The Politics of Glory

From BR Bullpen

The Politics of Glory is a 1994 book by Bill James, examining the Hall of Fame, from the standpoints of who is in, who put them in, who should be in, who shouldn't be in, etc.

It is an important book from the point of view of sabermetrics, in that it introduces a number of concepts designed to analyze who gets into, and should get into, the Hall of Fame (some of these were previously introduced in James's annual Baseball Abstracts in the 1980s).

In addition, the book contains in-depth analyses of a number of players, such as Phil Rizzuto and Don Drysdale, as well as looking at many players who (at the time) were not in the Hall.

Its main fault is that it tends to downplay, and almost ignore, the value of ex-players serving as broadcasters, general managers, and in other off-the-field roles. While James defends his decision to do so, nevertheless it ignores the fact that numerous Hall of Famers may have gotten over the edge because they were successful broadcasters for a fairly long period of time. Examples, of course, are Don Drysdale, Ralph Kiner, Duke Snider, Phil Rizzuto, Richie Ashburn, and Dizzy Dean.

The book was re-issued in 1995 in a paperback edition as Whatever Happened to the Hall of Fame?

Further Reading[edit]

  • Bill James: Whatever Happened to the Hall of Fame?, Fireside Books, New York, NY, 1995. ISBN 0684800888 (originally published in 1994 as The Politics of Glory)