Thursday, January 10, 2008

Goose Elected to Hall, Going in as a Yank

The Goose finally got elected into Baseball's Hall of Fame, on the ninth season since he became elegible. For whatever reason, the electors have something against relief pitchers, but the recent election of Bruce Sutter may have paved the way for Goose and others. Goose is going in as a Yankee, where he saved about half of his 300+ career games and around 1/3 of his 1500 punchouts. Gossage was nearly elected last year but just missed.

"This is from my heart," said Gossage, now 56, who was elected with nearly 86 percent of the vote on his ninth attempt on the ballot. "I had the privilege and the honor to play for nine different teams in the big leagues, and I loved every moment on every team. Playing in San Diego and turning around baseball in that city for the first time holds a warm spot in my heart. We turned that city on.

"But I grew up in Colorado and [members of] my family were huge Yankees fans. And then getting to play for the Yankees was kind of an out-of-body experience. Putting on the pinstripes did something for me that no other team did. I don't mean to take anything at all away from all the other ballclubs, but getting to play for them and the success we enjoyed there both personally and as a team [was outstanding]."

Managing great Dick Williams, Gossage's manager at San Diego from 1984-87, was also elected to the Hall. Williams goes in as an Athletic, where he won two World Series titles in 1972 and 1973. Their 1984 SD club was the first in that franchise's history to make the playoffs. Boston's Jim Rice was almost elected as well, with almost 73% of the voters putting him on their ballots, just missing the 75% threshold for election. 20 balloters would need to add him to their slates next year, which is likely to occur.

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