Archive for August, 2017

  • Blog
  • August 26th, 2017

UP AGAINST THE WALL

By Joel M. Vance

Ronald Reagan famously said, “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down that wall.” And the wall got torn down and today a chunk of it stands in Fulton, Missouri, at the Church of St. Mary Aldermanbury, restored from having been bombed out in London by the Nazis during World War II. It stands as a memorial to the death of communist rule in East Germany. The Fulton restoration is where England’s great leader, Winston Churchill, equally famously declared that a wall was descending between the Soviet Union and the rest of the world— an Iron Curtain is what he called it. Now we have a leader of our own who’s calling for a wall that, in my mind, has disturbing echoes of what the Communists did in Europe and in Berlin.
Trump wants to shut us off from Mexico and shut the door on immigrants from any country that offends his sensibilities, if indeed he has any. There also is a growing call to tear down the monuments that are remembrances of the Civil War of 160 years ago that tore the country apart for five long years. Should we endorse the destruction of these statues that depict those who lost the Civil War? There is no doubt that the Confederate flag, a symbol of rebellion against the union, has no place in a world where the Stars & Stripes are the only national flag, but what about bronze figures of those who led the Confederacy?
Today’s president, Donald Trump, and his extreme right wing allies are as divisive today as any of the extreme states righters and Confederacy advocates of 160 years ago. The danger today is not that we try to erase the vestiges of the Confederacy, but that we let those old wounds reopen and continue to divide the country, possibly beyond repair. There is no doubt in my mind that Trump will go down in history as our worst president, assuming that he makes it through one term.
Unfortunately, even if Trump is impeached or quits, we will not gain much. Mike Pence is not much of an improvement. He just happens to be smarter than Trump (no great accomplishment) but he is in his own right, a danger to the country. When he recently compared Trump to Teddy Roosevelt as an example of a great president, I shuddered all over. There is as much difference between Trump and Roosevelt as between the other president Roosevelt and Adolf Hitler. Teddy was everything that Trump is not and to compare the two exhibits a profound hypocrisy that reveals the flawed human that Mike Pence is.
Even if the country dumps Trump, and somehow gets rid of Pence, the next in line is Paul Ryan. This would be a case of history repeating itself as when Nixon and Agnew both were sidelined leaving the honest, if bumbling Gerald Ford as the interim president. Ford was not much of a president but he was light years more preferable for the office than Paul Ryan would be.
Somehow the Democratic Party has to find spokespeople who can articulate the dire need for unity when the Republican Party and especially the extreme right seems dedicated to splitting the country apart, no matter the consequences. I don’t think Democrats have done a very good job so far of discovering the charismatic leader who can unite the people. It seems to take a national calamity to summon forth a leader with the ability to survive the catastrophe and unite the country behind him or her. George Washington was a product of our war for independence, Lincoln sprouted forth from the turmoil of the Civil War, FDR was the man for the job during the depression and World War Two.
I spend much time chewing over the question of whether or not we should erase Civil War monuments as a way to heal racial divide and I have mixed feelings about it. The problem is not statues of Robert E Lee or Stonewall Jackson, but rather whether we are a nation divided by race, religion, ethnic background or any other contentious aspect of our community.
We have only to look at Missouri’s own history to discover the confusion that seems to be gripping the country today. Quantrill, perhaps the most sociopathic killer of the Civil War, a Confederate, is buried in a Missouri cemetery dedicated to the Confederate dead. And in my hometown of Keytesville we still celebrate Sterling Price day, dedicated to a Confederate general.
Yes, there is a statue of Price in the Keytesville city Park. Price’s plantation, Val Verde, was just south of Dalton, the town where I grew up. For some strange reason the county has honored me by naming a dead-end rural road Joel Vance Avenue. In a strange parallel the next road east, not a dead end, is Val Verde. I even was honored during Sterling Price day several years back as a distinguished citizen of Chariton County and got to ride in the back of an open convertible and wave at a less than adoring crowd. I didn’t feel that I was contributing in any way to racial disharmony nor did anyone else. Sterling Price day, in the minds of everyone, has no relation to anything except a chance for locals to get together and have fun. In yet another historical parallel, my great-grandfather, a Union militiaman, was captured by Price’s Army, paroled and sent home to do no further damage to the Confederacy (or, for that matter to the Union–he was a farm boy, not a soldier).
None of this has any bearing on today’s racial problems. Removing Price’s statue would do no more good toward ameliorating racial tension than would removing statues of Lee and Jackson, wherever they stand. History is fact and you can’t change fact by erasing it. The Taliban tried it by destroying cultural landmarks that can never be resurrected. While I don’t equate the removal of Confederate statues with the actions of the Taliban, there is an uncomfortable feeling of parallel. We should accept the warts of our historical panorama as well as its beautiful aspects. Our country is littered with actions that are unacceptable today— the treatment of Native Americans is every bit as repulsive as slavery.
The United States turned away a boatload of Jewish refugees during World War II, forcing them to return to almost certain extermination in Europe. And we interned American citizens, who just happened to be of Japanese origin, during that same war. Now, we are in danger of doing the same thing to, in many cases, immigrants from Mexico, or from other countries that Donald Trump deems a danger, for reasons that escape reason itself.
The Civil War was five years of national insanity which resulted in more American deaths than all the other wars in which the country has been involved combined. The brutality on both sides, North and South, is almost beyond belief. There should be shared shame within every state involved, and they must resolve never to let it happen again. Nothing about the Civil War is a cause for celebration. But neither, should we forget the long shadows cast by that detestable event in our history. Toppling monuments is a silly and ineffective way to remember the darkest spot of our history as a nation.
In Columbia, the Guitar house, one of only two remaining anti-bellum mansions in the county, was built by a Confederate Captain whose brother happened to be a Union general and who saved the home from being burned by the Union Army— but who also was a slave owner who felt that the Union was more important than secession. Robert E Lee was offered the command both of the Union and Confederate armies and came down on the side of his native Virginia. Many of the generals in the Civil War had been classmates as well as close friends at West Point and during their pre-Civil War army careers.
Early in his career, Sterling Price defended Mormons against prejudice and persecution by angry Missourians. But he also was a commander against Mexicans in the Mexican war and narrowly escaped punishment for continuing to fight after a treaty had been signed. Later still, he was governor of Missouri and reportedly a very good one. Originally, he opposed secession but took up arms against the Union when Union forces occupied the state. After the Confederates lost, Price remained unregenerate and took a ragtag remnant of his army to Mexico and offered his services to Emperor Maximilian— a curious finale to a military career which essentially started by fighting Mexicans and ended by volunteering to ally with them.
And we might consider that Arlington National Cemetery, the resting place of the nation’s honored military dead, also was the home plantation of Robert E Lee. No one would seriously propose that we dig up all those honored dead and re-bury them in neutral territory, although Trump probably would if he thought it would gain him some points with his Ku Klux Klan supporters. The idea that by erasing history we can solve the problems of division within the country is futile. We need cross pollination of ideas and goodwill among both sides—liberal and conservative— before we can even begin to solve the underlying problems of job loss, crumbling infrastructure, shaky economy, unequal wealth, racial tension, and any other social problem that plagues the nation today.
All too often politicians on both sides merely smear salve on the problems rather than looking for the medications that cure the illness. I’ve long thought that we need a revival of the Civilian Conservation Corps and the Works Progress Administration, both of which were bipartisan programs that did much to solve so many of the problems created by the Great Depression. They gave jobs to people who needed them, they built infrastructure and other amenities of social good that exist to this day. If World War II had not come along to steal away all those eager young workers, perhaps those two programs still would be contributing to the common good.
Thank God we have young people (compared to me, everybody is young) who are thoughtful and able to articulate the problems that plague us and avoid the pitfalls of letting idiots like Trump and Limbaugh do their thinking for them. That’s not thinking anyway— that’s just obscenity in words of more than one syllable.
The adage that those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it has never seemed more applicable than it does today. I just got a long article forwarded from Canada to an outdoor writer friend of mine about studies in Canada that indicate that chronic wasting disease, a terrible disease threat to antlered animals, possibly can be transmitted to human beings. It is invariably fatal to infected animals and could lie dormant in human beings for years.
A rabbit biologist once told me that when rabbits overpopulate their habitat they develop ulcers and die off. Perhaps the same thing could happen to humanity if CWD becomes endemic in humans and nature takes its course. Then the division between the extreme right and the extreme left politically wouldn’t mean a damn thing. Something to think about.
I don’t mean to be an alarmist. I don’t think we’re on the verge of another Civil War, nor do I think that humanity will be wiped out by chronic wasting disease. In any event it won’t happen in our lifetime. All we can do is to work toward solutions of the immediate problems not the potential ones. Wiping out the traces of history is not a solution, it’s just a feel-good aspirin toward the pain of social unrest.
Meanwhile I hope that Steve and those like him who don’t accept the superficial thinking of most politicians and, for that matter, the voting public, will continue to think and disseminate that thinking to others. If we all start putting our minds to it, maybe we can come up with some sort of communal agreement and start living what we like to call the American dream.

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  • Blog
  • August 16th, 2017

THE MADNESS OF THE MAN WHO WOULD BE KING

by Joel M.Vance
“I would recommend you take a good look in the mirror and remember it was white Americans who put you in the presidency, not radical leftists. This represents a turning point for the people of this country we are determined to take our country back we are going to fulfill the promises of Donald Trump”
These are the words of David Duke former Grand Dragon of the Ku Klux Klan, praising the president of the United States, Donald Trump, for standing up for the horrific actions by the Klan and its associated extreme right wing white supremacist bigots in Charlottesville, Virginia, last weekend. The Klan originated as a group to defend Christian values. So did Nazism.
What Duke said couldn’t have been said any better by the bigoted, violent Klansmen of the 1960s and their ilk who were behind the killing of civil rights workers in Philadelphia, Mississippi, the multiple lynchings of black men, the fire hosing of civil rights workers in Birmingham, Alabama, and the beatings and other violence directed at civil rights marchers in Selma, Alabama.
And how did the schoolyard Bully in Chief respond to Duke’s tweets of support? “Made additional remarks on Charlottesville and realize once again that the fake news media will never be satisfied. Truly bad people!” So in other words it was not the racists and violent demonstrators who were at fault but the news media for calling attention to what happened in Charlottesville. That’s our president in character and at his worst.
In 1927 Donald Trump’s father, Fred, was arrested for participating in a violent Ku Klux Klan rally in New York City. While it’s true that the sins of the father are not necessarily those of the son, there is also another old saying: “the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.”
Over last weekend Donald Trump showed his true colors, primary of which is yellow for cowardice. First he revealed his true self by equating those who celebrated Nazi-ism and white supremacy with those who were there to decry such repulsive bigotry. Then, when the country reacted with revulsion, including many in his own Republican Party, Trump obviously gave in to pressure and gave a tepid rebuke, obviously scripted by his probably horrified advisors, and forced on him. Then there was his Sunday performance in a news conference that was as bizarre as it was revolting when he doubled down on his first reaction to the violence in Charlottesville by coming within a hair of endorsing the neo-Nazis who caused the death of one person directly and the indirect death of two law enforcement officials.
There is a seed deep within far too many white people that can be activated by the sick bile of the David Dukes of the country which always threatens to blossom into a poisonous flower of hatred. If it were not so, we would not have Donald Trump as the president of us all. Obviously, he got enough votes to be elected to the highest office in the land. Every one of those Trump voters shares in the blame and the shame of having elected as our president a person who represents the absolute worst of humanity. Name a disagreeable aspect of a human being and you can find it represented by Trump.
He almost certainly is a criminal unfortunately not yet caught by law enforcement. He is a bully, a womanizer, a cheat, a coward, a narcissistic fraud who is so transparently shallow and flawed that it baffling how he gets away with it and has for so long. It doesn’t say much for the rest of us that he epitomizes P.T. Barnum’s famous statement about the birth rate of suckers. Obviously too many have been born and too many of them went to the polls last November to vote for the King of Fools.
There lives a guy just down the road from us who writes periodic letters to the local newspaper a conservative rag that gives him a forum to vent his spleen. His source of information invariably is Breitbart News, the former leader of which is Steve Bannon, now Trump’s trusted advisor in the White House.
Bannon has plenty of despicable company in the White House. Two other Trump advisors are just as bad. Sebastion Gorka, a top counter-terrorism advisor for Trump, has been linked to a Hungarian Nazi group — the group claims he is a member and he wore a medal from the group to Trump’s inaugural ball. And there is Stephen Miller, who has been described as a former mentee of avowed neo-Nazi Richard Spencer, who frequently appeals to white resentment with language from the Nazi playbook.
From the tenor of the local guy’s letters I suspect he would be an eager applicant for a job in a concentration camp. I don’t know him and I have no desire to make his acquaintance. The mere fact of his existence is disturbing, because it proves that among us are those who would decry and destroy all the values that we say we ascribe to. They are the ones who instigate violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, bringing chaos to places that usually celebrate tranquility and peace.
It’s not just white supremacy that works on the body politic like a cancer cell. There’s news that a 17-year-old brat vandalized a Holocaust memorial in Boston, the second time this summer the memorial has been vandalized. And the white supremacists in Charlottesville were carrying anti-semitic signs. Meeting hate with hate doesn’t solve the problem of hate but it’s difficult not to hate those who preach and practice violence against other human beings. Violence apparently is an inevitable aspect of the genetic code of man himself and impossible to eradicate. The best we can hope for is to temper our tendency to evil and deal with those who succumb to the temptation to commit evil to the full extent of the laws available.
Trump got elected by pandering to seething crowds of hate-filled rabble and encouraging them to chant, “lock her up” in reference to his opponent, Hillary Clinton. The counter chant now should be “lock him up” in reference to Trump himself. It may happen, and it can’t happen soon enough, for this is a man who has the capacity and the authority to destroy the country that was created more than 200 years ago and has survived through catastrophe and calamity for those many years. But we have never seen a time so perilous and fraught with danger to what was created by our forefathers and what we hold so dear.
The party of Lincoln is beginning to realize that it has created a Frankensteinian monster, one that is out of control. Whether the Republicans will have the courage to do what is increasingly obvious- get rid of the scourge on the presidency- or not is iffy. It would take courage and the Republicans have shown a decided lack of that when it comes to doing the right thing. They’ve all too often chosen partisan politics over the greater good.
I worked for two years in Montgomery Alabama, for the Alabama Journal in the 1950s. And I got to see racial prejudice firsthand. Martin Luther King was pastor of the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church at the time, a rising star among civil rights advocates but not yet the icon he would become. He had organized a bus boycott which lasted a year and nearly bankrupted the bus line and finally resulted in desegregation of the city buses and made Rosa Parks a household name. The violence and unrest of the 1960s was on the horizon but not yet present, yet Montgomery always had an undercurrent of racial unrest present like the humming of a high tension electrical line, the kind you don’t want to tamper with.
My home, Missouri, was not exactly an exemplar of racial integration, but it still was better than Alabama and they didn’t serve grits for breakfast. My hometown, Dalton, with barely 200 people, still was segregated with the white population on the front, lower side of a bluff which historically had been the bank of the Missouri River before that fickle river decided to change its bed to three miles south. The black population was on the top of the bluff and there was a vocational school there for African-Americans, patterned on the famed Tuskegee Institute. In delicious irony the 1993 Missouri River flood wiped out the lower part of Dalton’s white area and then someone bought the elevated Main Street and demolished every single building on it. Dalton now has a total population of 75 or fewer and is a virtual ghost town, haunted by the prejudice of yesteryear.
Black and white people mingled in the two grocery stores, but they did not socialize other than casually. It was the accepted mode of segregation, common in the Old South. And at that time the rising tide of integration was still somewhere over the horizon. Despite the 1954 Supreme Court desegregation of public schools, segregation still was de facto. Keytesville high school, where I graduated in 1952, refused to play in a basketball tournament that featured a team with black players. Our team was all white and it would be years before black students appeared in Keytesville classrooms and on the basketball floor.
Once, when we had first moved to Dalton from Chicago where I was born and raised, I came across several black youngsters dribbling a basketball and invited them to go with me down the street to the one-room school where there was an outdoor basket and a half court. Someone complained to my folks about their son playing ball with some black kids and my folks gently explained to me that we were in a different world and needed to play by different rules.
Between Dalton and Montgomery I built a powerful resentment against segregation in any form and now I resent the poisonous influence of the Trump administration which is so representative of the repressive state governments of the Old South. Trump’s top cop, Jeff Sessions, is a closet racist and he has sympathetic allies in a Republican Congress. Echoes of the 1950s are all over Washington. And echoes of the 1930s Nazi regime also are gusting through the administration like the bad effusions from a noxious garbage dump.
His supporters say that Trump is just being Trump when he hits back. “You hit him, he hits back” is the mantra of these deluded fools. In my view Donald Trump is a deadbeat, an unindicted criminal who should be locked away, if not in a prison, certainly in a facility for the mentally ill. He has debased the presidency, he has divided the country like the inciter of a lynch mob. He is a sociopath around whom, in his view, the world revolves. There is no wrong, no apology, no sense of shame in the man. If he does it, it is right in his convoluted and warped mind.
He has to be stopped by an all too often gutless Congress which wields the weapon of impeachment before he destroys the democracy that we cherish and, given his bellicose blustering toward North Korea Venezuela and, for that matter, the rest of the world, the country itself.

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  • Blog
  • August 7th, 2017

RIGHTING WRONGS

By Joel M. Vance
Now that O.J. Simpson has sprinted back into the headlines and soon will be free to rob and kill again if he so chooses, perhaps it’s time to right a sports wrong that took place almost a century ago.
It’s way past time for the sport of baseball to grow up and induct Shoeless Joe Jackson into the Hall of Fame. Banned for life and prohibited from induction into the Hall forever, one of the greatest players in the history of the sport has been stuffed into history’s dustbin far too long.
Simpson may have spent years in jail for robbery, and escaped conviction for killing his ex-wife and her friend, but Jackson was convicted by society on dubious grounds and apparently will suffer eternal disgrace rather than a few years in prison before returning to the golf course.
And while the sports world is at it, how about recognizing Pete Rose’s unparalleled contribution to baseball as its alltime hit leader and also add him to the roster of Hall of Fame inductees?
Let’s look at Shoeless Joe first. He was accused of being one of the co-conspirators of the 1919 Chicago White Sox who conspired to throw the World Series against the Cincinnati Reds, forever after to be known as the Black Sox. There is no doubt that the Sox indeed did throw the series, for a few thousand dollars each from gamblers who presumably made many more thousands of dollars betting against the Sox, in the knowledge that there was no way they could lose.
But evidence suggests that Shoeless Joe was more a victim than he was a perpetrator. At worst, he failed to report the conspiracy among his teammates, but he himself could not have performed more valiantly for his team in the seven games of the series.
Shoeless Joe was one of the most dominant players in the early years of the modern era of baseball. He earned his nickname when he played one game in his stockings because a new pair of cleats hurt his feet. Joe Jackson was the illiterate son of a South Carolina sharecropper who started working 12 hours a day when he was six or seven years old. Professional baseball for him was salvation.
All evidence indicates, if not proves, that he had minimal involvement in the White Sox scandal. But he was banned for life from baseball by the flinty old autocrat, Commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis, and subsequent baseball commissioners and the fusty Baseball Writers of America have failed to make a wrong right. If Shoeless Joe Jackson did commit a sin it was one of omission not commission.
Shoeless Joe’s performance, not only for his entire major league career, but in the World Series where he was accused, is peerless and compared to all the rest of baseball, including those now enshrined in the Hall of Fame, he stands out. Consider this: Shoeless Joe Jackson still has the third highest lifetime batting average in major league history. For his 12 year major league career he batted .356 and had almost 1,800 hits. The Sporting News, the long time voice of major league baseball, ranks Shoeless Joe among the hundred top players of all time.
Shoeless Joe maintained his innocence from 1919 to his death in 1951. According to him and according to evidence, he refused the offered $5,000 bribe to throw the Series two different times. He tried to tell White Sox owner Charles Comiskey about the conspiracy but Comiskey, a notoriousy mean and grouchy old tyrant, refused to meet with him. Shoeless Joe couldn’t afford a lawyer so the team’s lawyer represented him in and allegedly got him drunk to admit his role in the plot. The other seven conspirators all said Jackson was not part of the plot and that they only used his name to give credibility to their scheme.
If Jackson did conspire to throw the series he didn’t do a very good job of it. He got 12 hits in the series a record that stood until 1964. He played errorless ball in left field and threw a man out at the plate. He was by far the outstanding player for either team in that infamous World Series.
Now, as to Pete Rose, the player known as Charlie Hustle, who starred for the Cincinnati Reds, ironically the team that played against the Black Sox in 1919.
There is no denying what Rose did on two counts. He got more hits than any major league player in the history of the game 4,258, eclipsing Ty Cobb’s 4,191 which had seemed destined to stand forever. But there also is no denying that Pete Rose bet on baseball games, thus earning the enmity of the baseball writers and slamming the door to the Hall of Fame against him if not forever, at least to this day. Rose’s defense was that he only bet on his own team to win, not to lose. But gambling whether on your own team or not, is, thanks to the black Sox, a fatal sin.
Pete Rose’s Hall of Fame credentials are unassailable. He won three World Series rings, three batting titles, was the most valuable player once, won two gold glove fielding awards, was the rookie of the year and made 17 All-Star appearances. He also had a lifetime batting average of .303. But.. He bet on baseball, an unpardonable sin since 1919. In 1991 the Hall of Fame voted to ban those who had been ruled permanently ineligible. Finally, in 2004, Rose admitted that he had bet on his team to win but not to lose (one investigator believes that Rose did bet against the Reds while managing them). Rose now is 75 years old and his Hall of Fame fate rests in the hands of the Baseball Writers Association of America.
The baseball Hall of Fame began in 1936 with the induction of five players, Ty Cobb, Babe Ruth, Honus Wagner, Christy Mathewson, and Walter Johnson. The Hall’s Museum opened in Cooperstown, New York, in 1939 where it is today. Of the original five, all of whom were notable for their excellence, both Cobb and Ruth have seen their signature accomplishments eclipsed— Cobb’s total career hits and Babe Ruth’s 60 home run season. Both record-setting performances were considered unbeatable forever, but it didn’t work out that way.
While we are writing the baseball Hall of Fame wrongs, let’s open that door to Roger Maris, who is more than a half century overdue for inclusion into the hall of immortals. What did he do? Well, according to the so-called baseball experts, he had the audacity to break Babe Ruth’s single-season home run record of 60 with 61 in 1961, a record that had stood for 37 years. He had a 12 year career in the major leagues, appeared in seven World Series and was a consecutive two time American League most valuable player and a seven-time All-Star as well as being a gold glove outfielder. He even has had a postage stamp issued in his honor. But he is not in the baseball Hall of Fame.
He committed two sins, according to the grumpy old baseball writers. He broke the Babe’s record, and he did it while playing with and vying for the top home run leadership with Mickey Mantle, who, along with Ruth and Joe DiMaggio constitutes the holy Trinity of Yankee baseball history. Forget the fact that Maris was a two-time American League most valuable player, that he played for two different World Series winning teams, one in each league, and that there are players with a lesser lifetime batting achievements who have made it into the hall.
What he got out of his historic achievement was abuse, even from Yankee fans who booed him the closer he got to breaking the home run record. What he got instead was an asterisk in the record book since it took him 162 games, as opposed to the 154 played in Ruth’s time. Maris’s sin was that he was not Ruth or Mickey Mantle. The more home runs he had, the closer he got to the Ruth record, the more withdrawn he became from the fans and, more importantly, the baseball writers who hold the key to the door of the Hall of Fame. He had 58 home runs within the Babe’s era 154 games, and 59 at the end of the 154 games, but it took until the final game of the extended season, number 162, to hit the last two home runs to reach the magic 61st.
There are two baseball statistics that likely will last into eternity. One is the 1941 streak of 56 games straight in which Joe DiMaggio hit safely. DiMaggio, rightly a Hall of Famer, was untouched by scandal, even if he was married briefly to Marilyn Monroe. The other notable statistic, likely to stand forever is the 31 games won by Denny McLain in 1968. McLain was 31-6 that year, and in today’s baseball where pitchers rarely go a complete-game much less win 20 or more games in a season, his 31 wins likely will endure forever. Not so his reputation which was marred by a conviction for racketeering, extortion, and drug possession for which he served time in prison. Ironically, the last batter McLain faced in his 11 year major league career was Pete Rose.
So, there you have it—the right and wrong of the Baseball Hall of Fame. Pete Rose is a coin flip as far as I’m concerned. His baseball career was unparalleled but he has been less than admirable in his personal life. Denny McLain is a no-no. He could have been the greatest pitcher in history but he booted it all away after one incredible season by unpardonable personal behavior. No place for him in the Hall of Fame.
But Roger Maris and Shoeless Joe Jackson are an entirely different story. Both are long overdue for admission, with apologies from the Baseball Writers of America, for their ill-treatment. But I don’t have a vote and no one among the members of the Writers Association cares one little bit about what I think.
All I have is an opinion.

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