George Vecsey on what's going to be the biggest story out of Cooperstown this winter:
George Steinbrenner died on July 13. It’s now November, and he is on a short list for the National Baseball Hall of Fame.
Ultimately, to my chagrin, I cannot work up any major moral or legal long-term argument for keeping Steinbrenner out of the Hall. He paid his penalties, and he came back.
I think he belongs in the Hall — eventually.
I snipped all the terrible (if true) things Vecsey wrote about Steinbrenner's tenure as owner (including the suspensions). There's definitely a case to be made against Steinbrenner's enshrinement (the elements of which may also be found here, in greater detail).
George Steinbrenner is going to wind up in the Hall of Fame, and he probably does belong there, if only because he was one of the sport's dominant figures for so many years. But if I had a vote this year, I would have to vote no. Because so soon after his passing, it's almost impossible to be objective about him.
Obviously, he would have enjoyed going into the Hall when he was alive. But it's too late for that. And I think his family and his many fans can wait just a few more years.
Later, I'll discuss Marvin Miller and the rest of the candidates on this year's ballot.