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UPDATE: Alomar to wear a Jays cap, Blyleven a Twins cap on their Hall of Fame plaques

Jan 6, 2011, 12:13 PM EDT

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UPDATE: Hall of Fame President Jeff Idelson confirms that Blyleven’s plaque will have a Twins hat and Alomar’s will have a Blue Jays cap.  In keeping with his statements from last night, Idelson also adds that all players’ caps — not just Angels inductees — will henceforth have halos engraved on them as well.

Wednesday, 4:28 PM: This is always a fun discussion: which caps do the new Hall of Fame inductees wear on their plaques?

Remember: while the Hall used to let them choose, the choice is no longer up to the player.  The Hall didn’t like guys making business arrangements over it and they wanted the plaques to adequately reflect history. Thus, no Wade Boggs in a Rays cap, no Andre Dawson in a Red Sox cap.  The player gets to voice their opinion, but it’s not dispositive.

Neither, however, is a player’s career stats. Remember: Reggie Jackson was a better player for a greater number of years with the Athletics than the Yankees, yet he wears a Yankees cap on his plaque. Nolan Ryan had his best years as an Angel and more years as an Astro, but he has a Rangers cap on. I have no problem with this because, really, when the tales of these players are told, their exploits with the Yankees and Rangers, respectively, are usually the center of the story.  There’s some subjectivity to it.

So, Alomar: it seems obvious to me that he should be a Blue Jay. More years there than anywhere else. Two World Series rings. Slightly less production on a rate-basis there than Baltimore or Cleveland, but only slightly, and he was a way better defender in his younger days in Toronto than he was later (even though he was great later too).  If it’s not the Jays, it would seem rather scandalous to me.

Blyleven seems pretty easy too: 11 years with the Twins, and way way way more innings there than anyplace else he plied his trade. And in some ways it was those last four years there in his second stint that sealed his Hall of Fame case for him. Remember: he was a compiler after all! It would be different if he had some signature moment while he played for the Pirates or Indians or something, but it’s gotta be Minnesota.

Darn. I was hoping when I started this post that it would be closer.  Oh well, at least it’s better than next year when we’ll have to debate whether Barry Larkin wears a Reds cap or a … Reds cap.

  1. The Common Man/www.platoonadvantage.com - Jan 5, 2011 at 4:35 PM

    At least we’ll never have to worry about Bagwell. Sigh.

    • jkcalhoun - Jan 6, 2011 at 2:28 PM

      Bagwell will wear an invisible scarlet cap bearing the letter S, short for Suspicion.

  2. Utley's Hair - Jan 5, 2011 at 4:38 PM

    I say Alomar as a Mutt, in deference to BC.

    • sdelmonte - Jan 5, 2011 at 4:55 PM

      There should be some sort of wing of the Hall for greats who ended their careers with the Mets and ended them badly.

    • BC - Jan 6, 2011 at 12:17 PM

      EEEEEEK!!!! NO!!!!!!!

  3. alexpoterack - Jan 5, 2011 at 4:44 PM

    I’m looking forward to this discussion a few years from now when Randy Johnson gets in; does he go in as a Diamondback or a Mariner? He did play longer in Seattle, but he won the World Series, 4 Cy Youngs, and pitched a perfect game with Arizona (also accrued more WAR, for what that’s worth). I’d go with Arizona, but I lived there in 2001, so I’m biased.

  4. largebill - Jan 5, 2011 at 4:55 PM

    I’m an Indians fan and though he had slightly better years here, I have no problem with him wearing a Blue Jays cap. Blyleven in a Twins cap is a no brainer.

    This was easier before players moved around so much. Some of these guys it may be more appropriate to not have a cap on their plaque.

    • sdelmonte - Jan 5, 2011 at 4:55 PM

      Rickey Henderson.

      • clydeserra - Jan 5, 2011 at 5:34 PM

        Rickey is an A. He may have played for 20 teams, but he is from Oakland and is most remembered for being an A.

        Gaylord Perry maybe no cap, but Rickey, nope he is an A.

  5. gerryb323 - Jan 5, 2011 at 5:10 PM

    Clemens?

    • clydeserra - Jan 5, 2011 at 5:35 PM

      Is Roger Clemens his own team? I think Rich Gossage should have gone in with an Auto Trader cap.

  6. phillysoulfan - Jan 5, 2011 at 5:27 PM

    The Hall never let the players choose. It was always the Hall’s decision. If it was close like Reggie and Nolan, they would consider the players feelings.

  7. Kevin S. - Jan 5, 2011 at 5:30 PM

    This is a year late, but does Hawk making the Hall (as a ‘Spo) mean that Carter can change his cap to the blue and orange he always wanted?

  8. proudlycanadian - Jan 5, 2011 at 5:38 PM

    Alomar has stated that he wants to go in as a Blue Jay.

    • proudlycanadian - Jan 5, 2011 at 5:58 PM

      Alomar made sure that he was in Toronto at the Rogers Centre when the announcement was made.

  9. kaientai72 - Jan 5, 2011 at 5:47 PM

    Alomar may not have left Toronto on the greatest terms, but should be a Jay. It was there where he did have his best seasons. Blyleven a Twin…any real doubt about that. http://www.notinhalloffame.com shows the same.

  10. crankyfrankie - Jan 5, 2011 at 6:02 PM

    Alomar as a Jay and Bert as a twin are easy. I always was bothered with Reggie as a Yankee rather than an A’s logo and Nolan will always be an Astro to me. But then to me Richie Allen will always be a Phillie.

    • Utley's Hair - Jan 5, 2011 at 6:13 PM

      “But then to me Richie Allen will always be a Phillie.”

      And never an HOFer.

  11. dsharpe8 - Jan 5, 2011 at 7:39 PM

    No doubt Alomar going in as a blue jay!

  12. grumpy00 - Jan 5, 2011 at 9:17 PM

    Two words………Dale Murphy.

  13. grumpy00 - Jan 5, 2011 at 9:18 PM

    No worries Murphy will wear a braves cap.

  14. schmedley69 - Jan 5, 2011 at 9:38 PM

    What hat will Lenny Dykstra wear when he is “inducted” into prison?

  15. Panda Claus - Jan 5, 2011 at 10:23 PM

    Gaylord Perry’s hat should be altered to have a bronze jar of Vaseline welded to it.

    I realize baseball’s history is full of cheating and others in the Hall have done less than wonderful things. My gripe with Perry is how he’s banging the Holy drum against other cheaters to follow after him, despite admitting his own cheating ways. Can’t have it both ways GP. [end of rant]

  16. b7p19 - Jan 5, 2011 at 10:51 PM

    Alomar is clearly a Padre.

    • paperlions - Jan 6, 2011 at 12:37 PM

      What does him being a father have to do with hats?

  17. bigtrav425 - Jan 5, 2011 at 11:55 PM

    Robby goes in as a Oriole! Love to see him go in as a Indian but he was only here 3 yrs….Randy Johnson goes in as a Mariner btw

  18. bobwsc - Jan 6, 2011 at 9:16 AM

    where are the morality police writers against Alomar? granted it wasn’t regarding PEDs but multiple women have come forth with allegations of domestic abuse (some accusing him of knowingly spreading HIV as well). but somehow Bagwell is under a darker cloud even though he’s never been busted for PEDs and has been a good citizen?

    also, Boggs claims that it was Canseco who offered to wear the Rays cap in Cooperstown, not him.

  19. randomdigits - Jan 6, 2011 at 12:21 PM

    The interesting hat debate in the future for me will be Mussina, he spent more time, and had better numbers as an Oriole but its close and I think he would prefer to go in as a Yankee.

  20. BC - Jan 6, 2011 at 12:27 PM

    It’s a total shame that no one is in the Hall as a Seattle Pilot.

    • jkcalhoun - Jan 6, 2011 at 2:40 PM

      Who among the Pilots even played the requisite 10 years? Don Mincher, it says here, Marty Pattin, Tommy Harper, Tommy Davis, Mike Marshall, Diego Segui, Steve Barber, Skip Lockwood, a few others. All right — what you gotta do is pick one and then wage a Lederer-writing campaign. Could take awhile.

      Bouton appeared in 10 different seasons, although some of them were notably partial. That good enough?

      • BC - Jan 6, 2011 at 4:02 PM

        Harper, Davis and Bouton were good players. Skip Lockwood could be serviceable at times. Maybe that will be our Seattle Pilots Hall Of The Moderately Good.

      • jkcalhoun - Jan 6, 2011 at 5:32 PM

        No one ever got to wear the proud uniform of the Seattle Pilots without having been a good ballplayer. The question is, were they good among the good? Were they good among the great?

        But I don’t think those who ultimately pass muster require a special Hall. Instead we can employ Ford Frick’s idea of a “special wing”: The Special Wing For Exceptional Seattle Pilots in the National Baseball Hall of Fame. Now that has a ring to it.

        Also: The Special Wing For Exceptional Suspected Or Probable Juicers Even Though We Really Don’t Have Much Science About The Effects in the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

        We could be onto something.

  21. BC - Jan 6, 2011 at 12:28 PM

    If Matt Stairs were ever to get in, what the heck hat would he wear?

  22. PanchoHerreraFanClub - Jan 6, 2011 at 1:36 PM

    Glover Cleveland Alexander has a Cardinal cap on his plaque inspite of playing only 4 of 20 years with St. Louis.

  23. twinsfn343 - Jan 6, 2011 at 2:57 PM

    interesting quote I just saw from Rogers Hornsby on baseball-almanac.com

    “I’ve cheated, or someone on my team has cheated, in almost every single game I’ve been in.”

    I wonder what Jeff Idelson thinks about that…

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