Dodger Thoughts

Jon Weisman's outlet for dealing psychologically with the Los Angeles Dodgers, baseball and life

Coming soon: ‘The Hall of Very Good’

I’m proud to be one of the contributors to the upcoming ebook, The Hall of Very Good, edited by Sky Kalkman and Marc Normandin.

The Hall of Very Good is an ebook meant to celebrate the careers of those who are not celebrated. It’s not a book meant to reopen arguments about who does and does not deserve Hall of Fame enshrinement; rather, it’s meant to remember those who, failing entrance into Cooperstown, will unfairly be lost to history. It’s for the players we grew up rooting for, the ones whose best years led to flags and memories that will fly together forever. Players like Bret Saberhagen, Will Clark, Dwight Evans, Tim Salmon, Wilbur Wood, Orel Hershiser, and literally hundreds of others.

This is not a numbers-driven project (although our contributors lean analytical in their views). Our plan isn’t to be overbearing with numbers and spreadsheets to convince you that these players are worth remembering. What we want to do, instead, is accomplish that same task through stories. Think of your favorite players growing up: they have their moments, games, seasons, quirks, personalities, and legends worth remembering and sharing. Now, combine the best of everyone’s forgotten favorites, and you’ve got a Hall of Very Good. Ask the people who have those memories and love for these players to write essays about them, and you have a book on the same topic.

It takes a talented writer to give these players their due honors, and we’ve collected thirty of them to do just that (see below). These are All-Star writers, some of our favorite must-reads in today’s expansive baseball coverage landscape. They have diverse voices, diverse backgrounds and diverse interests, but they all love baseball and have a passion for the players they’re writing about. …

The subject of my contribution will be Reggie Smith. (For those who have asked, a Pedro Guerrero opus from me will come another time.) To learn more and to pledge support for this project, please follow this link.


The defensive potential of Mark Ellis


When you walk through the garden …


  1. Anonymous

    The A’s  Scott Sizemore injured his left knee Saturday, the only real everyday third baseman on their roster is lost for the season with a torn anterior cruciate ligament.
    Enter Uribe–Not that the Dodgers have another third baseman but then, a vacancy creates a need for Wright.  Three team trade please. 

    • Or the A’s could just try to trade for David Wright directly. ;)

      Isn’t Billy Beane especially a fan of high OBP? Not sure how much he’d like Uribe (though defensively Uribe would solidify things for them.) Anyway, I don’t see it happening…

      • Anonymous

        The truth, unfortunately, hurts.  Oh well it was a nice thought!

      • Anonymous

        Not sure A’s want to pay Wright’s salary vs. Uribe’s.  

  2. Anonymous

    LAT’d…Thanks Jon for “The Wire” toys link. Amazing..

  3. Anonymous

    Great to hear you’re writing a section on Reggie Smith. My favorite Dodger and underrated player. Looking forward to reading it.

  4. Nice! 
    Hm, I always thought of Orel as “great” but maybe he is, historically, simply “very good.” Hm.
    Several Dodgers I grew up rooting for would qualify as very good, not great. Ron Cey? Reggie Smith? Bob Welch is probably simply good, not very good. 

    • Anonymous

      I can’t believe you forgot Fernando! I know Jon would really get creative with him…

    • Anonymous

      Garvey is probably the next best Dodger candidate for the Hall of Very Good.  Or Bill Buckner, if you count him as a Dodger.

      • Anonymous

        I guess Garvey is the logical choice but I wouldn’t mind seeing a piece on Davey Lopes.  MLB put him on their prime 9 base-stealers of all time.

  5. I met Reggie a couple of times when I worked in Culver City and he owned an office supplies company. He was also principal salesman. He found out we were Dodgers fans and brought us a couple of autographed pics. That was in the mid-80s; I doubt if he still owns it.

  6. Anonymous

    I’m obviously impressed by the talent corralled for this project (you know your going to get quality content) but I’m actually very impressed by the concept as well. 

  7. Anonymous

    Who’s writing the Mattingly entry?

  8. In case it’s not clear, the project is not comprehensive and isn’t designed to include everyone who’s “very good.”

    • Anonymous

      I just figured he’d be there, along with Tommy John, Lee Smith, Dale Murphy, . . . and Jim Rice :-)

  9. Anonymous

    As for the Oscars, a dose of Neil Patrick Harris would satisfy a lot of populations.

  10. Andrew Shimmin

    For $250, you can pick the final Hall of Very Gooder. I’m starting a KickStarter project to donate to the Hall of Very Good’s KickStarter project, to commemorate Odalis Perez.

    For spite.

  11. As far as Garvey goes … Chapter 30 of my book.  Costs you well under $250.

  12. Anonymous

    If there was one Dodger that created lore by taking on the outfield wall in Ebbets Field, whose play led to pennant flags, whose memory is still in the mind of our beloved broadcaster, it’s my guy Pete Reiser.  Don’t know if there will be a piece on him, but I will keep hope alive :)

    Still sounds like a wonderful compilation. Will it be available only as an e-book?

  13. Anonymous

    Cool news on the book. I bought “100 Things” will pleasure and was not disappointed. Awesome. 

  14. Pete Reiser – chapter 43 of my book.

  15. Anonymous

    You should write a Dodger children’s book next :)

  16. Anonymous

    Speaking of players who are less than Hall of Fame caliber, did anyone notice this in the Dylan Hernandez article: 

    ” ‘I really feel what’s happened over the last 10 years in New York is really because their best player, Jeter, plays hard every day,’ Mattingly said.

    Kemp has said he models himself after Juan Pierre, who played with the Dodgers from 2007-2009. Pierre was pushed to the bench by Kemp and Andre Ethier but maintained his reputation as the team’s hardest-working player.”

    Can’t help but be struck by the irony that the much-maligned Pierre may have left an enormous legacy to the Dodgers: a much-improved Kemp, and maybe, through his example, a much-improved team. 

    •  You might be right, though some would argue it was a delayed effect after 2010. Probably others besides Pierre contributed.

      • Anonymous

        I’m sure that’s true, Jon. Still, if you’re Juan Pierre, who has only a minor league contract this year, right? . . . well, it’s gotta make you feel good to hear Kemp say that.

  17. SI’s big UCLA hoops expose is out:

    • Anonymous

      What a depressing read!  Though in hindsight, it does make a lot of sense.  IMO, the Bruins have really been under performing the last few years, reminding me of the Lavin years.  I always thought that Howland was a lot better at disciplining his players, but apparently only the ones that didn’t have much playing time.  Howland gave so much lip service about following Wooden’s guidelines, but he certainly didn’t follow them much.  I had heard that he had shown favoritism towards certain players and it certainly seemed that way at times (when watching games), but I had no idea that it was as bad as alleged in the article.  No wonder Lee and Honeycutt left last year, they probably didn’t want to play another year with Reeves Nelson.  I haven’t been following college basketball as much as usual this year mostly because of my disappointment in the way UCLA has played and the overall weakness of the Pac-12.  Its not the losses as much as the seemingly lack of effort and discipline that UCLA has shown in many of the games.  Well, things will probably change due to this article and hopefully for the better.

  18. Farewell, Davy Jones. 

  19. Project backed! Thanks for the link!

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