This year’s baseball Hall of Fame class really had a special meaning to me. I grew up loving to watch Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine and especially Frank Thomas.
On summer night’s a lot like this one, Thomas would fill the box scores I so often would cut out of the morning paper because he homered and drove in five. I remember being in the car with my uncle as a kid and him mentioning to me that ‘there are some people around baseball who think Frank Thomas could end up an all-time great with the start that he’s on’. I came back in amazement with a ‘really’ as most kids do – I had no idea what it took for a player to have Hall of Fame credentials at that point – I just knew that Frank Thomas was my idea of greatness. My uncle came back with some stat about Frank Thomas’ on-base average. This was long before WAR was a thing, and on-base percentage wasn’t viewed as the statistical goldmine it is today.
All these years later, the guys who seemed so great to me as a child and adolescent really were that special. Today is a day to remember them for their unique qualities and attributes.
I could look at the Hall of Fame plaques of each and every Cooperstown member all day long. If you want to see the new inductee plaques, head over to Hardball Talk.