1. If I remember the feeling from moment, beside the natural anxiety of a game seven, there was no other pitcher you'd want to have pitching in a game seven than Morris. That feeling was vindicated for us in spades. (With a little help from the deke) This performance is why Morris, like Mazeroski, may actually be remembered longer than many Hall of Famers themselves.
2. In his seven post-season series appearances, Morris pitched Game 1 in six of them.
By the way Ben thanks for the reminder that there has been doping going on long before the mid 90s. It also strikes me, looking back, at how unimposing Morris physically was on the mound compared to guys these days.
While Brooks and Ozzie are both the standards by which their respective defensive positions are measured, to me they are totally different players. Brooks was the epitome of the surehanded defender, he wasn't a fast runner, but he displayed unmatched instincts and a great first step. Ozzie had incredible range and made a scrapbook full of "impossible" plays. Neither player made the Hall for their offense, but they were more than respectable. Brooks had decent power and Ozzie hit more homers than Denny Hocking. BTW, Mike Schmidt was the best defender of his era at third, not on a par with Robinson, but extremely good.
As far as defense goes, Boyer was considered very, very good. I expect some St Louis fans would tell you he was as good as Brooks. None of this means that Boyer belongs in the Hall. All I am saying is if St Louis would have been a bit better during his peak years it might have helped his chances to make the Hall.
I like Killer a lot too. He was a real team player and actually played a lot of LF as well. It depended who was on the team. When Rich Rollins had his good years, Killebrew was in the OF a lot. When Don Mincher was with the Twins, Killebrew kind of switched positions a bit. What I remember about Killer's defense, particularly at 3rd, was that he had no range but caught what he got to, and had a strong arm. I was also a kid, so others would know better than me.
Jack Morris is the Troy Aikman of baseball.
Aikman's stats are, for all practical purposes, pretty bad. But, Troy got in on the first ballot. I'm not saying that Morris should have been first ballot, but if Morris would have pitched in NY, Boston, St Louis, for the Cubs, or in LA, I'm pretty sure he wouldn't have lasted more than a couple ballots before getting in.
Robinson is perhaps a bad example for your point. He's almost the quintessential HOFer by those two criteria. Morris was never the top of his profession during his era, nor did he have the longest career in his era. Now, perhaps pitchers should be given a little leeway. Nolan Ryan and Greg Maddux are two of the best pitchers of all time. Both pitched during Morris' era. You shouldn't be the best of all time to make the Hall. But I can think of about five guys in any year in which Morris pitched who were better. And so it went for his whole career. As some have pointed out, he wasn't even the best pitcher on his team some of the time. Even in '91, he was the best pitcher on the staff for one month during the year and the postseason. Besides Morris, three other guys were AL pitchers of the month that year. You all know Erickson and Tapani. Trivia: who was the other one?
And so Morris belongs in the second tier, with guys like Suttcliff and Langston.
Oh I don't really think Morris belongs in the Hall of Fame nor do I really think Boyer is any sure thing either. But since I doubt you actually looked at their career stats I will publish them here.
Robinson played 22 years, had about 800 more games and over 3000 more AB's. Boyer's career was 15 years, he was an all star 11 times and MVP once.
The Hall of Fame is not and never will be about numbers or saber metrics though those things can be used to analyze things. It's about being the best of the All Stars. I loved going to Twins games to see Brad Radke pitch. All Star, not HOF. Tony O. Was a great player but not HOF.
I enjoyed watching Black Jack pitch for us after all those years against us. He was a great pitcher no matter what the stats say or he would not have been a number one starter on so many great teams. He gave us a home town discount, gave us a great year, is in the HOF for the best pitched game I have ever seen (both pitchers, not just him) and left since he'd lived the dream of winning for the hometown team.
HOF? No. Great? Yes. Why? Because less than 75% of the people (even on here) think he was THAT great. Some of those that actually watched him the most, the BBWA, think HOF or he would not have received votes but not a consensus and we need a true 75% or more agree consensus. That is also why I think the BBWA have also gotten it right.
When you walk into the HOF, you know you are looking at the greatest of the Great there. It needs to always be that way and there needs to be a cut off line in the sand. Some greats just are not great enough.
A WS winner requires great plays from an entire team, all throughout the season.
That Chuck Knoblach and Greg Gagne suckered Lonnie Smith bailed out the team does not in the least diminish Jack Morris' game 7 performance. It just means the entire team was hitting on all cylinders.
My observation is people often make their mind up about something, then they look to find evidence to support their position.
Most of this is subjective. Like Hrbek did not ever receive a Gold Glove, (Mattingly received those votes I assume because of his hitting ... but why? it is the best fielders recognition).