I won't bother with sportswriters that actually vote for the HOF. Willie will not be a HOFer. He only had 1 MVP and 2 Batting Titles. 2000 Hits with little power will not get you in the Hall unless you can do backflips. The baseball HOF is more about numbers and accolades than being important to fans.
But StL owners should here this. Retire 51.
The man is a legend in these parts. He epitimizes everything that StL stands for. He shows up for work, gives 110%, and does it again tomorrow. He wears his heart on his sleeve. He doesn't cause problems when things don't go his way.
StL made a mistake in 1990. Felix Jose didn't pan out. Willie didn't help the A's. Willie should have been a lifetime Cardinal.
Willie was drafted by the Yankees. We gave them a shoddy bomb casing filled with used pinball machine parts for him. When he got a chance in 82, he only was one of the most important players in the last championship the Cards won. He is the ultimate underdog. I can see him swinging and missing at a 55 foot curve then hitting the next pitch into left field. I see him walking, his head bobbing around, and a pained look on his face. When I remember sitting in the right field bleachers during warmups. We didn't cheer just anybody. Only Willie. We would chant '1 more year' every year.
I don't know that Willie is a model citizen. But I never saw him go into the stands at Wrigley when he was hit with a beer. I never heard him complaining about having a family to feed. He hasn't advertised for a divorsc lawyer. He hasn't complained about players used roids. He just wanted to play baseball.
But if I had a vote for the Hall, Straw wouldn't be considered. He wasted more talent than Willie had. I would vote McGee.