Jack Morris missed out on the Hall of Fame for the 15th and final time a little over two weeks ago. For someone who came so close — within eight percent of the 75 percent threshold in 2013 balloting — it might seem frustrating, but it sounds more like a relief to Jack Morris. Morris, though, says he is tired of being under the microscope. Via Mike Berardino of the Pioneer Press:
“I’m relieved,” Morris said. “I’m glad. I’m tired of getting scrutinized by writers.”
“Fifteen years ought to be long enough for anybody, you know?” Morris said. “If it’s not going to happen in 15 years, it’s not going to happen.”
Morris can still enter the Hall of Fame starting in December 2016, if the Veterans Committee deems him worthy. It’s hard to see Morris getting snubbed again by the Veterans Committee, particularly since Gil Hodges is the only player to get more than 50 percent of the vote to not eventually get into the Hall of Fame, according to Tom Tango. Tony Oliva had the second-highest vote percentage among snubs at 47 percent.
With the Dodgers trying to make it back to the World Series for the second year in a row — and trying to win it for the first time in 30 years — it’s worth looking back at the last time they won it. More specifically, it’s worth looking back at the signature moment from the last time they won it. Which, really, was one of baseball’s all-time signature moments.
Yep, I’m talking about Kirk Gibson’s famous game-winning home run off of Dennis Eckersley of the Oakland Athletics in Game 1 of the 1988 World Series, which happened 30 years ago tonight.
All playoff magic for anyone too young to remember Bill Mazeroski’s homer in 1960 is measured against Gibson taking Dennis Eckersley downtown to turn a 4-3 deficit into a 5-4 win. Heck, even if you were around in 1960, it’s far less likely that you saw Mazeroski’s homer than it was for you to have seen Gibson’s. Nationally broadcast in prime time to a nation of millions who had not yet fragmented into viewers of hundreds of obscure cable channels and various forms of streaming entertainments, it was a moment that sent shockwaves through the world of sports.
For my part, I was fifteen years-old, sitting in my living room in Beckley, West Virginia watching it as it happened. Like most of the rest of the country, I was convinced that the Dodgers had no chance to beat the mighty Bash Brothers and the 104-win Oakland A’s. Especially given that the Dodgers’ leader, MVP-to-be Gibson, was hobbled and not starting. Even when he was called on to pinch hit, I had no faith that he’d be able to touch Eckersley, the best relief pitcher on the planet, let alone hit the ball with any kind of authority.
But, as Vin said when he called it, the Dodgers’ year was so improbable that, in hindsight, it made perfect sense for Gibson to have done the impossible: