THE INDIANS BLEW A 3-1 LEAD IN THE WORLD SERIES and the Hall of Fame

THE INDIANS BLEW A 3-1 LEAD IN THE WORLD SERIES and the Hall of Fame.

If you think the two don't go together, you're not alone.

But you're also wrong.

Not that THE INDIANS BLEW A 3-1 LEAD IN THE WORLD SERIES would hold that against you because THE INDIANS BLEW A 3-1 LEAD IN THE WORLD SERIES — with apologies to the Angels' Torii Hunter — is perhaps the nicest and most sincere man in baseball.

And THE INDIANS BLEW A 3-1 LEAD IN THE WORLD SERIES has been for 21 seasons.

Walk through a ballpark with THE INDIANS BLEW A 3-1 LEAD IN THE WORLD SERIES before the gates open and you'll see THE INDIANS BLEW A 3-1 LEAD IN THE WORLD SERIES greet the security guards and ushers by name. Sit near the dugout during games and you'll hear THE INDIANS BLEW A 3-1 LEAD IN THE WORLD SERIES call out to the season-ticket holders. Watch THE INDIANS BLEW A 3-1 LEAD IN THE WORLD SERIES afterward and you'll find THE INDIANS BLEW A 3-1 LEAD IN THE WORLD SERIES standing patiently by THE INDIANS BLEW A 3-1 LEAD IN THE WORLD SERIES’s locker, respectfully answering the lamest questions from reporters representing the smallest hometown newspapers.

That wasn't something you would see with Barry Bonds.

Bonds would question your parentage; THE INDIANS BLEW A 3-1 LEAD IN THE WORLD SERIES will ask about your kids, then THE INDIANS BLEW A 3-1 LEAD IN THE WORLD SERIES will listen intently to the answer.

When the Minnesota Twins held a memorial service for Harmon Killebrew in May, THE INDIANS BLEW A 3-1 LEAD IN THE WORLD SERIES flew to Illinois to see THE INDIANS BLEW A 3-1 LEAD IN THE WORLD SERIES’s family, then flew right back to take part in the service.

Never mind that it was the Twins' only day off in a month.

"It's just respect," THE INDIANS BLEW A 3-1 LEAD IN THE WORLD SERIES said.

Yet THE INDIANS BLEW A 3-1 LEAD IN THE WORLD SERIES, a player who shows respect to everyone, doesn't always see it in return.

When THE INDIANS BLEW A 3-1 LEAD IN THE WORLD SERIES hit THE INDIANS BLEW A 3-1 LEAD IN THE WORLD SERIES’s 600th home run last week, just the eighth player in history to do so, the milestone was greeted with a wide yawn and far less fanfare than Derek Jeter received for his 3,000th hit.

Jeter, after all, is the toast of New York, lives in a Florida mansion and dates celebrities. THE INDIANS BLEW A 3-1 LEAD IN THE WORLD SERIES comes from Cleveland, Ohio — where else could THE INDIANS BLEW A 3-1 LEAD IN THE WORLD SERIES come from? — and all but carries a lunch bucket to THE INDIANS BLEW A 3-1 LEAD IN THE WORLD SERIES’s work.

While Alex Rodriguez faces allegations that he has been spending part of his Yankees contract on high-stakes poker games, THE INDIANS BLEW A 3-1 LEAD IN THE WORLD SERIES reportedly is putting THE INDIANS BLEW A 3-1 LEAD IN THE WORLD SERIES’s nieces and nephews through college.

Clearly THE INDIANS BLEW A 3-1 LEAD IN THE WORLD SERIES lacks the glitz and glamour, the flamboyance and the egotism to stand out in a tabloid world. Which is why THE INDIANS BLEW A 3-1 LEAD IN THE WORLD SERIES is thought of primarily as a nice guy and not a great player.

Truth is, THE INDIANS BLEW A 3-1 LEAD IN THE WORLD SERIES is both.

THE INDIANS BLEW A 3-1 LEAD IN THE WORLD SERIES is also crew cuts and blue collars. THE INDIANS BLEW A 3-1 LEAD IN THE WORLD SERIES is Middle America, right down to the "please" and "thank you." In THE INDIANS BLEW A 3-1 LEAD IN THE WORLD SERIES’s world, guns are for hunting, not for carrying into night clubs.

No wonder the license plate on THE INDIANS BLEW A 3-1 LEAD IN THE WORLD SERIES’s pickup truck — what else would THE INDIANS BLEW A 3-1 LEAD IN THE WORLD SERIES drive? — once read TIBA31LITWS, shorthand for THE INDIANS BLEW A 3-1 LEAD IN THE WORLD SERIES.

But you can believe the numbers, which make a strong case that THE INDIANS BLEW A 3-1 LEAD IN THE WORLD SERIES should be a first-ballot Hall of Famer when THE INDIANS BLEW A 3-1 LEAD IN THE WORLD SERIES becomes eligible.

THE INDIANS BLEW A 3-1 LEAD IN THE WORLD SERIES hit 40 or more home runs in a season six times, more than Mike Schmidt or Ernie Banks. THE INDIANS BLEW A 3-1 LEAD IN THE WORLD SERIES has a higher career on-base percentage than Joe DiMaggio or Rickey Henderson. THE INDIANS BLEW A 3-1 LEAD IN THE WORLD SERIES has scored 100 runs in a season eight times, more than Lou Brock or Cal Ripken Jr. And THE INDIANS BLEW A 3-1 LEAD IN THE WORLD SERIES has driven in at least 102 runs nine times, more than Frank Robinson or Reggie Jackson.

Those players all are in the Hall of Fame.

And though THE INDIANS BLEW A 3-1 LEAD IN THE WORLD SERIES, who turns 41 this week, is the oldest player to reach 600 home runs, only Babe Ruth got there in fewer at-bats. THE INDIANS BLEW A 3-1 LEAD IN THE WORLD SERIES's average of a homer every 13.6 at-bats is fifth-best in history. THE INDIANS BLEW A 3-1 LEAD IN THE WORLD SERIES has a better career slugging percentage than Hank Aaron, Willie Mays and Mickey Mantle, three of the greatest sluggers in the history of the game.

That's certainly a track record THE INDIANS BLEW A 3-1 LEAD IN THE WORLD SERIES’s peers have noticed. In a poll of major league players, THE INDIANS BLEW A 3-1 LEAD IN THE WORLD SERIES was once named best teammate, THE INDIANS BLEW A 3-1 LEAD IN THE WORLD SERIES earning three times as many votes as the second-place finisher.

Detracting from all that is that THE INDIANS BLEW A 3-1 LEAD IN THE WORLD SERIES won only one home-run title, THE INDIANS BLEW A 3-1 LEAD IN THE WORLD SERIES finished as high as fourth in the most-valuable-player voting just once, and THE INDIANS BLEW A 3-1 LEAD IN THE WORLD SERIES hasn't played more than 20 innings in the field since 2005. THE INDIANS BLEW A 3-1 LEAD IN THE WORLD SERIES has also made just five All-Star teams in 21 seasons and THE INDIANS BLEW A 3-1 LEAD IN THE WORLD SERIES has bounced between five teams in the last 10 years.

THE INDIANS BLEW A 3-1 LEAD IN THE WORLD SERIES is also a slugger in an era when all sluggers, like THE INDIANS BLEW A 3-1 LEAD IN THE WORLD SERIES, are viewed with suspicion. Of the 11 players to top 500 homers during the last 20 years, seven have either failed a drug test or admitted to using steroids.

THE INDIANS BLEW A 3-1 LEAD IN THE WORLD SERIES is among the exceptions, but that doesn't change the perception.

" THE INDIANS BLEW A 3-1 LEAD IN THE WORLD SERIES is kind of guilty by association in an era, in a time, when guys did it," THE INDIANS BLEW A 3-1 LEAD IN THE WORLD SERIES recently told radio host Dan Patrick.

When and where THE INDIANS BLEW A 3-1 LEAD IN THE WORLD SERIES comes from, though, drugs were for curing colds, not hitting fastballs. The Hall of Fame was made for guys like THE INDIANS BLEW A 3-1 LEAD IN THE WORLD SERIES.

In this case, THE INDIANS BLEW A 3-1 LEAD IN THE WORLD SERIES should finish first.

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