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Who will be the Next Reds Hall of Famer?
With three inductions over the weekend, who’s next?
Over the weekend, the latest class was inducted into the world’s greatest team Hall of Fame. Pitchers Bronson Arroyo and Danny Graves, along with former team executive Gabe Paul, were officially welcomed into the Reds Hall of Fame with a gala celebration. A good time was evidently had by all.
As the world’s foremost authority on the Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame (self-proclaimed), I wish I could have been there. Seventeen Hall of Famers did attend* and the pictures from the event were magnificent. This one, in particular, was my favorite:
*In alphabetical order: Johnny Bench, Marty Brennaman, Davey Concepcion, Eric Davis, Dan Driessen, George Foster, Cesar Geronimo, Wayne Granger, Tommy Helms, Barry Larkin, Jim Maloney, Dave Parker, Tony Perez, Jose Rijo, Pete Rose, Chris Sabo, Mario Soto.
Arroyo was the top vote-getter on the Modern Player Ballot as a result of balloting conducted by the Hall among fans, Reds alumni, and “select media.”* Graves and Paul were chosen by the Hall’s Veterans Committee. Arroyo and Graves certainly earned enshrinement due to their exploits on the field; I’m less certain what qualifies an executive to be inducted, but Paul unquestionably had a distinguished career. I’m happy for his family. I’m happy for all three new members of the HOF, in fact.
*According to the Hall: “Select members of the Media (all mediums) that have covered the Reds for a significant period of time and that are recognized by the Reds as an official/credentialed member of the media are eligible to vote. Ballots are sent directly to these members of the media by the Reds Hall of Fame.”
I expect that I’ll be writing more about Bronson in an upcoming installment of the “Big 101” series. For now, however, we look to the future. The shine hasn’t worn off the new plaques yet, but it’s time to talk about the next Reds HOF election, which will take place in 2024. (Elections take place in even-numbered years with inductions happening the year after the election.)
By far, the biggest snub in team HOF history is Reggie Sanders. I’ve written about this a number of times, of course. I care about it way more than I should. Why go to all the pomp and circumstance surrounding the HOF if you aren’t going to honor the most deserving candidates? It’s science, really.
I digress, as usual. Sanders will not be eligible for the next Modern Player Ballot. Here are the eligibility rules for inclusion:
A player becomes eligible for Induction through the Modern Player Ballot when:
They have appeared in at least three seasons for the Reds over the course of their career.
Five years have passed since the year of their final Major League season.
No more than 15 years have passed since the year of their final Major League season.
In case of the death of an active player or a player who has been retired for less than five (5) years, a candidate who is otherwise eligible, shall be eligible for the next election.
Who are the top candidates to appear on that ballot next year? Presumably the four players who lost out to Arroyo last year will have a strong case: Aaron Boone (should still be eligible, depending on how the Hall calculates his retirement date, which was 2009), Francisco Cordero, Aaron Harang, and Scott Rolen. And a new candidate will be eligible for the first time — how exciting! — and he is almost certainly the best of the bunch: Brandon Phillips.
Let’s be honest, BP is a slam-dunk candidate for the Reds Hall. There’s a strong case to be made that he’s the second-best 2B in club history. Of the candidates who came up short last year, only Harang seems like a sure-fire team HOFer, in my opinion. But I’d be surprised if anyone were able to top Phillips in next years voting. Pencil him in. We’ll get to see BP at GABP once again.
That brings us to the Veterans Committee, or as it’s officially called, the “Veteran Players and Executives, Managers and Contributors” committee. Here’s who that committee considers for induction:
The Veterans Committee considers the candidacies of executives and managers as well as players whose Major League careers ended more than 15 years prior to the induction year. The Committee consists of select Reds Hall of Famers, baseball historians, members of the media and other qualified candidates. The composition of the committee changes for each election cycle.
The Reds Hall of Fame’s Board of Directors recognizes that circumstances may, from time to time, warrant the induction of others who did not play, manage, or serve in an executive capacity related to team performance. Consideration for such must be due to extraordinary contributions to the Cincinnati Reds over a prolonged period of time. In those rare cases, the Board may consider and induct such a candidate directly into the Hall of Fame.
Soon, I intend to do a deep dive into the top candidates for the Veterans Committee. Obviously, Sanders will be at the top of that list, but there are a number of other players who have a good case for enshrinement (John Franco, anyone?). One would hope that the Committee will vigorously debate the merits of all good candidates.
But will they? Who knows, because I have no idea who actually serves on that committee! You see up there above who the Hall says is on the committee, but I can’t find the actual names of the members anywhere. I’ve reached out to the HOF to see if they can help me out with the members of last year’s committee, and I’ll update here if they get back to me.
In the meantime, I will re-up my request to be added to the Veterans Committee for the upcoming election. I dare say I’ve penned more words about the Reds Hall of Fame than anyone currently writing about this team, in our book (second edition coming soon!), in my Cincinnati Magazine column, and here at The Riverfront. Am I a Reds historian? I dunno…how do you earn that title anyway? But is there anyone else who is currently writing about Reds history? From the time Babe Ruth visited Cincinnati to the moment when the Reds acquired a baseball legend for a hundred bucks (and then just gave him away) to an ode to the exciting 1999 Reds, where else are you getting stories from the history of baseball’s oldest franchise? And is it worth the price of your subscription? (Please don’t answer that in the comments; I’m far too fragile.)
Wow, I started whining there for a moment, didn’t I? Yikes. Perhaps I should stop begging, and actually reach out to the HOF’s Board of Directors to express my willingness to serve.
This week at Cincinnati Magazine: CES Arrives to Provide the Reds With Another Boost
Let’s get this out of the way right off the top: Yes, it’s been a Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Week. Actually, it’s been more than a week—the last 10 days have been pretty rough for the ol’ Redlegs, who lost two of three to Milwaukee just before the All-Star break and then were swept by those same Brewers in the first series of the second half. Cincinnati has dropped to second place in the National League Central, and fans all across the tristate area are beginning to panic.
Late on Sunday evening, however, something interesting happened. Cincinnati’s fifth-best prospect (according to MLB Pipeline) and one of the top 100 prospects in baseball, a slugging infielder by the name of Christian Encarnacion-Strand, was scratched from the Triple-A Louisville Bats lineup just minutes before game time. Within moments, speculation on social media went into overdrive: Was Encarnacion-Strand on his way to Cincinnati?
As you probably know by now, of course, the answer was yes. Encarnacion-Strand (known as CES in the parlance of our times) was promoted to the big leagues while infielder Kevin Newman was placed on the 10-day injured list with gastritis (don’t look it up, trust me). Read the rest of this week’s Reds column over at Cincinnati Magazine.
What’s Chad Watching?
What can you say about the Mission: Impossible franchise? This is why I go to the movies! Sure, I like to go see the smaller, independent, A24-type fare. See last week’s review of Past Lives, which was great. (To clarify, the movie was great. My review was clearly subpar.)
Back to the point: some movies just have to be experienced on the silver screen. It’s why I adore Tom Cruise’s ongoing mission* to save theaters. Because big-budget action/thriller spectacles like Mission: Impossible - Dead Reckoning Part One can only truly be enjoyed at a movie theater, preferably in IMAX. I’m certain I will ultimately purchase the blu-ray of this movie (physical media forever!), but watching it at home just won’t be the same and if you haven’t seen it yet, I encourage you to rectify that while you still can. Treat yourself to a night out if you are able, and watch in wonder at Tom Cruise doing Tom Cruise things, while in a dark room with a giant screen and your phone in your pocket.
*See what I did there? I’m terribly clever, you know.
At more than two and a half hours, it’s too long. And the plot is occasionally inscrutable. But I promise that you’ll be on the edge of your seat for the last thirty minutes. Just an exhilarating thrill ride. Four stars out of five. Recommended.
Also this week, I finally got around to seeing Synecdoche, New York, written and directed by one of the best screenwriters in the trade (and certainly the most unique), Charlie Kaufman. Philip Seymour Hoffman and an incredible cast (Catherine Keener, Michelle Williams, Emily Watson, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Samantha Morton, Hope Davis, Dianne Wiest) in a story I won’t even try to describe. Four stars out of five. Recommended.
The World’s Most Dangerous Podcast: The Cincinnati Reds Mid-Season Awards Spectacular!
Nate and I did a deep dive into the first half, the greatest performances, and looked forward to an exciting season still to come. Plus, MLB draft analysis and Viewer Mail questions.
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