One of the benefits of being a member of the IBWAA is the opportunity to get preview copies of books written by members. This time around I was able to get in on the fun and today received a preview copy of The Case for Barry Bonds in the Hall of Fame by K.P. Wee. K.P. is a former minor league play by play announcer from British Columbia. He’s written books on John Cangelosi, the ’88 Dodgers, as well as the Bruins/Canadiens rivalry.
So far, I have only looked at the cover so far. And I admit that historically, I have been an ardent opponent of Barry Bonds’ potential election to the Hall of Fame (and still stand firm against the cases for Pete Rose, Roger Clemens and Mark McGwire). But, over the last year or two, I have been spending more of my baseball-devoted time in listening to the opinions of baseball players rather than just baseball observers. And through the influence of guys like Trevor Bauer, I have made the effort to be open minded to cases like Bonds.
I haven’t read anything about the book, so I don’t know which position K.P. is arguing in this book. But I am open to persuasive arguments in either direction. My partner, Amanda the Librarian is involved in a handful of book groups, and I think I might ask her to read along with me. I would love to discuss the book with a non-baseballite and get a chance to talk through my thoughts before talking about my thoughts.
Anyway, K.P. Wee’s book is available now, we’re in the last year of Bonds’ BWAA election eligibility before being kicked up to the Veterans Committee for consideration (good luck there, Barry). And in his last election, he was well short of the 75% required. The electricity behind the Bonds discussion has died out significantly over the last decade, but this seems like a magnificent time to have a real debate over the standard for election. Do we look simply at statistics and achievements? Or do we consider a player’s impact culturally?
I don’t know. Maybe K.P. has an opinion that strikes a chord.