02 Dec

not happening

There is one Mississippi-born player in the baseball Hall of Fame, and he never played in the major leagues. Starkville native James “Cool Papa” Bell was a Negro Leagues legend. There is one Mississippi-born player on the 2009 ballot for consideration for the Hall, and it’s unlikely he’s going to be elected. Dave Parker, who retired in 1991, has been on the Hall ballot for more than 10 years now. It’s not happening for him. Parker, whose Mississippi birthplace has been variously listed as Calhoun, Calhoun City and Jackson — don’t know the story with that — has impressive career numbers: 2,712 hits, 339 homers, .290 average. He was a seven-time All-Star, and in his prime he was one of the great right fielders of any era. But Parker’s prime didn’t last long. Injuries, weight problems and his admitted cocaine use curtailed Parker’s potential. He wasn’t as good as he could, or should, have been, and perhaps that’s why Hall voters have shunned him.
P.S. Among the new names on the 2009 Hall ballot is former Jackson Mets pitcher Jesse Orosco. Good pitcher. Long career. But don’t see him getting picked either.

Mike Christensen

Mike Christensen

A long-time sports fan and 30-year newspaper veteran muses on all things baseball in Mississippi. Contact: mwchristens@gmail.com
Mike Christensen

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