We got a lot of reader reaction from the May 7 cover feature about the legendary Rocky Colavito, none more intriguing than an e-mail telling us of a petition effort to get the HOF Veterans Committee to give him another look this year.
The complete e-mail is featured on page 12 of this week’s issue of Sports Collectors Digest (June 11) in the Feedback section, but the point is they have already accumulated about 500 signatures on the cyber document that is posted on www.rockycolavitofans.com.
I get a kick out of heartfelt efforts like this by fans to get their favorite player installed in Cooperstown. It bespeaks an affection that has less to do with worshipping millionaire star athletes and more with fans who manage to make a real connection with someone they may never even meet.
It calls to my mind a longtime friend and SCD reader, Ed Tyree of Virginia Beach, Va., who has labored mightily for more than a decade to get baseball writers to accord more respect to the HOF candidacy of Dale Murphy, who, like Colavito, came up just short of a couple of overrated magic numbers but was one of the greatest stars of the game during the era in which he played.
Rocky’s situation is different, of course, in that the lobbying the Veterans Committee is ostensibly a less imposing challenge than trying to sway the 400-plus BBWAA votes needed for election. But as history has shown – especially over the last decade – it can also be a good trick to get the votes needed from the nearly six dozen living Hall of Famers.