Since 2012, The Hall of Very Good™ has done its best to shine a light on those that Cooperstown has seemingly forgotten and those who have done everything they can to preserve the greatness of the game of baseball.
This year’s class includes a misunderstood slugger who the National Baseball Hall of Fame hasn’t found a place for (yet?), an international superstar that opened the door for many and a man who has spent his life telling the story of some true American heroes.
Ranked among baseball’s top offensive producers of the 1960s and early 1970s, DICK ALLEN was a seven-time All-Star and former American League MVP.
With a career .292 batting average and 351 home runs, “The Wampum Walloper” is considered by many baseball historians as the best player not enshrined in Cooperstown.
“I actually thought that Dick was better than his stats,” former Chicago White Sox teammate Stan Bahnsen said. “Every time we needed a clutch hit, he got it. He got along great with his teammates and he was very knowledgeable about the game. He was the ultimate team guy.”
In 2004, he was inducted into the Baseball Reliquary’s Shrine of the Eternals. He was inducted into the Negro Leagues Hall of Game in 2018.
Allen died December 7, 2020. He was 78.
With his signature tornado-like delivery, HIDEO NOMO became an international pitching sensation after a loophole allowed him to leave Japan for Los Angeles in 1995.
Who can forget Nomomania?
“He pioneered the Japanese players’ transition to the United States,” Kansas City Royals general manager Dayton Moore said. “He was one of the dominant pitchers of his era.”
The former Rookie of the Year is one of only five pitchers to throw a no-hitter in both the American and National League. He finished his career in 2008 with 201 wins across two continents and a combined 3122 strikeouts.
In 2014, Nomo became the third member of the Japanese Baseball Hall of Fame to be selected in their first year of eligibility.
Since being named president of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in March 2011, BOB KENDRICK has been at the forefront of making sure the league is never forgotten.
Founded in 1990, the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum is the world’s only museum dedicated to preserving and celebrating the rich history of African-American baseball and its profound impact on the social advancement of America.
Kendrick has been responsible for the creation of several signature museum educational programs and events including the Hall of Game which annually honors former Major League Baseball greats who played the game in the spirit and signature style of the Negro Leagues.
Kendrick was inducted into the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame in 2014.
Long before he was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame, CHARLEY PRIDE was a two-time Negro League All-Star pitcher that found himself on the cusp of a Major League Baseball career.
Not only did Pride achieve worldwide fame as a country music pioneer, he was also founding member of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum.
“What a blessing to be able to channel both your love of one art form and then develop another art form that would take you to unparalleled heights,” Kendrick said of Pride’s transition from the baseball diamond to the Grand Ole Opry stage. “It was a blessing that he hurt his arm because he made a whole lot more money singing than he would have pitching.”
Pride died December 12, 2020 of complications related to COVID-19 . He was 86.
- 2012 – Tommy John
- 2013 – Dale Murphy and Steve Blass
- 2014 – Luis Tiant, Tony Oliva and “The San Diego Chicken” Ted Giannoulas
- 2015 – Jim Kaat, Lee Smith and “Macho Man” Randy Savage
- 2016 – Jose Canseco, Bill Buckner, Ross Grimsley and Thomas Ian Nicholas
- 2017 – Dave Parker, Roger Maris, Ila Borders and Tracy Reiner
- 2018 – Al Oliver, Bob Motley and “The Sandlot”
- 2019 – Buck O’Neil, Dave Stieb and Brody Stevens
From 1976-1979, Burke played parts of four seasons in the Majors, splitting time between the Los Angeles Dodgers and Oakland A’s. But as impressive as his combination of power and speed was, it was his courage off the field that made headlines. In 1982, the former outfielder came out as homosexual, thus ending any real chance he had at possibility making any sort of comeback.
Burke was found to have AIDS in 1994. Less than a year later, he was dead.
THE GLENN BURKE MEMORIAL COURAGE AWARD is an annual award presented to a person who has made a significant impact on the game of baseball and, in the process, overcome adversity to succeed on the field. So it is with great honor and pleasure that The Hall of Very Good announces GREG MODICA as the 2021 recipient of The Glenn Burke Memorial Courage Award.
After what was thought to be a career-ending injury, 40-year-old Greg Modica found himself back on the mound this past summer throwing heat for the New York Boulders of the Frontier League.
14 years after throwing his last professional pitch, Modica ended his night with a pretty impressive line…3 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 2 SO on 43 pitches (22 strikes).
“In my mind, I know I’m not gonna be a big leaguer,” Modica told Forbes. “This isn’t gonna be ‘The Rookie’…there’s not gonna be a Disney movie named about me. The whole reason I did this is just for some closure to my baseball career.”
— Greg Modica (@modicapitching) August 10, 2020
- 2014 – Tanner Vavra
- 2015 – Jon Teig
- 2016 – David Denson
- 2017 – Stacy Piagno
- 2018 – David Mellor
- 2019 – Dave Stevens
ABOUT THE LOGO: The Hall of Very Good™ Induction logo is courtesy of Todd Radom, the creative mind behind some of the sports world’s more iconic logos. Radom has created logos for the Los Angeles Angels, Washington Nationals, Milwaukee Brewers, the World Baseball Classic and Big3 basketball league.