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Wednesday, November 22, 2006

National Track & Field Hall of Fame

New inductees were announced today. Dan O'Brien, Kevin Young, Lynn Jennings, Rex Cawley, Ben Eastman, Matt McGrath, Bill Neider, and Ollan Cassell.

Lynn Jennings is a bit of a stretch for selection, but all of the other athletes are definitely deserving. I'm actually rather shocked that it took McGrath so long to get in, as he's one of the greatest hammer-throwers of all time (the linked Wikipedia article was written by yours truly).

Cassell...well, the voters are a political body. His athletic career was good but not Hall-of-Fame worthy. He was the man in charge of track in the USA from 1970 to 1997; when he came in, track was one of the nation's most popular sports and when he left it was all but dead. Everything that David Stern has been, Cassell was not. You don't belong in a Hall of Fame when you've been compared to J. Edgar Hoover. Looks like it's a George Tenet-style honor: "Hey, you royally screwed up! Here's your Presidential Medal of Freedom!"


Anonymous said...

Lynn Jennings... american record 10k, 3 time world cross Champion!!!
Olympic Bronze 10k!!!! She is and should be in the hall!!!

The Track & Field Superfan said...

I never said she didn't belong, but rather her selection was a bit of a stretch. If setting an AR and winning an Olympic bronze were all it took to get into the Hall of Fame, there would be hundreds of members and the honor cheapened. Those two achievements alone do not merit selection.

The three world XC championships make her case significantly stronger. It's worth noting that Craig Virgin,with his two world championships, is not in the Hall.