Tuesday, August 14, 2007

? No. 29: The oldest living legend

The oldest living Hall of Famer is now dead: The Scooter, Phil Rizzuto, passed away at the age of 89. Rizzuto makes the case for the disbandment (or at least the reconstruction) of the Veterans Committee, who continue to allow players with suspect Hall of Fame credentials entrance into the Big Hall, while barring others who are more deserving. Rizzuto benefited mightily from his team's success: The fact that the Yankees won nine World Series titles during Rizzuto's career undoubtedly raised his profile considerably. How else can you explain a guy with a career .706 OPS gaining entrance? Rizzuto, a shortstop, is often credited as having played the game the right way, i.e. he was fundamentally sound and did a lot of the "little things" that don't always show up in the box score, like sacrifice hit and bunt. He is also noted as having gotten the most out of his talent, i.e. he was a short, skinny man. So does that mean David Eckstein belongs in the Hall, too?

I don't mean to be too harsh on the guy on the day that he died. So lets change gears. With Rizzuto's passing, who is now the oldest living Hall of Fame player? A few clues: He was also inducted by the Veterans Committee, was Rizzuto's peer, and was also a middle infielder who played his entire career for one AL team. No peeking, just guess.

Yesterday's Answer: Congrats to Jason for deducing Mr. Eddie Murray as the correct answer. Steady Eddie was recently let go by the Dodgers.

1 comment:

Don Gerard said...

Yeah, Eckstein...Good example (rolls eyes).

I can't think of any guys left out who would be in had they been on the Yankees...Well, none that do not rhyme with "Schmon Schmanto", that is...

My guess is Nellie Fox...Is he still alive?