Congratulations to the Goose, Rich Gossage, who became the fifth reliever in baseball history to be elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame after an egregiously long wait. The intimidating and overpowering righty finally cracked the 75% vote requirement and obtained votes from almost 86% of the voters.
Among closers with 300+ career saves, he has the most relief innings, most wins, most strikeouts and 125 saves of 2+ innings! Rivera has 11. Indeed, Goose pitched in an era where closers would come into the game in the seventh, and would pitch more when their team was in a tie. As ESPN's Keith Law noted, today's closers come in and throw as hard as they can for 15+ pitches to get out of one inning; Gossage would enter a game and throw as hard as he could for 40 pitches or more and multiple innings.
Goose's numbers are far better than Bruce Sutter's, but the latter got into the Hall two years ago because his use of the split-finger fastball was considered revolutionary. The selection of Sutter over Gossage in 2006 was a mistake, now it's partially nullified.
Gossage is the only player elected by the BBWAA this year. Five other new members are selections of the Veterans' Committee. Near misses by Jim Rice, Andre Dawson, Bert Blyleven and not-so-near misses by Tim Raines, Tommy John and Mark McGwire were notable. The Monk thinks John, McGwire and Dawson should be in.
But today is a day for the Goose to revel. Congratulations to him on an honor that he's deserved without receiving for entirely too long.