Levine: A Cooperstown party like it’s 1999

From SABR member Zachary Levine at Baseball Prospectus on December 12, 2013:

Thanks to the Veterans Committee falling on the triennial “Expansion Era” cycle, where people of similar talent to their predecessors are freed from the erosion of time and the idea that the best guys from the past would be in already is gone, this class is shaping up to be wonderful.

Joe Torre, who as a player didn’t miss by all that much, joins Tony La Russa and Bobby Cox in a group of managers that combined to win 7,558 games.

Greg Maddux is the likeliest candidate to go in as a player, and will be the best pitcher inducted into the Hall of Fame in more than 20 years (and if you think he was better than 1992 inductee Tom Seaver, then you’re going back to the 1940s.)

Craig Biggio could go too in his second shot, which would give the Hall the first 3000-hit/300-win combo going in the same year since the Nolan Ryan/George Brett/Robin Yount Class of 1999. Jack Morris could join him in his 15th and final attempt.

On the periphery, there’s a writer of national prominence in Roger Angell—the most celebrated Spink Award winner in years, and the most well known since Peter Gammons in 2004. And a local legend in Frick Award winner Eric Nadel, who has represented North Texas for five-sixths of Major League Baseball’s time in existence there.

This isn’t comparable to the first class—the museum’s opening with Ty Cobb, Walter Johnson, Christy Mathewson, Babe Ruth and Walter Johnson—but a year after the death of the Hall of Fame, in part thanks to where we fall in the VC cycle, the Hall will bounce back with its best class in years.

Read the full article here: http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=22399

Originally published: December 12, 2013. Last Updated: December 12, 2013.