Well, it's Hall of Fame induction weekend in Cooperstown—the time of year when discussions about the greats of baseball are everywhere. Who should be in the Hall, but isn't yet? Who's in the Hall, but maybe shouldn't be? Who's right on the edge, but probably won't make it in?
Folks often place those players who are outside of the bubble in the fictitious "Hall of Very Good". It's a nice way of saying that a player had a tremendous career, while also acknowledging that they weren't quite the best of the best.
But what if there actually were a Hall of Very Good?
Don't think it could happen? Well, we live in a ridiculous era of participation trophies. If the pendulum swings a little farther in that ridiculous direction, who's to say that a committee won't eventually be assembled to lobby for the creation of an actual Hall of Very Good?
And while we're at it, why don't we also drop it down another notch and create a Hall of Good?
And a step below that, a Hall of Not So Bad?
And then a step below that, a Hall of Eh, That Guy Wasn't So Good, but He Played in the Majors, So There's That?
Below you'll find descriptions of each of these make-believe Halls, along with potential building locations and a few of my selections for enshrinement. Read through the descriptions, and feel free to add some of the players you'd choose for each Hall in the comment section at the end of the post.
Hall of Very Good
Site: Lake Tahoe, California
Guys who make it into the Hall of Very Good were really, really talented ballplayers. Northern California gives them a fitting place to chill out and bask in their excellence. Depending on your perspective on the matter, there could be at least 50 or so players in this hall, so we'd give them a nice, intimate building with some big windows so they can take in the view of the lake. Because a few of them might eventually make the trip across the country to Cooperstown, they'll be given a digital plaque that can be used to create a physical version in the future. Players can also contribute a couple of personal items, like a game-used bat or jersey that hasn't already been cut up to use on relic cards.
Potential Candidates: Dave Parker, Don Mattingly, Keith Hernandez.
Hall of Good
Site: Dubois, Wyoming
These guys were super-talented as well, just maybe a step below the Hall of Very Good. They've likely put up a bunch of hits, home runs, and RBIs. If not the power numbers, then they were notable in other ways. Perhaps they made a few All-Star teams, accumulated some Gold Gloves or Silver Sluggers, or were known to be near the top of the league in certain offensive or defensive categories for a season or two. Postseason heroics might also get you in here. (e.g., Kirk Gibson in '84 and '88) And because there are probably a few hundred players who'd qualify for this Hall, they get a big, sprawling ranch in Wyoming to kick back and enjoy the mountain scenery. Plenty of extra acres would be reserved for new ranches to be added to the complex as more players are inducted. Each inductee will be represented by a replica jersey and a glossy color photo.
Potential Candidates: George Foster, Darrell Evans, Shawn Green.
Hall of Not So Bad
Site: Mall of America, Minnesota
There are thousands of players who fit this bill, so we're going to need some space. And with baseball being the national pastime, what better place to be than the Mall of America? A representative employed by Major League Baseball will rent out a storefront with lots of shelving space, and each inductee will have a small binder placed on one of those shelves—in alphabetical order by last name for easy fan access—which contains some of their baseball cards. Fans pay a simple $5.00 timed admission fee, and have 30 minutes to flip through the binders. Proceeds go toward rent and utilities for the mall storefront, and to the cost of purchasing binders and 9-pocket pages for new inductees.
Potential Candidates: Spike Owen, Leon Durham, Candy Maldonado.
Hall of Eh, That Guy Wasn't So Good, but He Played in the Majors, So There's That
Site: Storage facility in Hoboken, New Jersey
I mean, it's sort of close to Cooperstown. Got to throw these guys a bone of some kind, right?
There's got to be more than 10,000 players who fit this category, so each inductee will be represented by his final MLB card in a top loader so you can see his career stats. (If the player did not receive an MLB trading card during his career, a printout from baseball-reference.com will be provided in a separate binder.) The card will be stored in a monster box with all the other player cards, again in alphabetical order. Each player will be required to pay a $1.00 annual fee to help cover the cost of the storage unit plus administration fees.
So there you have it. A place to commemorate every player who's ever reached the majors.
Who are some players you'd vote into each Hall? I look forward to your answers.
I'm sure all of you baseball enthusiasts and collectors out there understand that this blog post was satire. However, if the wrong folks read this, and if they're consequently inspired to create an actual Hall of Very Good one day—or any of the other Halls—I just want you to know that I accept full responsibility and will take all the blame you'd like to pile on.