As of 2008, Jim Rice, Jack Morris and Andre Dawson have all been kept out of the Hall of Fame. Which of these snubs is the most heinous?
Well, Mr. Lung, I appreciate the gravity of the question. And I’m sure the thinking man’s response would be Jim Rice. More than that, with the current power of the Red Sox nation, one would assume that it was a done deal. However, I don’t care about that. And I don’t care about Andre Dawson either. Me, I want to talk about Jack Morris.
First of all, he deserves to be in some Hall of Fame somewhere just for saying "I don’t talk to women when I’m naked, unless they’re on top of me or I’m on top of them." And that’s coming from a guy who looked like this:
And he went to BYU. A mormon with a dirty mouth? Sign this man up.
And on the baseball side of things, without Jack, Sparky only wins the World Series in one league and Alan Trammell is just another shortstop. Ok, so the part about Trammell isn’t true but there’s no way the Tigers win the series in ’84 without Morris.
However, I’m going to have to go against my instincts and my abiding love of the Tigers here and tell god’s honest truth. It is Easter after all and Jesus just came back from the dead. So, here it is, straight from me to you. None of these baseball players, as good as they are, deserve to be in the Hall of Fame. Yeah, they’re amazing talents and they may have even posted numbers that were gaudy in their time. Morris ended his career with 254 wins. Rice almost hit .300 for his career and more or less held the Red Sox together during that time. And Andre Dawson has a cool name and played for the Cubs. But none of them defined baseball during their respective careers and none of them deserve a place next to Babe Ruth, Ty Cobb or Sandy Koufax.
The Hall of Fame ceases to be relevant when players get in based on spectacular seasons, slightly above average careers or the meaning they may have had to their team. The Hall of Fame exists to reward and celebrate those who redefined how the game is played. That’s why Micky Mantle is a Hall of Famer and Cecil Fielder is just the father of Prince Fielder. Once someone like Cecil gets in, Micky’s accomplishments mean that much less. So, a standard has to be set and that standard has to be rigorously applied to everyone, no matter how beloved they might be.
So, here’s my answer to your question. None of these snubs are heinous because not a single one of these players met the standard that has been set for inclusion in the Hall. And since they don’t meet that standard, not a single one deserves to be in the Hall of Fame.