FanPost

Reggie Jackson Thinks No One Should Be In The Hall But Him

That's an overstatement, but Reggie Jackson went off on all the "unqualified" Hall of Famers. In his mind, almost no one is qualified for the Hall of Fame.

First, he says that all PED users should be banned from Cooperstown. Now that's a defensible position, except then he makes an exception for Yankee Andy Pettitte, who he thinks should go in because he's "so universally respected in the game." Oh, and he also happens to be "an awful good friend." So it's OK to do PED's if you're Reggie's buddy. Alex Rodriguez, on the other hand, gets no such leniency.

Others he say don't belong in Cooperstown are Gary Carter, Kirby Puckett, Don Sutton, Phil Niekro and Jim Rice.

Now none of those players are unquestioned Hall of Famers and there is particular debate over Puckett and Rice. Sutton and Niekro both won 300 games, so there wasn't much debate there. Both are pretty qualified by longevity in my book. My personal opinion of someone who doesn't think Gary Carter should be in Cooperstown is that they either think the Hall should have 40 players in it or they're a moron.

But it gets interesting to me when he weighs in on the Bert Blyleven/Jack Morris debate. "'Blyleven wasn't even the dominant pitcher of his era; it was Jack Morris,' Jackson said."

Now Jackson hit a lot off of both pitchers, so maybe his opinion should count for something. In fact, Reggie faced Blyleven more than any other pitcher.

So how did he do against Morris?

Jackson had 59 plate appearances against Morris. He hit .222/.288/.407. That's not very good. Reggie certainly had trouble against Morris.

Now how about Blyleven?

He had 140 plate appearances against Blyleven. Jackson hit .214/.264/.397. Boy, Reggie sure did get dominated more by the non-dominant pitcher.

A couple more factors to consider. Blyleven's and Jackson's careers coincide pretty well. Blyleven's rookie season was 1970, Jackson's third season. Blyleven faced Jackson a lot, and in his prime.

Morris's rookie year was 1978, by which time Jackson was already 32 years old. (Morris did have seven starts in 1977, but none against the Yankees.)

Blyleven also played in better hitter's parks than Morris. Old Tiger Stadium was weird, with short porches and an impossible to reach center field which generally evened things out. Metropolitan Stadium in Bloomington and Arlington Stadium were hitters parks, as was the Metrodome, although Jackson was pretty old at that point. Cleveland Stadium was pretty neutral.

So Jackson was unimpressed with a pitcher who pretty much dominated him.

Oh, and that Phil Niekro he was so unimpressed with? Well, Niekro spent most of his career in the NL and Jackson spent his whole career in the AL. But Niekro did go over to Cleveland when he was 47 years old.

Jackson had 22 plate appearances against Niekro. He went 1 for 17 with five walks. No extra base hits. This was all after Niekro turned 47. (Reggie was 40, but he hit .241/.379/.408 on the year.)

This is why you don't let former players vote for the Hall of Fame. They vote for their friends and they're clueless about other players, even ones they played against for almost 20 years.

When the Hall of Fame let the players be the Veterans Committee, they were just asking for no one to get elected, because no one was friends with 75% of all living Hall members. And because the Cooperstown let Reggie Jackson and others like him decide who should be inducted, Ron Santo was denied entrance to the Hall until after he died.

This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of SB Nation or Al Yellon, managing editor (unless it's a FanPost posted by Al). FanPost opinions are valued expressions of opinion by passionate and knowledgeable baseball fans.

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