I like Johnny Damon as a player. He’s had a nice career. He’s the archetypal Hall of Very Good guy. The HoVG’s Mt. Rushmore* could easily have him, Mark Grace, Jack Morris and, I dunno, Vada Pinson on it. But a Hall of Famer? Eh:
It stinks that [3,000 hits] might be my only chance [at the Hall of Fame], because I’m climbing the runs list, too. I think all of those years I did it quietly without really thinking about my numbers. Is it realistic? Yes. Is it the most important thing to me? No. The numbers would be great to attain, but I really don’t know how many more years I’ll play. If this is a rough year for me, I’m going home. If not, I’ll keep getting after it.”
… So which hat? “I think it goes by the longest tenure, so it would be Kansas City,” he said. “Wade Boggs messed that up for everybody.”
Well, he’s right about Boggs messing up the Hall-of-Famers-choose-their-own-hat thing with that side deal he allegedly made with the Devil Rays. But really, with Damon I think the conversation is academic.
But if he gets to pick which hat he can wear on the plaque he’s not getting, so can I. When I’m inducted, I want to wear my tan corduroy Kangol bucket hat. It may not be baseball-related, but it has accompanied me and kept my bald head sunburn-free since I picked it up on an epic road trip I took eight years ago. I’d die without that hat. Has to be on my plaque.
*This could be the subject of its own post, but for the time being, I don’t think that guys who have very, very close but ultimate just lacking Hall of Fame arguments (e.g. Fred McGriff) should be on the HoVG’s Mt. Rushmore. They’re true tweeners who don’t necessarily represent what the HoVg is all about. My HoVG Mt. Rushmore should have people that had excellent careers but who lack a truly serious argument for Cooperstown. And no, just because a lot of misguided people think that Morris has one doesn’t change the appropriateness of his inclusion. This is my friggin’ Mt. Rushmore, OK?