2012: Year of the Big Eraser

Associated Press

If you wrote a novel or screenplay about all of these changes -- the greatest home run hitter, greatest pitcher, greatest bicycle rider and greatest college football coach all stripped of their accomplishments in a single year -- you would have a tough time finding buyers. The premise would seem preposterous. The pod people come in and replace the real people! When Barry or Roger or Sammy closed their eyes, bang, they were replaced by a pod person! Nothing that they ever did in the past counts any more! Wow.

These changes make you reconsider all things that happen in plain view. What is real? What is going to last? What is hollow somehow in the middle, won’t count? Thirty-seven players are on that Hall of Fame ballot. Mike Piazza, maybe the best-hitting catcher in baseball...

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