The Daily Dose/January 25, 2018
By Gaylon Kent
America’s Funniest Guy
Notes from around the Human Experience…
TAKE ME OUT TO THE HALL OF FAME: This used to be one of the more enjoyable columns to write: comparing the merits of who was and who was not elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame. It capped off an offseason of bickering about it and was no small part of the Hot Stove League. Back in the days before 24-hour news channels and non-stop college basketball, it was one of the ways you passed the time until spring training started.
Fly In The Ointment: But, as long-time readers of this crap know, the election of Gary Carter to the Hall in 2003 took all the fun out of it because it made Carter the official Hall of Fame Line of Demarcation. If you were as good or better than Carter, welcome aboard. If you were not as good as Carter, you’re not admitted, end of story. There was no need to bother with comparing batting average or ERA’s or Gold Gloves. Either you were as good or better than Carter or you weren’t. If you follow the game your instincts will probably do a good job of telling you if a certain player was or was not as good as Gary Carter.
Dry, Technical Matter: All four of the 2018 enshrinees – Chipper Jones, Trevor Hoffman, Vladimir Guerrero and Jim Thome – are richly deserving of their spot in Cooperstown.
Running The Numbers: Carter was a good major league baseball player. In 19 seasons Carter hit .262, had 324 home runs and 1,225 RBIs. He also won three Gold Gloves. In the biggest at-bat of his life, the bottom of the tenth, two outs, his team down two runs to Boston in Game 6 of the 1986 World Series, Carter singled and would later score in a game, and World Series, his New York Mets would ultimately win.
Now, we’re not saying Carter does not belong in baseball’s Hall of Fame. It’s their Hall and they can let in Tito Fuentes for all I care. On the other hand, we didn’t chair his campaign committee, either.\
The Bottom Line: But Carter’s enshrinement opens the door pretty wide. If there is room for Carter there should also be room for others on this year’s ballot like Scott Rolen, Jeff Kent, Mike Mussina, Gary Sheffield and Curt Schilling because all pass muster under the Carter Criteria.
It is, thankfully, well beyond the scope of this column to list every former major league player who meets the Carter Criteria, but If Carter’s in, there should also be plaques for Thurman Munson, Steve Garvey, Richie Allen, Tommy John, Dale Murphy, Don Mattingly, among others.The list goes on.
ON THIS DATE! ON THIS DATE! Despite the fact he already has a queen, Henry VIII, the King of England, marries Anne Boleyn on this date in 1533. Henry and Catherine had been married in 1509 but Henry had grown weary of her and had been pursuing Anne for several years. Anne, however, had resisted becoming his mistress and Henry’s letters to Anne indicate their relationship remained unconsummated until shortly before their wedding.
Henry did his darndest to get his marriage to Catherine annulled. He appealed to Pope Clement VII who said no. Not satisfied with the pope’s opinion on the matter, Henry ordered Thomas Cranmer, the Archbishop of Canterbury, to look into the matter and Cranmer, no idiot, declared in May that Henry’s marriage to Catherine was null and void and that his marriage to Anne was valid.
The Postgame Show Is Brought To You By Goat And Compass Ale: Both Catherine and Anne would die in 1536, Catherine, then the dowager princess of Wales, would die in in detention, perhaps poisoned, but History is not clear on that matter.
Anne was unable to produce a male heir, so Henry had her tried for treason. She was found guilty and was beheaded in May.
FunFact: Though Henry VIII was married six times, technically he only had three wives because three of his marriages were annulled.
Scoreboard, Baby: Newspaper reporter Nellie Bly completes her quest to travel around the world in less than 80 days, arriving in New New Jersey on this date in 1890. Her quest had been inspired by the novel Around the World in 80 Days by Jules Verne. All told Bly had traveled a bit less than 25,000 miles. She had left New Jersey on November 14. Before her trip, Bly had done pioneering investigative reporting on the lives of working women and those in insane asylums.
Higher…Stronger…Colder: The first International Week of Winter Sport, now known as the first Winter Olympics, open in Chamonix, France on this date in 1924. Previously, winter events – like hockey and figure skating – had been held at the Summer Games. 16 countries sent athletes and Norway and Finland led the gold medal count with four each.
The Chamonix Games also marked the Olympic debut of figure skater Sonja Henie of Norway. She was eleven at the time and finished last, though she was popular with the fans and, of course, would win the gold medal in figure skating at the next three Winter Games.
Quotebook: If in the future we find ourselves with a lot of fourth-rate citizens, we have only ourselves to blame. – Louis L’Amour, Education of a Wandering Man
Answer To The Last Trivia Question: There wasn’t a Trivia feature last time, silly!
Today’s Stumper: How many times have the Olympic Games been held in France? – Answer next time!!