Hall of Fame thoughts

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Hall of Fame thoughts

Earlier this week, right around the time Curt Schilling was running his mouth about the inner workings of the Red Sox clubhouse, the Sox announced that Schil will be one of this year's inductees into the Red Sox Hall of Fame. In all, there are five former players and two non-players included in this year's class and they'll be inducted during a ceremony at Fenway Park on Tom Brady's birthday. (August 3)

Here's a quick rundown of who's headed to the Hall, with some commentary from the Standing Room Only staff.

Schilling: He may be brutally annoying in his post-playing days as opposed to only relatively annoying in his playing days but there's no question that Schil deserves a piece of this Hall of Fame pie. And if he's able to keep his acceptance speech a shade under three hours, I'll be happy to see him inducted.

Ellis Burks: For children of the '80s, Burks was the man. One of the first guys who made you feel cool for being a Red Sox fan. When my father used to pitch to me in the backyard growing up, any line drive hit would be referred to as "an Ellis Burks swing"; he was the guy I always wanted to "be." And in the end, Ellis had an unbelievable career. At this point, I don't really care how he did it, but he put up some ridiculous numbers. Over 18 season, he hit .291 with 352 homers, and while most of his damage was done outside of Boston, it was great to see him finish his career here and most importantly, finally get that ring.
Marty Barrett: The MVP of the 1986 ALCS, but more importantly, the Red Sox lead off hitter in RBI Baseball (even if I always used to replace him with a pinch hitter; coincidentally, Ellis Burks). Either accolade makes Barrett a worthy inductee.

Also, did you know that in 1995, Barrett won a 1.7M malpractice suit against Sox team physician Arthur Pappas, where Barrett claimed Pappas misdiagnosed a knee injury and performed medical procedures without his consent?

Better not bring that one up at the ceremony

Joe Dobson: Dobson pitched for the Sox from 1941-1950 (with two years off in the middle for military service) and finished his Boston career with a record of 106-72 and 3.57 ERA. According to Baseball-Reference, Dobson's nickname was Burrhead. That's a Hall of Fame nickname right there.

Dutch Leonard: People used to talk about the Curse of the Bambino, but I always called it the Curse of Dutch Leonard. Leonard won three rings as a pitcher for the Sox from 1912-1918, but in December of 1918 he was traded with Duffy Lewis and Ernie Shore to the New York Yankees for Ray Caldwell, Frank Gilhooley, Slim Love, Roxy Walters and 15,000.

The Sox didn't win another title for 86 years. Hopefully they'll exorcise whatever's left of those demons with this posthumous induction.
Jon I. Taylor: He owned the team from 1904-1911, but most importantly, he's the man who named Fenway Park. And thank God he did. If it weren't for Taylor's suggestion, they were going to call it Kenmore Caverns.

No they weren't.

Joe Mooney: The head groundskeeper from 1971-2000 and the current Director of Grounds Emeritus. A true legend of the groundskeeping game.

No truth to the rumor that he retired in 2000 after growing tired of washing Rich Garces' BBQ sauce stains out of the infield grass.

Rich can be reached at rlevine@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Rich on Twitter at http:twitter.comrich_levine

Tom Brady delivers video message at funeral of Navy SEAL

Tom Brady delivers video message at funeral of Navy SEAL


Tom Brady delivered a video message last week at the funeral of Navy SEAL Kyle Milliken, a Maine native and former UConn track athlete killed in Somalia on May 5.

Bill Speros of The Boston Herald, in a column this Memorial Day weekend, wrote about Milliken and Brady's message.   

Milliken ran track at Cheverus High School in Falmouth, Maine, and at UConn, where he graduated in 2001. Milliken lived in Virginia Beach, Va., with his wife, Erin, and two children.  He other Navy SEALs participated in a training exercise at Gillette Stadium in 2011 where he met and posed for pictures with Brady.

Speros wrote that at Milliken’s funeral in Virginia Beach, Va., Brady's video offered condolences and thanked Milliken’s family for its sacrifice and spoke of how Milliken was considered a “glue guy” by UConn track coach Greg Roy.

Milliken had served in Iraq and Afghanistan, earning four Bronze Star Medals and was based in Virginia since 2004.  He was killed in a nighttime firefight with Al-Shabaab militants near Barij, about 40 miles from the Somali capital of Mogadishu. He was 38.

The Pentagon said Milliken was the first American serviceman killed in combat in Somalia since the "Black Hawk Down" battle that killed 18 Americans in 1993. 

In a statement to the Herald, Patriots owner Robert Kraft said: “It was an honor to host Kyle and his team for an exercise at Gillette Stadium in 2011. It gave new meaning to the stadium being known as home of the Patriots. We were deeply saddened to hear of Kyle’s death earlier this month.

“As Memorial Day weekend approaches, we are reminded of the sacrifices made by patriots like Kyle and so many others who have made the ultimate sacrifice to defend and protect our rights as Americans. Our thoughts, prayers and heartfelt appreciation are extended to the Milliken family and the many families who will be remembering lives lost this Memorial Day weekend.”