Should Bill Tilden be removed from the Hall of Fame?

Discussion in 'General Pro Player Discussion' started by Camilio Pascual, Jan 12, 2005.

  1. Camilio Pascual

    Camilio Pascual Hall of Fame

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    Under the eligibility portion of the HOF's site it says, "Players are elected based on their records of competitive achievement, with ancillary consideration given to sportsmanship and character."
     
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  2. Brettolius

    Brettolius Professional

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    bill "if there's grass on the court, play ball" tilden. yeah, one of the greatest tennis players ever, yet commited time and time again one of the most dispicable crimes in our society. hell, i guess he was even a good sport, he was willling to sacrifice his time to show the tikes a thing or two (boo hiss, poor form, sorry!), but he was a force in the evolution in tennis. so i guess he should be there, because its not the good guy hof, plus, there's alot of character's who are held in high regard through history, and i wouldn't be surprised if alot of them had shady things going on that noone knew about. we didn't just turn into a bunch of sinning *******s in the past 100 years. but a good question. maybe give him a roger maris asterisk? like * pederast
     
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  3. spinbalz

    spinbalz Hall of Fame

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    Imagine if the answer is yes, let's remove him, and imagine a virtual world where every tennis champions would have acted exactly like bill Tilden, would that mean no "Hall of fame" at all?
     
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  4. thejackal

    thejackal Hall of Fame

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    What did he do?
     
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  5. raftermania

    raftermania Banned

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    Why, because he was rumoured to be ****sexual???
     
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  6. Lefty Spin

    Lefty Spin Rookie

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    For those who weren't aware, it is widely acknowledged that Bill Tilden was a ****sexual pedaphile. Rough estimates are that Mr. Tilden slept with several, possibly over a hundred, young boys. One historian/reporter stated during a biography of Mr. Tilden that he doubts that Mr. Tilden ever spent a night with an adult male or female. That being said, I think he should be in the Hall of Fame.
     
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  7. The tennis guy

    The tennis guy Hall of Fame

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    What is the definition of character? Was he ever proved by court to be a pedophile? If yes, then he should be removed. If not, he shouldn't.

    Generally speaking, it is unfair to judge figure from years past with today's standard.
     
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  8. Max G.

    Max G. Hall of Fame

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    He shouldn't be removed. Even if he was a pedophile, he was still the greatest tennis player of his time, and so belongs in the tennis hall of fame.
     
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  9. pound cat

    pound cat G.O.A.T.

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    Was he ever convicted? If the accusations of pedophilia were based on hearsay, legally I don't think he could be barred, unlike Pete Rose who commited a crime (illegal betting in his sport)
     
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  10. Azza

    Azza New User

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    Pull him from the HOF because he was a ***....


    Get a grip if thats the reason!
     
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  11. Kevin Patrick

    Kevin Patrick Hall of Fame

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    Tilden's ****sexuality was an open secret in the tennis world of his day, as was his penchant for underage boys, which would eventually lead to his downfall. In retrospect, the caption of a drawing in the March 17, 1922 issue of The Denver Times, depicting Tilden demonstrating tennis moves for a young boy, is somewhat foreboding: "Tilden has taken a keen interest in the boy."

    He often traveled the circuit with adolescent ball boys; his flagrant behavior gradually resulted in his ostracism, banishment from several country and tennis clubs, and exclusion from major tennis tournaments.

    In 1946, Tilden was arrested and convicted of contributing to the delinquency of a minor. Although the young man--a teenage prostitute--had consented to Tilden's sexual advances, the older man was nevertheless sentenced to prison. He served seven months of a one-year sentence.

    In 1949, Tilden was arrested again for approaching a sixteen-year-old hitchhiker and sentenced to another year in prison, of which he served ten months.

    His reputation tarnished by scandal and his fortune dissipated by bad investments, Tilden's final years were excruciatingly sad, spent in poverty in a lonely walk-up room in Hollywood.

    He died of coronary thrombosis at the age of sixty on June 5, 1953. His net worth was valued at only a few hundred dollars, and two hundred of that was returned to a student who had paid for lessons that were never given. Tilden's body was buried in Philadelphia.

    http://www.glbtq.com/arts/tilden_w.html
     
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  12. Phil

    Phil Hall of Fame

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    The key word here, Camilio is "ancillary", and "eligibility"-there's nothing there about being INeligible. He's in, he got there based on his performance on the court and his contribution to the game, and he should stay in. Had his pedophilia been proven in a court of law, before he was enshrined, then I think that should have disqualified him based on the character issue-and anything else. But a retroactive disqualification, based on, technically, heresay (even if it WAS true)? Not a good idea, which is why it will never happen. He's there to stay.

    Consider the baseball HoF, with its group of virulent racists, ladies of the night mongers, drunks, wife beaters and, maybe, even, pedophiles. If the powers-that-be decided to disqualify that crowd, those with the dubious lifestyles (by today's standards), about half of the members would be out.
     
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  13. Camilio Pascual

    Camilio Pascual Hall of Fame

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    Phil - It's definitely a judgement call for people to make. I would've vote "no" on his admission and would support his removal now, but it won't happen. He was pretty much a poor little rich boy who gagged on the silver spoon that was handed to him. His pedophilia was proved before he was enshrined, he had just gotten out of jail the 2nd time for the parole violation involving the other boy right before he was voted in.
     
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  14. Gemini

    Gemini Hall of Fame

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    Personally..I'd vote for removing him based on the moral implications. I think induction to any Hall of Fame should be based on your accomplishments and commitments on and off the court. I feel it's about the total character. His sexual orientation isn't the issue in my mind. His pedophilia is.
     
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  15. alfa164164

    alfa164164 Professional

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    Kevin Patrick

    Nice concise summary.
    Did you read Frank DeFord's book on Tilden?
     
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  16. david aames

    david aames Professional

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    Didn't know that aspect of Tilden's life...

    Isn't it funny that Tilden died broke and friendless just like Pancho Gonzales, another hall of famers with questionable character?
     
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  17. raftermania

    raftermania Banned

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    Wow, I didn't know about the pedophilia stuff. That is disturbing!!!

    Well, I guess it's a unique accomplishment that he could focus on the game with all the ball boys around!
     
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  18. tennis-n-sc

    tennis-n-sc Professional

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    Apparently it didn't matter to the folks that elected him to the HOF as this was common knowledge during and after his playing days but before his election to HOF. Once in, I say let him stay. However, i don't think he should have been elected in the first place with all the obvious knowledge about the young guys.
     
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  19. Gemini

    Gemini Hall of Fame

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    alfa164164..I have not read DeFord's book, but I'm curious now. I'll have to check it out.
     
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  20. Phil

    Phil Hall of Fame

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    Camilio - I didn't know he was a convicted pedophile. If that was the case, they had no business electing him. I guess the electors closed their ears and eyes to his very flawed character. Given the choice, though, I would still vote "no" to remove him from the Hall-whatever the history, you can't really re-write it 60 years after the fact. Stalin could and did, but that's not the example I would want to follow. "Warts and all". They made a mistake by letting him in in the first place.
     
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  21. Dedans Penthouse

    Dedans Penthouse Hall of Fame

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    Kevin, good post, but I thought the reason Big Bill died was because someone slipped him a poison ballboy. (sorry!).

    That said, even though he was a chickenhawk, he WAS a giant in the game. Cooperstown has a racist creeps like Ty Cobb and Enos Slaughter in there along with a number of "off-the-field" bums, and even though Tilden's private life was dispicable, he nevertheless WAS a giant during the "Golden Age" of sports (1920's). I would agree with Phil's suggestion to keep the HOF as is "warts and all." Granted, tennis players played with wood back then (and that greaseball played with 'young wood'), but again, the creep was an all-time great whose TENNIS record is in a different world from some of the (imho) "dubious" recent inductees (record-wise) such as Yannick Noah and Pam Shriver.

    Besides Frank Deford's book, Tilden penned "Match Play and the Spin of the Ball." A book worth finding. Some things in it are still useful today.
     
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