Comments on Nate Silver’s fine Hall of Fame piece are hiLARRYous. So so so New York Times. Even after Nate carefully explains that:
A) The Hall of Fame has been letting in fewer players than historically usual lately because, while the writers have been voting in about their usual number, the Veterans Committee, which at times has thrown the doors open wide, has essentially stopped functioning.
B) Because of the Veterans Committee’s former generosity, huge numbers of players from the 1920s and ’30s are in the Hall, about twice as many as from any other era, despite the fact that …
C) at the time, there were about half as many teams as there are now, and the player pool was maybe one-fifth the size it is today.
So, just to review, there are twice as many teams, drawing players from a population five times larger, which should mean that the level of play is much higher — obviously true if you just watch a few games from the good old days — and about half as many players are making the Hall of Fame as made it from that earlier era.
And the New York Times commenters sniff: It’s terrible how they’ve lowered the standards! They just let anyone in there now! Sniff!
The elitism just drips. A few choice samples:
“Too stringent”? Au contraire. Over the last couple of decades they have admitted so many bums that it defies description. If anything, the standards should be tightened. There are perhaps six active players who should EVER be considered. We’ve dumbed down America and now you want to water down what makes a true athlete great. They should measure up or not be considered!!!! That’s the problem with America continually relaxing standards and codes.!!!! The statistical look at the question is entirely misdirected. There have been a handful of standout players in the game, something less than 50 in total. i thought the hall was for extraordinary accomplishments not just very good …the hall is so diluted these days. When Mickey Mantle hit a home run he ran around the bases with his head down so that he wouldn’t embarrass the pitcher on the other team. He did that 536 times. He got into the Hall of Fame on his first vote. How many of the guys that make fools of themselves jumping around today deserve to get in on their first vote? There are only so many people who have the Right Stuff for the Hall of Fame and their number doesn’t enlarge just because more people are playing the game.
I could go on but you get it. The very idea. Why they’re letting rabble into the Hall of Fame now, Lovey. Absolute rabble!
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Image lifted from an NBC video without permission. Will remove on request