So. None (or at least very few) of our childhood heroes are going to make it into the Hall of Fame. Maybe they weren't actually very good - or at least up the high bar of the players whose records our childhood heroes broke. Or maybe they went about it the wrong way, paying for the sin not of trying too hard, but of trying too differently.
Or, just as likely, the graying-out class of writers and opinion-makers is terrified of losing their cryptkeeper-esque grasp on power, only loaning it out to people who remind them of themselves, if a bit better with electronics and with a different style of spectacles.
Knowing this, we could try and retrofit our childhoods to Cooperstown's standards, like new recruits at a cult. I wasn't in awe of Bonds, I was scared. Larry Walker was a product of a media frenzy. Bagwell was mediocre and a cheat. All the lies and mendacity of that period. O, if only you knew, if only we knew, we could have gotten out of it together.
Another option would be to make our own Hall of Fame.
I believe it was Wick who had the idea of an internet-based Hall, which is a great place to start. But more fun than that, we should imagine what the Hall of Fame of 80s Kids would look like.
It would be based in Florida, all pink stucco and aqua. Signage is in English, Spanish, and Haitian Creole.
Like how the Art Institute of Chicago is flanked by lions, statues of Alan Trammel and Lou Whitaker usher you into the main hall.
To the left is a ticket booth, where you get the dollar amount off of questions you get right on a trivia quiz.
To the right is the café: Daugherty's Sushi Stand, Lasagna por Jose, and rocky mountain oysters just because.
No Simmons-y pyramid, no "inner sanctum", just plaques and booths and memorabilia and a hologram Buck O'Neill chatting up guests.
Whos in it? Daryl Strawberry, Doc Gooden, Kevin Mitchell and 5/6 of a cat.
Clemens, Bonds, Ken Caminiti - killing himself for a San Diego that doesn't give a damn.
A Jim Bowden raffle game, Toe Nash, Sidd Finch, and Milton Loo.
Larry Walker, no duh. Manny Ramirez, of course. Jim Thome's inducted, but he also runs the HOF's Day Care so you can leave your tots with him while you wander the grounds.
Brian Giles is lifetime .295/.408/.525. He was Manny's backup in CLE and punched his girlfriend hard enough so as to cause a miscarriage. Then when she sued him, he lawyered up and she was instead forced to return the $107,000 engagement ring he bought her.
But Mark McGwire took drugs so not him.