The Great Debate
Now that voting is under way, I just cast my own 30 votes in the DHL Presents MLB’s Hometown Heroes program (my story here) we just launched on MLB.com. Good luck. I found myself moving the cursor back and forth over the radio buttons for different legends, back and forth, finally deciding on one player who most says: I’m the Man. And speaking of that, anyone here who votes for any Cardinal other than Stan the Man (pictured) is toast. Just kidding. That’s what it’s going to feel like for a lot of you who will be incredulous about anyone other than your pick for that team. You get five names per club and choose one. Some of my toughest picks included taking Honus Wagner over Roberto Clemente, Cy Young over Teddy Ballgame, Tris Speaker over Bob Feller, Reggie over Rickey, Junior over Ichiro, Biggio over Ryan (who I liked as a Ranger instead), etc. Brooks or Ripken? I went with the MLBlogger even though being at Ripken’s 2,131 game in Baltimore is at the top of my personal highlight list in sports. How can you pick someone else over a guy who played 100 years for one team and had Norman Rockwell immortalize him signing autographs for fans? Our friend John over at The King’s Game commented here that the Twins choice is no debate, but my first reaction was, OK, who’s the mortal lock there then? I chose Carew (my boyhood idol) over Killebrew and Kirby. It’s going to be a very individual decision. I spent most of the 1990s at The Sporting News and whiled away hours in our archives exploring the careers of people who were larger than life. They didn’t just fade away. Who were your picks and why? Any reason not to choose Tom Terrific for the Mets other than longevity? The 30 choices will be announced on a primetime series on ESPN during the last week of the season and it should be incredible.
Lots of research will be done. Just think of how many younger fans will be educated about the game’s greats during this process, as just 29 of the 150 nominees are active players. That’s a good thing. Some fans probably are not going to be crazy about a fan in San Diego being able to vote on their beloved Red Sox or fans in Florida being able to vote on their beloved Indians. But this one is for all baseball fans to decide according to the rules, with voting online, at the ballpark, via mobile phone and more. This is the kind of impassioned debate that millions of fans have had through the ages just for fun. Now it’s time for the largest panel in the world to decide it. You. Every name on the lists hold unique meaning to certain fans of that particular team. It might mean more ballots than the All-Star voting; this is the stuff we love. Hope you all will blog about it after you vote. A lot of you are going to vehemently disagree with each other. Just have fun and remember who your forebears might have wanted you to consider with that vote.
It’s The Great Debate, now coming to MLBlogs.