Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Congratulations to Ron Santo, a great man, but he never beat Babe Ruth AND Mickey Mantle in the same season, because the only man in history to do such a thing remains on the outside, looking in, at Cooperstown

Listen: This isn't about Ron Santo. It's about cultural justice.

As far as I'm concerned, there is no MLB Hall of Fame. There is no Cooperstown. There is a just a settlement of rich suburbanites on the shore of Otsego Lake, between Fly Creek and Middlefield, surrounded by hills full of white people with guns. It's a town known for the Farmer's Museum, which houses the Cardiff Giant - and, no, that's not a nickname for Willie McCovey.

Once again, the blustering, gin-bloated golfers who somehow ended up in possession of baseball's historical legacy - (Let's not forget that Newt Gingrich is an "historian") - have somehow managed to overlook Roger Maris, the Sandy Koufax of hitters, for baseball's Hall of Whatever. That's like a 14-year-old not noticing Sailor Moon's legs.

Yeah, OK... Roger's career ended early. It was cut short by a collective national culture that was clinging to an airbrushed legend, Babe Ruth, in a time of growing social and political turmoil. It was cut short by pressures that no athlete has before or since endured, and that includes the drug-fueled mutants who long ago ran laps around whatever home run records were once cherished. It was cut short by the small market Gammonites who still hold it against Maris that he played for the Yankees. Had he hit 61 home runs in Milwaukee, he would have coasted into Cooperstown with the ease of Lady Gaga entering a 2 a.m. dance club.

And now, they just pretend he never played.

Ron Santo never won an MVP award. Roger has two. Ron Santo never won a World Series ring. Roger has three. Ron Santo totally belongs in the Hall of Fame. So does Roger Maris.

Oh, and next time you're at the Farmer's Museum, don't forget the two-headed fox. It's the only thing worth checking out in that miserable wasted-space of a town.

No comments: