Hall deserves final say on Clemens

Updated: June 20, 2003, 10:12 AM ET
By Jim Baker
These baseball controversies eat away at one's soul, disrupting the day and reducing worker productivity across the land. This is only how it should be, however, as this is our national game and it must be expected that it will be a part of our lives. Besides, what is wrong with a little healthy debate, regardless of the triviality of the matter? It keeps our collective brains fresh, does it not? With that in mind, I recieved this:

    Jim: I need someone to take my side on this issue. Isn't it Clemens' right to decide what team he's going to represent on his Hall of Fame plaque? If the Hall decided that all players went in with blank caps, that's one thing but to say "We'll tell you how you'll go in!" is crazy. This is Clemens' accomplishment and all these people who act like the Hall and MLB should be able to decide for players are forgetting that one simple fact. Yeah, it's really tacky when Boggs, Winfield and whoever else sold their likeness but in the end what does it really matter??? No one will ever not visit the Hall because Wade Boggs is wearing a Devil Rays cap. Being enshrined in the Hall is a lifetime dream for a player and they should be able to choose the team they most wish to represent. Clemens has harsh feelings about the Red Sox.. Whether we think they're significant or not, they are real issue to him. Just let it go and allow the player to make the call on his own. Incidentally, I have read that Mark McGwire plans on wearing a St. Louis Cardinal cap. I don't think he played for the Cards for a longer period of time than Clemens did for the Yanks. He hit 70 homers in St. Louis but hit the majority of his home runs in Oakland.

    Everyone loves Mac so I doubt we'll hear much about the issue but it's no different than the situation regarding Clemens. Clemens won a Cy Young, achieved his 300th win and 4,000th strikeout, as well as playing for two World Series Championship teams. That's enough to justify his being enshrined as a Yankee. I am not a Yankees fan or even that much of a Clemens fan, I just cannot understand how any group could conceive of taking ownership of this decision. Love to hear your thoughts.
Jim Baker is an author at Baseball Prospectus and a frequent contributor to Page 2. You can e-mail Jim at