Tino Martinez – 1991 Fleer

November 30, 2010

Look At That Perfect Form!

Did he study with Tom Emanski? I love the fact that he’s actively going to use two hands to field that grounder. If there’s one thing I heard all of the time when I played as a youth – it was ‘TWO HANDS!’  Heck, I heard it when this card was out and I was playing slow-pitch.

(My fielding woes drove me to the slow-pitch pitching mound at a young age – sort of like a player who becomes a DH at age 23 or so. Later I began to hit like a pitcher – and that’s when I decided I needed another hobby.)

Tino was a great fielder in his prime. He also had 2 great seasons, 1 excellent seasons and several good years. He’s eligible for the HOF but he’s not going to make it. If Mattingly’s not going in the HOF (and he won’t), then Tino won’t get in – I doubt if he makes the next ballot. That doesn’t mean he’s a bad player – just not HOF worthy.

Of course, the HOF excluded at least one worthy player (Lou Whitaker) because of the 5% rule but it does keep the chaff off of the ballot. The entire HOF debate is pretty pointless. There are about a dozen players I’d crowbar out – and some 19th century players (like Pete Browning) who definitely deserve to be in there. Ron Santo’s exclusion is a huge stain on the Hall.

If I had a HOF vote, here is who I would vote for:










But I don’t have a vote. My only concern is that some very deserving players (like Tim Raines) will get left behind because people don’t recognize the contributions he made. Ah, well.

Anyone who makes a HOF ballot is a player worthy of remembering. Even if they don’t get a vote, the played major league ball for 10+ years. That’s a dandy career at any speed.

Actually, WE can remember. We have little cardboard things of Tino fielding a ground ball with two hands. Coach Rick would have been proud!


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