What Is Cherry’s Place In History By Pete Robbins, Page 5

What Is Cherry’s Place In History 
By Pete Robbins, Page 5

Fall 2021


day-in, day out. That should make Cherry’s accomplishments all the more unbelievable, but because he hasn’t won a regular season Elite event (he won an Open in 2012 and an All-Star event in 2013, in addition to the two Classics) it makes his legacy

Photo: B.A.S.S. Gary Tramontina

seem nothing short of weird. He consistently qualifies for big dance, challenges for the title three times, winning twice, and yet few if any of the pundits (myself included, mea culpa) picked him for their Fantasy Fishing teams.

The public appreciation for Cherry also suffered from the fact of when he won his first Classic. It seemed as soon as he grabbed the trophy, the world fell into pandemic-stricken horror, so while he had the longest reign in B.A.S.S. history, he also had the de facto most anonymous title year. It seems only fair that he should get a second bite at the apple. Of course, none of his fellow competitors was willing to concede that fact, so he had to earn it again. The second trophy not only solidifies the meaning of the first one, but it immediately elevates his asking price and value.

So does Cherry make it to the Hall? Ultimately that’ll be up to the nominators and voters when he becomes

eligible. Based on his track record

and demeanor to date, I’m sure

he’ll do nothing to sully the sport

or his reputation within it, so it’ll

come down to perception and

on-the-water achievements.

On the latter measure, there’s

no doubt that he’s won more

and bigger derbies than several

anglers already inducted on the

basis of their skills with a rod

and reel. Still, I hope that doesn’t

become the measuring stick.

Our sport doesn’t have a clear

measure – like baseball’s 300 wins

or 500 home runs – that makes

a prima facie case for induction, shifting the burden to the naysayers. Each angler needs to be assessed on his own specific set of accomplishments, in the context of the time and the tour in which he fished. Still, two Classic wins is two Classic wins, and for more than just a snapshot in time Cherry has been the best big stage angler in the world. Just as Gerald Swindle has two Angler of the Year awards but no Elite wins and will almost certainly be a shoo-in at some future date, Cherry has the Super Bowl wins but not the regular season division titles. History will no doubt look upon him kindly and there’s no reason to believe that he won’t make the case all that much more impressive with accomplishments in front of him. •

Photo: B.A.S.S. Gary Tramontina

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Photo: B.A.S.S. Chris Brown