Vin's in when eligible! Buss? Kobe?

Hall of Fame candidates

Vin Scully wasn't eligible for the inaugural class of the ESPNLA Hall of Fame: WatchVideo

The rules were pretty simple, but we could not repeat them enough. Only retired players, coaches, broadcasters and owners were eligible for induction into our first-annual ESPN Los Angeles Hall of Fame. And yet every email, tweet, Facebook post or comment on any story we posted elicited 12 versions of the same question:


Whenever I'd remind folks that legendary Dodgers broadcaster Vin Scully wasn't eligible this year because he's still broadcasting, I could almost feel the relief on the other end of the Twitter feed. One commenter this week put it best: "Well, then I hope Vin is never eligible."

From your Twitter feed to Vin's ears.

Alas, there will come a day -- hopefully a long, long time from now -- when Scully will be eligible for our humble Hall and be voted in on the first ballot. But what other current sports figures should we reserve a space for?

Will Kobe Bryant be a first-ballot inductee? He seems like a shoe-in until you look at this year's results and realize that Phil Jackson, Chick Hearn and Jerry West didn't make it in this year. With five titles on his resume and an entire brilliant career in Los Angeles, Bryant would seem like an automatic first-ballot HOFer, but what if his time with the Lakers ends badly? What if he ends his career elsewhere?

Will Shaquille O'Neal, who retired after our nomination deadline and wasn't on the ballot this year, get in next year ahead of Jackson, Chick or Jerry West?

How about Lakers owner Jerry Buss? Or Tiger Woods? Buss' place in basketball history is unquestioned, and his standing as the gold standard of Los Angeles sports owners will never be challenged. But what if the Lakers aren't successful in the next five or 10 years. What if Buss' run as Lakers owner ends in a whimper? It's strange to even think about, until you see how far Woods continues to fall.

Then there's the case of legendary Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda, who was left off our ballot this year. In my opinion, Lasorda absolutely should've been among our top 20 after leading the Dodgers to World Series titles in 1981 and 1988 and serving as a beloved ambassador for the club ever since. Will Lasorda make it in next year after being snubbed this year?

The more questions I ask, the more I think of and the harder next year's vote already seems. But I guess there is one thing to be thankful for: There's a good reason Scully's not eligible yet.

Ramona Shelburne is a columnists for ESPNLA.com