We all love a unprecedented scathing rant about the plethora of injustices in our world today. But one about deceased former Yankees catcher Thurman Munson?
I can confidently say that I did NOT see this coming.
Putting Thurman Munson in the Hall of Fame would be putting a Volkswagen in Le Mans. Give the Nobel Peace Prize to Roseanne. Hit the Stanley Cup with a sledge hammer. Give the MVP Award to Gary Sanchez. But don't even TALK about Thurman Munson and the Hall of Fame.— Bill James Online (@billjamesonline) August 4, 2018
Bill James, an influential baseball writer and statistician, has been in the business since the 1970s, right around the time when Yankees catcher Thurman Munson was in his prime. Because of Munson's sudden and tragic death at age 32, he did not have a full career to secure his place in Cooperstown. Instead, he's an unfortunate tale of what could have been.
Munson's popularity may not be skyrocketing at this point, but we really didn't even know this was a discussion. That is, until Bill James. Really, Bill, did you have to drag Roseanne into this?
Nevertheless, James' claims are completely out of line. Along with Johnny Bench and Carlton Fisk, Munson was one of the best catchers in the 70s. He had seven all-star appearances, won three Gold Gloves, the 1976 AL MVP, and revitalized the Yankees program, leading to back-to-back World Series wins in 1977 and 1978.
New @fangraphs: Thurman Munson has been on my mind a lot lately, and the anniversary of his tragic death spurred me to write about a Hall of Fame case that's been neglected for too long https://t.co/Y3qVj2obbs— Jay Jaffe (@jay_jaffe) August 3, 2018
Munson's chances of making it into the HOF were greatly hurt by his tragic death in a plane crash. Because of that, he can still be enshrined by the Veterans Committee, but his votes are falling short.
The bottom line of this story? Even if Thurman Munson doesn't make it into the Hall of Fame, he certainly didn't deserve some choice words from Bill James.
Nice try, Bill. Next time you go around dissing an all-star catcher, maybe you should remember that your voice doesn't matter in the Induction process.