What if someone made a new HOF?

What if instead of plaques, it had holograms of the game's legends? What if it made use of technology and creativity to put visitors right in the dugout to sit beside Casey Stengel and watch Mickey Mantle play?

What if its tribute to the game were less like a mausoleum that honored the dead and more like an interactive theme park that could show you what it was like to face Sandy Koufax?

What if on any given day, a famous ballplayer or manager were there to tell stories, answer questions, sign autographs? (Now Appearing: Mike Piazza.)

There would be problems, of course. Major League Baseball would surely fight such a venture, wielding copyright laws and making its displeasure known to the baseball stars tempted by the venture.  But hey, a critical mass of pariahs has already been assembled.

Don't get me wrong. Truth be told, I don't want to see such a palace -- Home Plate? -- built. The Shangri-La we have is Shangri-La enough.

But I do want the so-called guardians of baseball to realize that they are hurting the game by turning it into an internecine War of the Nerds. Don't deny Biggio because of some arcane reason or twisted math. He had 3,000 hits, for heaven's sake. Don't let another worthy like Ron Santo die without giving him his day.

Don't turn the game from a timeless passion into a moot court.

Make the F about their Fame and not your Folly.

And ask yourself: What if paradise gets lost because of your reluctance to change?

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