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January 5, 2010

Hall of Fame 2010: Robin Ventura and Todd Zeile

From now until the Baseball Hall of Fame Class of 2010 is announced, The Hall is going to be breaking down each candidate. Some write ups will be lengthy...some will be the opposite. Some will be brand new pieces...some will be re-hashes of previous pieces.

If you had told me that Robin Ventura and Todd Zeile had been out of the league for five years, I probably would have called you a liar.

That being said, here they are, together…rounding out nearly a month’s worth of Hall of Fame breakdown pieces.

When Ventura made the jump to the bigs back in the fall of 1989, he appeared to have everything going for him. He was the holder of college baseball’s all-time hit streak (58 games), made it to the College World Series and was a Golden Spikes Award Winner.

The next season, the White Sox cleared out the left side of the infield so the future six-time Gold Glove winner could claim his spot among the leagues best fielders.

All in all, Ventura played under the hot lights in the nation’s three biggest markets…Chicago, New York and Los Angeles and compiled 1885 hits, a .267 and just under 300 home runs.

Todd Zeile also spent time in Chicago, New York and Los Angeles…and it is coincidental (or is it?), that Ventura is atop the comparisons list (thanks Baseball Reference) during the time they both played.

Teammates on the 2003 Yankees, their stats at the plate are remarkably similar, but they couldn’t be more different in the field. While Ventura brought home the Rawlings gold…Zeile led all Major Leaguers in errors during the 90s.

Some other fun facts about Zeile (if you can believe Wikipedia)... Zeile is the only player to have have hit a home run for over 10 teams.

He is also one of 41 players ever to hit a home run in his final at-bat. Others on that list…2010 Hall of Fame ballotmate Ray Lankford and Hall of Famers Ted Williams and Mickey Cochrane.

Zeile's final home run also made him the last person ever to hit a homer off a Montreal Expos pitcher.

I can’t say that Ventura or Zeile have much of a chance on this year’s ballot…but they were fun to watch.

Lastly, be sure to join in tonight at 9pm CST for a LIVE discussion of this year’s Hall of Fame. Let me know…did you agree with any of my takes?

Did you disagree?

Let your voice be heard…well, let it be typed out and re-posted for all to see at least.

BallHype: hype it up!


Jason said...

The sad part is that even though I remember Ventura having all the grand slams.... The most clear memory I have of Ventura's time while playing was taking a beating at the hands of a man 20 years older than him.

Jesus Melendez said... took everything in my power to NOT put up the picture of Robin's head protecting his brain from Nolan's fist.

On another (yet similar) note, is there a way to petition Todd McFarlane to make a figurine of the Ryan-Ventura brawl? I mean, he made one of Ryan with the bloodied face courtesy of Bo Jackson...why not the fisticuffs?!?