The Ron Swanson Baseball Hall of Fame, Part 2: “People are idiots, Leslie.”

ron-swanson-pic

Almost two years ago, I made the mistake of empowering you, the reader, with the ability to create, from whole cloth, the Ron Swanson Hall of Fame, honoring the mustachioed dynamo equally skilled in woodworking, meat preparation, hoarding gold, saxamaphone, avoiding his job, and dispensing warm and sincere advice who elevates NBC’s criminally underwatched Parks and Recreation from sublime to divine comedy. I should have, like an enlightened, benevolent despot, made the decision for you, but it turns out I’m too lazy. You actually managed to do an ok job though, electing Old Hoss Radbourn, Ty Cobb, Nolan Ryan, Jeff Bagwell, and Lou Gehrig to be the inaugural class. To date, I’d say we have created the best fictional Hall of Fame based on a fictional character that has ever not actually existed.

With the offseason upon us, now we can turn our attention back to important things, such as choosing the second class of current or former baseballers to join this illustrious group. Thus will we stave off the creeping dread of winter for a short time and four months without baseball. Today, the floor is open for nominations in the comments section and in my Twitter feed, and will remain so until next Wednesday, when we will vote our consciences, because the only thing I respect more than a kindly king making the difficult decisions the rabble cannot is the stupid precedent I have already set. Repeat nominees from last time are allowed, so if your favorite wasn’t popular enough to make it before, you’re welcome to try again.

The established categories under which players, mangers, front office types, mascots, broadcasters, clubbies, groundskeepers, organists, and beer venders can be nominated include:

For Toughness

For Mustache

For Blatant Disdain For Unnecessary Rules and Regulations

For Love of Meat and Scotch

For Nickname

For Unquenchable Iconoclasm

For General Distrust of Authority

For Killing a Man In Cold Blood

Nominees may be listed in more than one category. Also, feel free to suggest additional categories (such as For Having At Least One Ex-Wife Named Tammy), if you find the above wanting. Everyone who is nominated and seconded will receive consideration on next week’s planned democratic fiasco.



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Mike Bates used to have a stupid pseudonym. Now he doesn't because people want to pay him to write about baseball on the Internet and he's really a sell out that way. He is also a Designated Columnist at SBNation, co-founder of The Platoon Advantage, and is an American Carpetbagger on Getting Blanked, the finest in Canadian baseball-type sites. His favorite word is paradigm. Follow him on Twitter here: http://www.twitter.com/commnman


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RC
Member
Member
RC

Can we get Chuck Finley in “For Having At Least One Ex-Wife Named Tammy” on a technicality? I mean, Tawny is close to Tammy, right?

Pirates Hurdles
Guest
Pirates Hurdles

I’ll nominate Wade Boggs for mustache, legendary alcohol fortitude, legendary womanizing, and of course appearing on both the Simpsons and Seinfeld.

Jake
Guest
Jake

And Cheers.

BurleighGrimes
Guest
BurleighGrimes

For virtually all of the above, I also nominate Keith Hernandez. And second the Boggs nomination.

Alexander Nevermind
Guest
Alexander Nevermind

Josh Collmenter

Carson unknowingly nominated him in 2011: http://www.fangraphs.com/not/josh-collmenter-a-picture-of-manly-virtue/

Justin
Guest
Justin

How the hell is Babe Motherfucking Ruth not already a member of this organization? He would be in on “Love of Meat and Scotch” alone.

shamus mcfitzy
Guest
shamus mcfitzy

Seconded

sdiaz
Guest
sdiaz

Ted Williams – The Greatest hitter of his generation and perhaps all time, hall of fame sport fisherman, avid hunter, War hero, alcoholic, had one ex wife named Doris and a second named Dolores, safely crash landed a plane onto a air force carrier, and a man short of words and cold to the media.

Found this bit on Wikipedia and it is perhaps the most Ron Swanson thing ever (well perhaps not the hand holding part):Right before he left for Korea, the Red Sox had a “Ted Williams Day” in Fenway Park. Friends of Williams gave him a Cadillac, and the Red Sox gave Williams a memory book that was signed by 400,000 fans. The Governor of Massachusetts and Mayor of Boston were there, along with a Korean War veteran in a wheelchair. At the end of the ceremony, everyone in the park held hands and sang “Auld Lang Syne” to Williams, a moment which he later said “moved me quite a bit”.[

Rogers Hornsby
Guest
Rogers Hornsby

I hereby nominate myself for Love of Meat and Scotch (I went years without eating anything but steak for supper) and for Toughness. Cause I’m way fucking tougher than the rest of these fools. I also hereby recuse myself from the nomination because Motion Pictures is bad for the eyes.

The Stranger
Member

I nominate Pete Rose for Blatant Disdain for Unnecessary Rules and Regulations. Also, Blatant Disdain for Entirely Reasonable Rules and Regulations.

Well-Beered Englishman
Guest
Well-Beered Englishman

For Toughness, Woodworking on Personal Appendages, Love of Meat and Scotch, Disregard for Elitist Behaviour, Blatant Disdain For Unnecessary Rules and Regulations, General Distrust of Authority, Unquenchable Iconoclasm, and Honour Code Capitalism: Bill Veeck

Toughness and Woodworking on Personal Appendages: After a war injury, Veeck had a wooden leg into which he carved an ashtray.

Love of Meat and Scotch: As a university student, Veeck broke two legs when he drunkenly clambered onto a fourth-floor window ledge “to survey the girls arriving at the party” and fell to the ground.

Disregard for Elitist Behaviour: Veeck once met Salvador Dali at a booze-soaked New York City party. Dali said, “I know absolutely nothing about baseball.” Veeck said, “That makes us even.”

Blatant Disdain for Unnecessary Rules and Regulations: Veeck hired a midget to pinch-hit. There are unconfirmed reports that, in Milwaukee, Veeck had a portable outfield fence which moved forward and back every half-inning.

General Distrust of Authority: Veeck was continuously exiled from baseball and frequently had to buy his newest ballclub in secret. He never masked his disdain, even loathing, for his fellow owners and the commissioners, even going against their will to help establish the free agency.

Unquenchable Iconoclasm: A man who lived at the ballpark, went broke buying teams, was the last ballclub owner to NOT be rich, sponsored Disco Demolition Night, hired a midget as a pinch-hitter, and, according to yours truly, was one of the first people to intuitively understand Moneyball principles.

Honour Code Capitalism: There is a story that Bob Feller walked into the Cleveland Indians owner’s office for a contract negotiation. Bill Veeck said, “How much do you think you’re worth?” Bob Feller named a number. Bill Veeck said that sounded good. They shook hands like men do.

Bill Fucking Veeck.

BurleighGrimes
Guest

Wow, seconded.

fly eli and tony plush
Guest
fly eli and tony plush

thirded. Also, note the “admiration” with which he holds Horace Stoneham (in the Hustler’s Handbook) for trading and making deals ridiculously drunk and coming out on the winning end repeatedly. Also, note the cover photo for Veeck as in Wreck:
comment image

Peter
Guest
Peter

My nominee for the Ron Swanson Hall of Fame is Satchel Paige, competitive in multiple categories: toughness, unquenchable iconoclasm, love of meat and scotch, blatant disdain for rules and regulations, (justified) general distrust of authority. You name it, Paige had it. It’s hard to fit all the ways in which Paige is a total badass into one post, but here’s a smattering.

For most of his career Paige admirably eschewed such affectations as off-speed pitches in favour of throwing the ball too hard for anyone to hit. Poz collected some of the anecdotes a few years ago, including one from Joe DiMaggio in which he said that Paige was the best pitcher he ever faced. However, following a major arm injury he was forced to branch out in order to keep throwing. Allegedly, he’d throw virtually anything, but it was the pitch he invented that got all the press. By the time he was nearing the end of his career, which is to say the beginning of his career in the majors, the “hesitation pitch” was a major weapon in Paige’s arsenal. So the president of the AL banned it. Paige, 22 years into his career at this point, was unfazed and finished the 1948 season with a 61 ERA- and 1.6 WAR in 73 innings of action.

Paige pitched in Cuba for part of one season. He didn’t enjoy it (Can anyone imagine Swanson in Cuba?), at least partly because players were banned from drinking to keep them in playing shape Before the season ended he left the island abruptly to return to the US. While multiple explanations for the timing of his departure circulate, the common thread between them seems to indicate that he was fleeing from a romantic entanglement gone sour. No word on whether her name was Tammy.

To celebrate the Fourth of July in 1933, Paige threw a 17-strikeout no hitter.

And as for the fact that he only made his major-leage debut at 42? Surely Ron has already answered that objection. People, you see, are idiots.

PS: According to Aaron Perlut, the moustache that Paige wore during his time in the majors scared inferior attempts so badly that two decades would pass until Reggie Jackson had the gumption to try again in 1971.

Well-Beered Englishman
Guest
Well-Beered Englishman

I strongly support and second this nomination, and point out that Satchel Paige supplies further evidence of General Distrust of Authority in the case for Paige’s frequent employer, Bill Veeck.

BurleighGrimes
Guest

Yes to Satchel Paige.

TKDC
Guest
TKDC

Ugueth Urbina

Qualifications:

Toughness – Urbina’s mother was kidnapped and held for ransom in southwest Venezuela. Urbina’s family refused to pay the ransom and an anti-kidnapping unit rescued her in a military-style operation on February 18, 2005.

Mustache – check

Blatant Disregard for Authority and Killing a Man in Cold Blood – Urbina was arrested on a charge of attempted murder after he attacked five farm workers on his property whom he had accused of stealing a gun. The pitcher tried to injure the men with a machete and also attempted to pour gasoline on them.Urbina was convicted of attempted murder.

Nickname – No nickname touches having the initial UUU.

Darkstone42
Member
Darkstone42

For Mustache: Larry McWilliams

Not a large mustache, but rich, thick, full, and perfectly groomed.

Also, for having a seemingly out-of-place “Mc” in his last name.

Also, for blatant disregard of attempts at history-making, as he contributed to ending Pete Rose’s 44-game hit streak as a rookie in 1978, being the winning pitcher that day.

Darkstone42
Member
Darkstone42

Additionally, McWilliams had the audacity to give up four hits that day, in only five innings, but none of them to Rose.

Lenard
Member
Member
Lenard

Mickey Mantle loved his booze and he loved to share his meat with members of the fairer sex, even during games.

Chris K
Guest
Chris K

Even through a groin pull. Back when men were men.

Chris K
Guest
Chris K

I’m pretty sure Banknotes Harper should be in there for Love of Meat and Scotch. And nickname. And mustache. And business acumen.

DavidJ
Member
DavidJ

Surely the Ron Swanson Hall of Fame could use at least one actual Ron. Soft-spoken, mustachioed huntsman Ron Guidry would be a fitting nominee, I think.

Jimbo
Guest
Jimbo

Big Ed Delahanty seems like a Swanson Hall of Fame kind of guy.

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