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Reggie Jackson doesn’t think Puckett, Carter, Sutton, Niekro or Rice should be in the Hall of Fame

Jul 5, 2012, 2:59 PM EDT

Reggie Jackson

Reggie Jackson spoke with Phil Taylor of Sports Illustrated recently. And, in addition to voicing a bunch of strong opinions about players who have used PEDs — he thinks if a PED guy got elected to the Hall of Fame, “no members would attend” the induction — he talks about some of his contemporaries’ Hall of Fame bonafides:

I didn’t see Kirby Puckett as a Hall of Famer. I didn’t see Gary Carter as a Hall of Famer. I didn’t see Don Sutton as a Hall of Famer. I didn’t see Phil Niekro as a Hall of Famer. As much as I like Jim Rice, I’m not so sure he’s a Hall of Famer.”

On whether Bert Blyleven should have been elected into the Hall of Fame: “No. No, no, no, no. Blyleven wasn’t even the dominant pitcher of his era, it was Jack Morris.”

Jack Morris dominated media coverage for starting pitchers of his era, sure, but he was far from the dominant pitcher of his era. Of course it’s Reggie Jackson we’re talking about here, so perhaps that’s the criteria he considers most important.

As  for the other guys: he’s crazy pants on Carter and Puckett, each of whom belong under most people’s conception of the Hall of Fame. As for Sutton, Niekro, Rice and Blyleven: hey, if you’re a small hall guy, I totally understand keeping them out. And on a couple of them, even if you’re a big hall guy you can point to several others that may be more deserving.

But if you’re a small hall guy — and Jackson seems to be saying that by virtue of his appeal to “dominance” and his obvious high standards — you have no business touting Jack Morris’ greatness at all. I mean, I think Jim Rice’s Hall of Fame case was totally weak, and Jim Rice’s Hall of Fame case screens Jack Morris’ Hall of Fame case’s phone calls.

  1. mybrunoblog - Jul 5, 2012 at 7:18 PM

    Think about this one. In a couple of weeks all the HOFers gather in Cooperstown for this years induction ceremonies.
    I suspect a couple of the guys Jackson criticized may have some unpleasant words for Mr. October. Of course Jackson will say he was “misquoted” but we all know that’s is BS.

    Reggie looks like a foolish old man here. Even if he thinks the things he said why say them publicly to a reporter?

  2. deadeyedesign23 - Jul 5, 2012 at 9:23 PM

    I agree with him on most of them. How is Puckett a no brainer and Mattingly barely considered? Their careers are almost identical. Where’s that goddamn new York bias when you need it?

    • Kevin S. - Jul 6, 2012 at 4:46 AM

      Because one was a center fielder and the other a first baseman. Do you really need the difference explained to you?

      • djpostl - Jul 6, 2012 at 11:59 AM

        Um, yeah…one can go an entire ball game without impacting a game defensively and the other is involved in a huge portion of plays on each & every game? Thanks for clarifying that.

      • deadeyedesign23 - Jul 6, 2012 at 5:40 PM

        Um Fangraphs WAR adjusts for positional scarcity and their careers WARs are almost identical. I believe 49-44 in favor of Puckett. Playing first base costs Mattingly 12.5 runs per year in that equation.

        I know WAR isn’t the be all/end all, but it’s definitely a good snapshot over a career. So yeah do me a favor and explain to me how Puckett is miles ahead of Mattingly.

    • stlouis1baseball - Jul 6, 2012 at 9:02 AM

      Thumbs down for agreeing with him on most of them.
      I love Don Mattingly. Evansville guy…stellar career.
      But are you really questioning Kirby Puckett’s Hall of Fame credentials?

      • deadeyedesign23 - Jul 6, 2012 at 5:43 PM

        Yeah I don’t think Puckett did it long enough. I think Mattingly didn’t do it long enough either, but if one is in the other should be too.

    • dirtyharry1971 - Jul 6, 2012 at 12:15 PM

      Jackson missed one, Tony Perez is NOT a HOFer, not even close

  3. Chipmaker - Jul 6, 2012 at 12:25 AM

    Sterling example of why living HOFers did not make for a very good electorate. At least the Hall didn’t let them muck up the Veterans Committee ballots for too long.

  4. realgone2 - Jul 6, 2012 at 11:21 AM

    Reggie is a great ball player but a POS.

    • dirtyharry1971 - Jul 6, 2012 at 12:15 PM

      Yea cause he tells it like it is and doesnt sugar coat stuff for fools like you that makes him a bad guy

  5. djpostl - Jul 6, 2012 at 11:58 AM

    I think anyone who thinks Puckett’s merits can’t be debated is “crazy pants”.

  6. Vindickative - Jul 6, 2012 at 12:32 PM

    Then-Yankee Catfish Hunter, on his old A’s teammate Reggie Jackson’s imminent arrival to “The Bronx Zoo”:

    “If you think things are controversial around here now, just wait until Reggie starts up his crap.”

  7. onbucky96 - Jul 6, 2012 at 12:38 PM

    Glad that guy from BASEketball kept Reggie’s homerun ball.

  8. jkredondo - Jul 6, 2012 at 2:23 PM

    Reggie’s right. The HOF should not induct rum-dums who hit below .252 for more than half of their career (and often WELL below that), who end up with a lame .262 average, who only occasionally made the Top Five in MVP voting and USUALLY didn’t come close to the Top Ten, who commonly led the league in strikeouts, and whose strikeouts usually exceeded his hit totals, who may have over 500 homers but, a la DAVE KINGMAN, that’s only because he played for so long, and he usually couldn’t muster 30 homers in a season. and ESPECIALLY those who have an indelible reputation as a very mediocre if not poor fielder, with a weak arm, a factor that tended to fully balance out his “impact” at the plate in most games……UNLESS, OF COURSE, the player browbeats the media until they finally relent….that they are the straw that stirs the drink. THEN I guess we have to let him in.

  9. georgebrett - Jul 6, 2012 at 2:28 PM

    Reggie is 100% correct.

  10. dexterismyhero - Jul 6, 2012 at 2:32 PM

    jkredondo……………..perfect post……..I bet Reggie still has a boatload of those candybars left also….

    Hell, Ricky Henderson had a better arm than Reggie.

  11. bbk1000 - Jul 7, 2012 at 7:45 AM

    I’m amazed that posts I add get censored as often as they do, and there is nothing in them that should warrant such action, yet posts like this get through all the time….

    The folks who govern this board are pretty bad….

  12. theskinsman - Jul 7, 2012 at 7:14 PM

    Who exactly cares what a has-been like Jackson says? No one paid to watch him because he was so intelligent.

  13. bigleagues - Jul 9, 2012 at 7:22 PM

    Let’s not forget that Reggie also tried to kill the Queen of England once . . .

    If for some reason the video doesn’t start at Reggie, then go to the 9:00 Minute mark.

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