Hofstra University to hold a conference celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Mets

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Fifty years for the Mets? Guess their tenure is the only thing golden about them. Still, this is kind of neat:

April 2012 will mark the 50th anniversary of the New York Mets, one of the most popular and culturally significant baseball franchises.

On Thursday through Sunday, April 26-28, 2012, Hofstra University will host a conference to consider all aspects of the history and culture of the team. This will be the first multidisciplinary conference to consider every aspect of a Major League Baseball franchise.

There will be presentations about “the Origins of the Mets; The Roots, Myths and Evolution of Mets Fandom; Defining Individuals in Mets History; Mets Icons, Symbols and Mascots,” and about a zillion others.

Sadly, according to the website, the submission deadline has passed. Which just means that I’ll need to find another outlet for my multimedia presentation “Kevin McReynolds: God, he was annoying, right?”  It’s rigorous scholarship, I assure you.

(Thanks to Melissa D. for the heads up)

Mariano Rivera elected to Baseball Hall of Fame unanimously

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Former Yankees closer Mariano Rivera deservingly became the first player ever inducted into the Hall of Fame unanimously, receiving votes from all 425 writers who submitted ballots. Previously, the closest players to unanimous induction were Ken Griffey, Jr. (99.32% in 2016), Tom Seaver (98.84% in 1992), Nolan Ryan (98.79% in 1999), Cal Ripken, Jr. (98.53%), Ty Cobb (98.23% in 1936), and George Brett (98.19% in 1999).

Because so many greats were not enshrined in Cooperstown unanimously, many voters in the past argued against other players getting inducted unanimously, withholding their votes for otherwise deserving players. That Griffey — both one of the greatest outfielders of all time and one of the most popular players of all time — wasn’t voted in unanimously in 2016, for example, seemed to signal that no player ever would. Now that Rivera has been, this tired argument about voting unanimity can be laid to rest.

Derek Jeter will appear on the Hall of Fame ballot for the first time next year. He may become the second player ever to be elected unanimously. David Ortiz appears on the 2022 ballot and could be No. 3. Now that Rivera has broken through, these are possibilities whereas before they might not have been.

Another tired argument around Hall of Fame voting concerns whether or not a player is a “first ballot” Hall of Famer. Some voters think getting enshrined in a player’s first year of eligibility is a greater honor than getting in any subsequent year. I’m not sure what it will take to get rid of this argument — other than the electorate getting younger and more open-minded — but at least we have made progress on at least one bad Hall of Fame take.