Tito McQueen - Cobb Times Herald
The nominations are in, and voting has begun for the Season 17 Hall of Fame Class in Cobb World. There are some big names eligible for induction into the shrine of eternal greatness, but are they elite enough to make the cut? Here's a rundown of how Tito would vote if given the chance.
First Ballot Lock - Sean Hill
--Sure his ERA and WHIP aren't that great, but the dude has over 500 saves, the only other relievers even close to that mark are Sarma Inge and Kirk White, and nobody would argue with their greatness. In the freewheeling early years of HBD, Hill was consistently good, and almost always up for the Fireman of the Year award, and was good enough to be the closer for the Omaha dynasty, which ought to tell you all you need to know.
Why Wasn't He Voted in the First Time? - Fred McConnell
--Along with Marino Sierra, Fred McConnell was the greatest leadoff man of his generation. Unlike Sierra, McConnell also played the defensively difficult 2B/CF for the early portion of his career. For the first seven seasons in Cobb there simply wasn't a better all around threat, including Jose Barrios. It's hard to believe, but McConnell posted better numbers after moving to the pitchers park in Omaha from the hitters haven in Huntington. He was a key member of three World Series champions, and boasts a career OPS of nearly 1.000, which is impressive given the longevity of his career. He was effective until the age of 38, which is very rare for a hitter in HBD, and really was one of the all time early greats.
Best of the Rest - B.C. Steenstra, Domingo Montana, Olmedo Contreras
--These players are all just a step below the previous two in Tito's opinion, but were pretty much as good as it got when they were playing in their prime. Steenstra's .695 winning percentage was the among the best of that generation of pitchers, and he was a true #1 starter and 7 time All Star. Montana produced massive power numbers from the SS position, to the tune of 539 Home Runs, only HOFer Dallas Kline was better at SS in that regard, and is still in the all time top 5 for Home Runs. Contreras was also one of the best pitchers of his generation, and up until his retirement was a top five pitcher in key categories such as wins, strikeouts, etc... All three of these players are probably deserving of being in the Hall at some point.
Great, but Great Enough for the Hall of Fame? - Bob Sears, Roosevelt Lowell, Vasco Chantres, Richard Davis, Terrance Warden, Mendy Strong, Orber Olivo, Flip Heathcott, Pat Barber, Banana McBride, Randall Harvey.
--In their primes, every single one of these players was an All Star that would have been an asset to any team they were on. But when compared to the players that will be eventually entering the Hall of Fame, like Jose Barrios, Kaz Ong, Dean Hernandez, Vance Weaver, Kip Zeile, etc.. they simply just don't make the cut.
Special Note - Wiki Vasquez
--Wiki did more to help launch the Cobb Times Herald blog than any other player except Kip Zeile and possibly Orber Olivo. Thanks to his injury prone ways, Wiki was never able to fully utilize his talented hitting skills, but is still a legend in Cobb World, and should he get into the Hall of Fame it wouldn't be a disaster by any stretch, and would probably be welcome by many old timers.