OBSERVATIONS: Why isn’t Vada in ‘The Hall?’


UNSOLICITED OBSERVATIONS from The Man Cave, sitting in a new (well, used but new to me) tan leather recliner after the recline handle broke on my old black leather La-Z-Boy. I probably jerked too hard on it watching the Dayton Flyers get mowed down three straight days in the Bad Boy Mowers Battle 4 Atlantis tournament.

—The 2022 Hall of Fame ballot arrived in my mail box last week and as I scanned it I wondered: How in the name of Willie Mays, Mickey Mantle, Joe DiMaggio, Ty Cobb, Tris Speaker, Duke Snider and any other center fielder can Vada Pinson not be in the Hall of Fame?

He had 2,757 hits, 1,169 RBI, 256 home runs, 485 doubles 127 triples, 305 stolen bases and a slash line of .288/.327/.442.

There have been a legion of worthy players overlooked and Pinson is in my top five.

—QUOTE: From Vada Pinson before an Old-Timer’s game: “I’m going to cork a bat and hit one out of here. What’s the penalty, 10 years?” (Vada — what a great name for a baseball player — didn’t need cork during his playing days, ash was enough.)

—HORSE SENSE: My great friend Jack Froschauer likes to horse around. He is part-owner of several standardbreds. They make the Dayton Raceway-Miami Valley-Scioto circuit.

One horse, a 4-year-old mare, is named Odds On Buckeyes. And that makes for an interesting story.

“No matter if she’s competitive or not, bettors always pile on because of her name,” said Froschauer. “That often makes her the favorite on the tote board.”

Odds On Buckeyes races Tuesday night at Hollywood Dayton and because of what happened to the Ohio State football team Saturday, Froschauer said, “The betting public probably will choose to avoid Odds On Buckeyes.”

—QUOTE: Jack Froschauer didn’t say this, but he probably could: “You must be rich because you own horses. ’No, I’m poor because I own horses.’’’

—BLURRED VISION: Not that he is prejudiced or anything, but Big Ten commissioner Kevin Warren said that Ohio State, “Without a doubt, 100 per cent,” belongs in the College Football Playoffs.

Say what? Did he even watch Michigan’s 45-23 destruction and dismantling of the Buckeyes? I’m a huge OSU fan, but after that performance they belong in the Toilet Bowl in Flushing, N.Y.

Not in Warren’s half-closed eyes as he added, “Clearly, Michigan and Ohio State are two of the best four teams in the country, by far, and I think today proved it. Great football game. Epic football game.”

Hey, Mr. Warren, only 42 million saw on TV how bad the Buckeyes were in the second half.

And yet. . .there are only three unbeaten teams and several with one loss, including No. 4 Southern Cal, which plays Utah Saturday in the Pac-12 title game. Ohio State only dropped to No. 5 with one loss and can’t lose again because the Buckeyes don’t play.

Yes, Mr. Warren, it could happen, despite that wart-filled loss to Michigan.

—NICK OF TIME: When Cleveland Browns bull-rush running back Nick Chubb crashed into the end zone for the winning touchdown against Tampa Bay, it was the first time the Browns scored an overtime touchdown since 1991. That was five years before Chubb was born.

And the Browns shook a large gorilla off their shoulders. The previous eight times the Browns scored a touchdown on their opening drive of a game, they lost all eight.

They scored a touchdown on their first drive Sunday and it looked bad when they trailed 17-10 with 32 seconds left. Then David Njoku made an unfathomable fourth-down one-handed catch in the back of the end zone one-handed catch to tie it and push the game into overtime.

—QUOTE: From Cleveland Browns running back Nick Chubb, the epitome of a team player: “I’m whatever Cleveland needs me to be.” (Remember the song, ‘Mr. Touchdown USA?’ A line in it fits Chubb: “ They always call him Mr. Touchdown. . . Give him the ball and just look at him go.”)

—DON’T NAG NAGY: Wherever he goes, Wright State coach Scott Nagy hears it. . .”When are Wright State and Dayton going to play. To Nagy it is white noise.

“I don’t blame UD for not playing us,” he said. “There is nothing in it for them. I’m never thinking about it. I don’t even know how UD is doing. I don’t read the papers, I don’t follow them. And I’m sure they don’t know how we’re doing.”

Nagy did admit that when Wright State played in the NCAA First Four last year in UD Arena, it was something special, something extra-special.

“It was the best basketball experience of my life and I’ve had a lot of experiences as a coach for 28 years,” he said.

—OH. . .IO: When UD’s Anthony Grant or WSU’s Scott Nagy recruit in their own state, they have 12 other Division I schools competing for the talent.

The Ohio Division I schools: Akron, Bowling Green, Cincinnati, Cleveland State, Dayton, Kent State, Miami, Ohio State, Ohio U., Toledo, Wright State, Xavier, Youngstown State.

3 thoughts on “OBSERVATIONS: Why isn’t Vada in ‘The Hall?’”

  1. Hal, I agree 100% with you about Vada Pinson and the HOF. Another Red deserving of the hall is Davey Concepcion. Both have the numbers especially Concepcion when compared to other shortstops in the hall. Do you think he is being overlooked because of the greatness of his Big Red Machine teammates?

  2. Often wondered about a very similar center fielder with way less speed, Fred Lynn. After being traded from hitter friendly Fenway Park and beset with injuries his numbers declined significantly, diminishing his HOF chances. Pinson’s career numbers are very similar to Lynn’s, with maybe a bit better. Both were a joy to watch playing the game. And if Harold Baines made it in…………

  3. I had the pleasure of sitting down with Pete Rose in Vegas and asked him that question. He said that Vada might have been the fastest ball player he ever saw. As he put it, Vada had the Roger Maris syndrome, meaning Vada played next to Frank Robinson, and Roger played next to Mickey Mantle. Hard to get much glory playing next to those other two Super stars.

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