Tug in Cooperstown?
Always welcome comments to Phillies Insider. Thanks to Brian Slattery for his comment last week:
“Speaking of Hall of Fame and veterans and all….
“What would it take to get enough fans from both Philadelphia and New York to push for the Tugger (Tug McGraw) to be inducted to Cooperstown by the veterans committee?
“I know that he didn’t make the cuts when he was on the regular Hall of Fame ballots 20+ years ago, but you can’t avoid the fact that Tug is one of the few players who remains beloved in both Philly and New York. He was part of World Series champion teams for both teams. I also make the argument that one of the reasons that players are inducted to Cooperstown is for bringing character to the game. C’mon…Frank Edwin McGraw was undeniably one of THE GREAT characters in baseball!!!”
Brian, you are correct in that Tug was one of the great characters. Whether he is a Hall of Famer, I don’t know, and he was a good friend. Appreciate your beating the drum for him.
Checked out the Hall of Fame voting and Tug was eliminated after receiving only six votes in his first year on the HOF ballot, 1990.
Then, there’s Larry Bowa, who was also eliminated in his first year on the ballot, 1991. He had 11 votes. I’m not saying he’s a Hall of Famer but when you compare his numbers with HOF shortstop, Phil Rizzuto, well, you be the judge:
Bowa: 16 years, 2,247 games, 2,191 hits, .260 average, 10,382 total chances on defense, 211 errors.
Rizzuto: 13 years, 1,661 games, 1,588 hits, .273 average, 8,148 total chances, 263 errors.
The Veterans Committee no longer exists. Did check with Brad Horn, Senior Director of Communication and Education, at the Hall of Fame and received the following information:
“Both players (Tug and Larry) remain eligible in perpetuity for the Expansion era ballot. In order to be considered, one must emerge on the final ballot of 12, which is set by the 11-member Historical Overview Committee of the BBWAA. Then, if they make the ballot, they would have to earn 75% of the 16-member voting committee. The expansion era next meets at the winter meetings of 2013.”
It will be interesting to see how the BBWAA 11-member committee views Tug and Larry.