Rock and Roll Hall of Fame ballot 2019

Some guy I used to know IRL said of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame nominations, “the least important election this year.” Still, one can cast a fan vote, every day, for five nominees, which, collectively, will be considered in the process.

My Sure Things

#TODD RUNDGREN; Eligible year: 1995
Number of nominations: 1; Nominated in 2019
I have his albums with the Nazz, Utopia and a number of his solo albums. He’s also produced a chunk of notable albums for others. It’s SHOCKING that he was never nominated before. He’s a wizard, a true star. Can We Still Be Friends

#JANET JACKSON Eligible year: 2007
Number of nominations: 3 Nominated in 2016, 2017, 2019
I left her off my ballot a couple years ago. Yet she has been not only a commercial success – in the top five women artists, according to Billboard – but a socially conscious one. Seeing her in person this year may have tipped the scale. Rhythm Nation

#ROXY MUSIC Eligible year: 1997
Number of nominations: 1; Nominated in 2019
Bryan Ferry and his mates have never been nominated before? Commercially successful and influential. Love Is the Drug

The ones who are influential, and who I should consider

DEF LEPPARD Eligible year: 2005
Number of nominations: 1; Nominated in 2019
Not particularly a fan, but surprised it took them so long to get on the ballot. Last I checked, they were neck and neck with Stevie Nicks for the fan vote lead.

JOHN PRINE Eligible year: 1996
Number of nominations: 1; Nominated in 2019
Great singer-songwriter. Probably my sixth choice this year. Dear Abby

KRAFTWERK Eligible year: 1995
Number of nominations: 5; Nominated in 2003, 2013, 2015, 2017, 2019
I KNOW how seminal their music is.

LL COOL J Eligible year: 2009
Number of nominations: 5; Nominated in: 2010, 2011, 2014, 2018, 2019
It was only last year when I fully recognized his historic import.

RADIOHEAD Eligible year: 2017
Number of nominations: 2; Nominated in 2018, 2019
I suppose if I ENJOYED their music more, I’d have picked them.

RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE Eligible year: 2017
Number of nominations: 2; Nominated in 2018, 2019
An important band. Hope they get in someday.

I voted for them because I like them

#DEVO Eligible year: 2003
Number of nominations: 1; Nominated in 2019
They were fun, especially in the early days of MTV. Satisfaction

#THE CURE Eligible year: 2004
Number of nominations: 2; Nominated in 2012, 2019
The music speaks to me. Boys Don’t Cry

I like them but I don’t know if they should be in there

MC5 Eligible year: 1991
Number of nominations: 4; Nominated in 2003, 2017, 2018, 2019
I’ve had High School stuck in my ear this fall. Yet I can’t quite pick the Detroit group.

RUFUS FEATURING CHAKA KHAN Eligible year: 1999
Number of nominations: 3; Nominated in 2012, 2018, 2019
I picked them last year, but it was really for her. On the fence about the group. Tell Me Something Good

STEVIE NICKS Eligible year: 2006
Number of nominations: 1; Nominated in 2019
She was, last I checked, leading the fan vote. She’s already in with Fleetwood Mac. Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around with TOM PETTY and THE HEARTBREAKERS

THE ZOMBIES Eligible year: 1989
Number of nominations: 4; Nominated in 2014, 2017, 2018, 2019
One GREAT album, and a few fine singles that I LOVE, but… She’s Not There

I make my annual pitch for Estelle Axton, the AX of STAX Records. Her brother, Jim Stewart’s been in since 2003. f

Baseball Hall of Fame 2018

Somehow, I missed the fact that the ballots for the 2018 Hall of Fame were distributed in November to the Baseball Writers’ Association of America (BBWAA). They voted by mail to select from a ballot of recently retired players and were returned by December 31. The results will be announced on January 24.

The candidates can be found here – inductees will need 75% of the vote.

The ones I would have picked:

1 Barry Bonds (6th year of eligibility, out of 10; 53.8% of the votes last ballot)
2 Roger Clemens (6th year, 54.1%)

Still, by far, the best players on the ballot. One of the greatest position players (Bonds) and pitchers (Clemens) of all time. Performance-enhancing drugs were not really regulated until 2004, and their achievements before any allegations were stellar. They each received over 50% of the vote last time, with 75% needed, which is on the upswing.

3 Vladimir Guerrero (pictured, 2nd year, 71.8%) – the outfielder had career batting average of .318, with 449 home runs. If the ballot wasn’t so stuffed last time, he would have made it then

4 Chipper Jones (1st year) – the third baseman/outfielder spent his 19-year career with the Atlanta Braves and hit over .300, with 468 homers

5 Trevor Hoffman (3rd year, 74.0%) – painfully close for the guy with 601 saves

6 Jim Thome (1st year) – with 612 home runs, he is 8th on the all-time list

7 Larry Walker (8th year, 21.9%) – though having a .313 batting average, his 9.5 years playing his home games in Colorado, advantageous to a hitter, has made him a less attractive choice

8 Edgar Martinez (9th year, 58.6%) – voters have been resistant for voters to select a full-time designated hitter to the Hall, though they’ve picked Frank Thomas, who was a DH about 58% of the time

9 Jeff Kent (5th year, 16.7%) – solid infielder at three positions, solid hitter, and has the same birthday as mine

10 Mike Mussina (5th year, 51.8%) – solid pitcher for many years, not always the ace of the staff – he won 270 games at a point that winning 300, once the gold standard, is almost impossible to achieve with a five-man rotation

One could make a good case for Omar Vizquel, the slick-fielding infielder with over 2800 hits
***
The National Football League playoffs start this weekend. My rooting interests this postseason, in order:
1. Buffalo Bills – only team that plays its home games in New York State
2. Pittsburgh Steelers – the favorite team of Chuck Miller
3. Philadelphia Eagles – my favorite bus driver’s favorite team
4. Carolina Panthers – where my parents moved to in 1974
5. Jacksonville Jaguars – they’ve been terrible for a decade, went from 3-13 in 2016 to 11-5 in 2017, and the city took a beating from Hurricane Irma in September 2017
6-11. whoever
12. New England Patriots

The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Is Looking for a Librarian

About a half dozen people sent me, usually via Facebook, an article about a job ad: The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Is Looking for a Librarian. Now it is true that I am a librarian, and for nearly 25 years. It’s also correct that I am interested in rock and/or roll, based on the one or two articles I’ve written on the subject the past dozen years. I’ve even been to the place in Cleveland, OH the past year, as I indicated here and here.

So I just HAD to look at the job description: “The Librarian reports to the Senior Director of Library and Archives and performs descriptive cataloging of library resources; assists in providing instruction and reference service and engaging users through outreach activities; assists in the collection development of library resources; and supervises the work of the Library Assistant, interns, and volunteers.”

I have done instruction, engaged users online on a few webinars, supervised interns. I’ve had only passing opportunity to do collection development. But I really haven’t done cataloging at all.

Moreover, in looking at the full posting, I have NO “Experience cataloging using RDA, AACR2, Library of Congress-Program for Cooperative Cataloging Policy Statements (LC-PCC PS), Library of Congress Classification (LCC), Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH), Library of Congress Genre-Form Terms (LCGFT), and MARC formats.”

In fact, the only cataloging of music material I’ve ever done was for my personal use. For instance, I have several LPs that are compilations with various artists, such as the Warner Brothers Loss Leaders, benefit concerts such as The Secret Policeman’s Ball, and some soundtracks. I created a 3X5 card for each artist, with song and album name, better to make mixed tapes; ah, Arlo Guthrie’s Voter Registration Rag is on Burbank.

And that was about a decade before I even went to library school, which SHOULD have told me something. Was that geeky or what?

So I shan’t be moving to Cleveland, alas. But I appreciate all the notices from the people who have been thinking about me.

Baseball Hall of Fame 2014: my ballot

Now that Tony La Russa, Bobby Cox and Joe Torre, who rank third, fourth and fifth, respectively, on the career list of managerial victories, have been “elected unanimously to the Hall of Fame [on December 9] by the expansion-era committee,” it’s time for me to think about the players, who will be voted on by the baseball writers, the results of which will be announced on January 8. “To be enshrined, players must be named on at least 75% of the Committee members’ ballots.”

Here are the players on the ballot. Last year, NO players were inducted – which was too bad – so now, with new players being retired for five years, there’s a real backlog. The sportswriters who vote can select up to 10 players, though most apparently do not.

These are my picks:

1. Jack Morris. It’s his 15th and final year on the ballot. He got 67.7% of the vote last year; put him in.

2. Lee Smith, who had more saves than anyone when he retired in an era when relievers often pitched more than one inning. 12th year on the ballot. He got 47.8% of the vote last year, but this year, I fear he’ll do worse. I’ve supported his selection for years.

3 and 4. Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine. Both pitchers are worthy, and Maddux should be a lock with over 350 wins; Glavine had 305, and 300 has been the threshold for years, probably too high in the five-man rotation. It would be nice if they could go in with their longtime Atlanta manager Cox. Both 1st year on the ballot.

5. Frank Thomas. They didn’t call him The Big Hurt for nothing. He hit 500 home runs, yet also batted over .300 for his career; power hitters often sacrifice average for power.

6 and 7. Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens. Now we come to the Steroid Era players. No one would argue that these aren’t the best position player and pitcher, respectively, on the ballot, and in fact two of the best players ever. The steroids weren’t specifically banned at the time they were allegedly taken them. Last year, I understood why Bonds only got 36.2% and Clemens, 37.6% of the votes; the writers didn’t want them to go into the hall on the first ballot. But they still belong, even cutting their numbers by 25%.

8. Mike Piazza. A good hitting catcher, who was never specifically accused of taking performance-enhancing drugs (PED), but everyone who bulked up in that period was suspected by some. There’s no reason to believe it so. Last year, in his first year of eligibility, he got 57.8% of the vote. Some writers who didn’t want him in in his first year might vote yes in his second.

9. Craig Biggio. Second basemen aren’t usually expected to be selected for power, but for defense. Yet thrice he won both the Gold Glove (for fielding) asnd the Silver Slugger (for hitting) in the same season.

10. Tim Raines. I’ve become convinced that being the second best leadoff hitter in his era, after Rickey Henderson, is worthy of the Hall. He had over 800 stolen bases in his career.

I had to leave off people I most definitely would have considered: Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa, whose home run race in 1998 reengerized the baseball fan after the 1994 strike, both tainted by PED use; first baseman Jeff Bagwell, pitcher Mike Mussina, and pitcher Curt Schilling, who I dropped in favor of Raines. Probably three or four others I would have picked in another year.

If I had a ballot for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

From CNN: “Grunge groundbreakers Nirvana, disco dynamos Chic and the costume-clad, Gene Simmons-led pop metal band KISS are among 16 nominees up for election in the museum’s Class of 2014. The deep selection also includes ’70s and ’80s hitmakers Hall and Oates; college radio heroes the Replacements; New Orleans funkmeisters the Meters; sweet-voiced Linda Ronstadt; and pioneering gangsta rappers N.W.A.

“Completing the list: the Paul Butterfield Blues Band, Deep Purple, Peter Gabriel, LL Cool J, Cat Stevens, Link Wray, Yes and the Zombies.”

CBS News adds: “Nirvana, Linda Ronstadt, Peter Gabriel, Hall and Oates and The Replacements are among first-time nominees to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.”

All eligible nominees released their first single or album at least 25 years before the year of nomination.
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Linda Ronstadt for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

One of my friends, remembering her popularity in the late 1970s, both musically and visually – posters of her image were on more few dorm room walls – wrote: “Now that we know Linda Ronstadt is living with Parkinson’s, can we please finally put her in the Rock’n’Roll Hall of Fame?”

Not sure about whether induction there really matters; it certainly does not diminish her remarkable talent over decades. Still, I support the notion of her getting into the Hall, and if it takes a sympathy vote because she no longer can sing to achieve it, so be it. But I think she has enough bona fides to get there without pity.

She had tremendous commercial success in the folk-rock milieu in the 1970s, yet ventured off to do Continue reading

Traditions of baseball, comic books, and film

I lost a dollar this week. A blogger I know bet that no one would be elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame, and regrettably, he was right. Even allowing the “punishment” of those who allegedly took performance-enhancing drugs, there were plenty of qualified candidates (starting pitcher Jack Morris, the totally undervalued reliever Lee Smith, for two). This was an unfortunate outcome, and not so incidentally, will be lousy for tourism in Cooperstown this year.

Now, ironically Continue reading

Baseball Hall of Fame in the Steroid Era

The ballot for the 2013 inductees to the Baseball Hall of Fame has been announced. Two of the greatest players ever, outfielder Barry Bonds and pitcher Roger Clemens, are on the ballot for the first time; both have been implicated as users of performance enhancing steroids. Sammy Sosa, a great home run hitter, is also in this category.

These are the other first-time nominees: Craig Biggio, Curt Schilling, Mike Piazza, Kenny Lofton, David Wells, Julio Franco, Shawn Green, Steve Finley, Roberto Hernandez, Jose Mesa, Mike Stanton, Sandy Alomar Jr., Jeff Cirillo, Reggie Sanders, Jeff Conine, Royce Clayton, Ryan Klesko, Aaron Sele, Woody Williams, Rondell White, Todd Walker.

The following players received between 5 and 74 percent of the BBWAA vote in 2012 and have appeared on no more than 14 previous BBWAA ballots, making them eligible to return to the 2013 ballot: Jeff Bagwell, Edgar Martinez, Don Mattingly, Fred McGriff, Mark McGwire, Jack Morris, Dale Murphy, Rafael Palmeiro, Tim Raines, Lee Smith, Alan Trammell, Larry Walker and Bernie Williams.
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Summer song: Summer, by War

War was a long-running funk-rock band from southern California, who was commercially viable, at least into the 1990s. Eric Burdon, formerly of The Animals, was the lead vocalist on their first hit, Spill the Wine, back in 1970, but others took the reins shortly after that.

On the Billboard 100, the very peaceful tune called Summer, which was appropriately released on June 21, 1976, debuted on the chart on July 10 and spent 16 weeks there, eventually getting to #7. On the soul charts, it also started moving on July 10, and spent 14 weeks, reaching #4. It was declared a gold record, selling over 500,000 units.

Here is Summer, by War. Continue reading

T is for Tennis Hall of Fame

When we were in Newport, RI five years ago, we found ourselves at a sandwich shop. I happened to walk around the corner, and there was the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum. I swore that next time we were in town we’d go, and in April, the Wife and I did.

From the Wikipedia: “While the modern game of tennis originated in late 19th century England, most historians believe that the games ancient origin is from 12th century France, but the ball was then struck with the palm of the hand. It was not until the 16th century that rackets came into use, and the game began to be called “tennis”, from the Old French term Tenez, which can be translated as ‘hold!’, ‘receive!’ or ‘take!'” One can play “real” tennis at the Hall, though we did not.

There were plenty of artifacts Continue reading