Originally Posted by RedsBaron
Bill James once wrote that the controversy over whether or not Enos Slaughter should go into the HOF was the only thing keeping the memory of Slaughter alive, and James was right. Once Slaughter (who also ran to firstbase when he was walked) was inducted into the Hall of Fame, discussion about his career largely ceased. Mind you, I'm sure Slaughter preferred the honor of HOF induction to all the debates about whether or not he should be inducted.
Similarly, Tris Speaker was probably a better player than Shoeless Joe Jackson, but the number of casual fans who have heard of Shoeless Joe far exceeds those who know about the Grey Eagle, a direct contemporary. Speaker wasn't the guy who intially appeared in Ray Kinsella's cornfield. The controversy of whether or not Jackson threw the 1919 World Series and whether or not he should be in the Hall of Fame has kept his memory alive.
Decades from now, when the greatness of Johnny Bench and Joe Morgan is a dim memory for most, Rose will probably be the best remembered member of the Big Red Machine.
Thruth to this.
I still think he belongs in the hall no matter what else he did. He played the most games, got the most hits, made the most outs and I think that should get him in. If there were a tiddlywink hall of fame, the guy who tiddlied the most winks should be in.