Hall Call for Hawk, Goose?
By Benjy Lipsman in News on Jan 8, 2008 3:21PM
Major League Baseball's annual election results will be announced today, and a couple of former Chicago players hope to cross the magic threshold from paying customers to inductees in Cooperstown. Voted on by the Baseball Writers of America, players become eligible five years after retiring and must receive votes on 75 percent of ballots.
Andre Dawson, a Wrigley favorite during his time with the Cubs, anxiously awaits today's announcement. Will "The Hawk" finally be admitted in his seventh year on the ballot? While his stats look somewhat ordinary compared to today's Steroid Era, his 438 homers, 314 stolen bases, eight Gold Gloves and eight All-Star Game appearances were among the best of his era. He also won the 1987 MVP in spite of the Cubs' last place finish.
Former White Sox and Cubs reliever Goose Gossage is considered the most likely new inductee this year -- his ninth year eligible. Considered by some to be the most dominant closer ever, his bridging of eras in how relief pitchers worked makes is more difficult to rank Gossage in comparison to others in the HOF. His save numbers aren't as gaudy as some, but how many modern era closers pitch 141 innings? As ESPN's Jason Stark points out, his career stats beat Mariano Riveria's, widely acknowledged to be the best closer for the past decade and often called the best ever.
Want to pick a category? Be my guest. ERA? Gossage 2.21, Rivera 2.35. Strikeouts? Goose 8.54 whiffs per 9 innings, Rivera 8.09. Unhittability? Gossage 6.59 hits per 9 innings, Rivera 7.17.
Chicagoist stands convinced on Gossage! We also think Dawson will finally get the call, too. If baseball wants to move past the steroid scandals that have plagued the sport in recent years, one way to do so is to begin discounting the stats from players who may have has help inflating their numbers and begin to appreciate how good players like Dawson (and Dale Murphy) really were compared to their peers.
Major League Baseball will announce the election results today at 1:00 CT.