux, Pedro, Ripken, etc. -- would be about the same as most people's.

But then I thought about it another way: Who would be in MY PERSONAL Hall of Fame? That is to say, who or what in sports -- and not just sports, but across life -- has filled me with so much happiness that I would put them in my Hall of Fame regardless of their numbers, their achievements, their championships, their awards or their wins above replacement? Adrian Beltre will be a first-ballot, UONU Hall of Famer*, but he would be in my Happiness Hall of Fame if he had never reached 3,000 hits, didn't hit 477 homers and never won a Gold Glove.

*Unanimous Or Near Unanimous

So, for this, I'm bringing back my 500-word concept ... only I'm shortening it to 300 words, for reasons that frankly are too boring for even me to talk about. The plan is this: Every day that I can, I will give you 300 words on someone or something that has brought me happiness (and, I can tell you in advance, that I have a broad definition of happiness). I'm hoping that this will be a nice bonus for JoeBlogs readers, a little day brightener (this will not replace the Baseball 100 or the Shadowball 100 -- those will go on as planned).

At some point, assuming I can keep it going, we'll tally up who/what is in the 300-word Hall of Fame.

We're starting tomorrow, because all projects should start tomorrow.

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