Howie Rose should be in Cooperstown

The Mets celebrated Howie Rose in this homestead this week. They had a bobblehead doll of his image in a giveaway on Wednesday night, and he also threw the first pitch of the Philadelphia Phillies matchup against the Mets that night to celebrate the occasion. He was inducted into the Mets Hall of Fame on Saturday afternoon prior to the Mets’ 2-1 loss over the Toronto Blue Jays.

Rose should be in the Baseball Hall of Fame for being one of the best announcers in baseball. He is as good as the Hall of Fame announcers that won the Ford Frick Award.

The Mets have had some great announcers since their inception, from Hall of Fame announcer Bob Murphy to Lindsey Nelson, Gary Thorne and Gary Cohen (another inductee in the Mets Hall of Fame on Saturday). In my opinion, Rose is the best Mets announcer ever.

Here’s what stands out about him: He is such a Mets historian in the sense that he remembers everything that took place with the franchise since 1962. He has an encyclopedic memory of everything that went down for the Mets in an event. And he does a great job of sharing it with his listeners during a game.

Listening to Rose on the radio is a pleasure. He paints the picture so well. He doesn’t resort to catchphrases in calling a game and doesn’t try to make himself bigger than the game by making the moment about him when a Met does something great (unlike John Sterling). He doesn’t treat listeners like they are dumb. He can be critical without being a blowhard. He also has the voice for radio and knows the nuances of calling a game on the radio by having good timing on how to exclaim a good play by a Met or any other team.

You don’t need to do in-depth research to know Rose is a Hall of Famer. Just listen to his work on YouTube and you’ll know he is.

He has certainly contributed to baseball through his work with the Mets going back to 1987 when he did the pregame show on WFAN. In so many ways, he is a Mets ambassador to the fans. This in itself makes him worthy of being inducted into Cooperstown.

Anyone that has listened to Rose knows that for many decades, he has been committed to putting on the best radio broadcast when he is on the mic. He has such great reverence for the game, you can hear his passion through the radio. He is popular with the Mets fans based on the long-standing ovation he got before he made his Mets Hall of Fame speech to the fans. His peers know how good he is. This is another reason why he is a Hall of Famer.

Rose is to the Mets just what Murphy was to them. Rose is to the Mets what Harry Kalas was to the Phillies, Harry Caray was to the Cubs and Vin Scully was to the Dodgers. You identify the team with a play-by-play announcer, and Rose earned that distinction. He mentioned in his speech that he and the fans are kindred spirits in the sense that he is a fan of the team based on his upbringing in Queens.

The long-time Mets radio play-by-play announcer comes off as genuine, both when he does the games and when he talks to people. In a media industry full of egos, this is refreshing.

Who knows how long Rose will keep doing this? He does not travel with the Mets on road games anymore, so this could be a sign he may retire in a few years.

Here’s hoping he does not. He has so much to offer. He can call the games for another 10 years: he’s that good and sharp still.

Maybe another 10 years could make him a cinch to make it to the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Nevertheless, he should be inducted while he is still in his prime of doing play-by-play for the New York Mets.

The popular Mets play-by-play announcer never talked about his ambitions of being in the Hall of Fame. I wouldn’t expect anything less out of him. He knows he does not need the award and honors to validate his work. He can talk about being in the Mets Hall of Fame as an example of being appreciated.

Still, it must mean something for him to be inducted with all the great announcers that ever called baseball. To be in the same class as Jack Buck, to Bob Uecker, to Kalas, to Caray, to Scully would be a tremendous honor for Rose, since it means his work has been validated nationally. To be in the same class as fellow Met announcers in Murphy and Nelson would be a dream come true after growing up listening to them as a Mets fan, even if he never visualized it when he was starting his job with the Mets.

It would definitely mean something for Mets fans if one of their own were to make it to the Hall of Fame.

It would be an injustice to Rose and his work if he does not win the Ford Frick Award while he is alive and still in his prime.

You can read Leslie's Jersey Sporting News columns on Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays.