I don't follow baseball very closely, at least not through the midseason. But I can't not note the induction of Ryne Sandberg and Wade Boggs into the Hall of Fame today.
I am first very happy to see that Boggs didn't have any (or enough) residual bitterness over the Margo days to stop him from going in as a Red Sox player (see below.) I'm also especially pleased as, though I don't go to many games, I had the opportunity to see both men play. Boggs was the hero of a 1-0 Boston win I attended in 1990, I believe, hitting a rare home run that decided a pitcher's duel between Roger Clemens and David Cone, then of Kansas City, at Fenway Park. Sandberg I saw toward the end of his career, 1996, during the early months of his comeback, in a game at Wrigley against the Dodgers (with Mike Piazza back then, and Harry Caray was in the booth.) Not as memorable a game - I think the Dodgers won - but I am pleased now to think of both, and the fact that I've only ever attended major league games at those two parks. And hey, I lived in Cooperstown for a little while - I'm practically family at this point.
Anyway, well-deserved honors. And some fine words from Mr. Sandberg:
''A lot of people say this honor validates my career,'' said Sandberg, who wasn't picked until the 20th round of the 1978 amateur draft by the Philadelphia Phillies. ''But I didn't work hard for validation. I didn't play the game right because I saw a reward at the end of the tunnel. I played it right because that's what you're supposed to do -- play it right and with respect. Turning two is more important than knowing where to find the little red light on the dugout camera.''
Damn straight. You could apply the same thought to other areas of life, too. Well, you'd need to change the dugout reference and all that, but you get the idea.
UPDATE: Following a comment by the Cod, I googled around and learned (as noted below) that Boggs didn't have a choice but to go in with a Sox cap, the Hall having deprived players of a say in the matter. And according to some nerd on the internet, Wade has only himself to blame:
The reason they changed their policy of letting the player decide (it had been that way for 60 years) is because of Wade Boggs. Word got out that part of the contract he signed with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays was that if he were to be inducted into the HOF, he would ask for a Tampa hat instead of a Red Sox or Yankee hat. Worried that this would set an ugly precedent, they changed the rule.
We always hated him, anyway.