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Brian Walton's news and commentary on the St. Louis Cardinals (TM) and their minor league system

Hall of Fame Sunday thoughts

Anger over MLB’s Hall of Fame Sunday games and wonder about ESPN’s Sunday night choice.

Whitey Herzog (Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)The annual Baseball Hall of Fame ceremony was held on Sunday afternoon and three headliners were inducted – former Cubs and Expos outfielder Andre “The Hawk” Dawson, ex-Cardinals and Royals manager Whitey “The White Rat” Herzog and retired umpire Doug Harvey. Congratulations to them and the other new Hall members. (Link to induction speeches.)

I’ve had two Hall-related thoughts in my head about the day that I want to share here.

First, I am ashamed of Major League Baseball. I am ashamed of them for continuing to schedule a full slate of Sunday afternoon games during the Hall of Fame induction.

It wouldn’t have to be. The date is set long in advance – the last Sunday of July.

Why couldn’t and shouldn’t all MLB ballparks be dark on that one Sunday afternoon each summer? Encourage all baseball fans to take in a day of history. Move all the games to that night.

Why won’t it happen? Some owners somewhere will complain about a loss in revenue with a Sunday night gate compared to an afternoon and we all know exactly how the commissioner works.

I think it is incredibly disrespectful of the history of the game and especially a slight to the most worthy inductees each year.

Sticking with the money theme leads me to my second thought.

Sunday afternoon, my friend and Cubs counterpart from Steve Holley wondered out loud why the far-below .500 Cubs were selected by ESPN to play on the Sunday night national broadcast for the third consecutive week.

It seemed clear as day… er night to me – ratings.

After all, we have the team of Herzog taking on Dawson’s club. (I also pointed out to Steve that the Expos were unavailable.)

The worldwide leader had previously lost out on their normal gig televising the induction to the in-house mouthpiece MLB Network. By picking this game, ESPN can take advantage of Hall of Fame Sunday as much as they can.

I don’t see that as a particular problem – just pointing out the possibility of something that seemed obvious to me.

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Brian Walton

Brian Walton runs The Cardinal Nation and The Cardinal Nation Blog, covering the St. Louis Cardinals and minor league system.
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