Tag Archive | "Hall of Fame"

#BaseballJourneyman to Cooperstown Part II


I got to turn into #BaseballJourneyman to Cooperstown earlier this year. Over spring break I took off to the Hall of Fame so I could do some research. While there I had the chance to walk around the Hall of Fame and check it out. However, I did not get to spend as much as I would have liked in the Hall of Fame itself checking out the displays because I lost 2 days due to a snowstorm.

However, I saw some of the coolest things I’ve ever seen on my trips through the museum. And I thought I would share a few with you here. Forgive the not-so-great photos. I did not take  my good camera with me since it was more of a work trip, so all of my photos come with my phone. Besides if any of you have ever taken a nice camera into a museum it doesn’t always work out. There are usually too many reflective surfaces and not a lot of light. So without delay, here we go.

#BaseballJourneyman Cooperstown

One of the first things you see as you make  your way through the museum is a locker with things from each team. Being a die hard Atlanta Braves fan, thank you TBS, I couldn’t pass up a chance to snap a quick photo of their locker.

#BaseballJourneyman Cooperstown

It may be hard to read the plaque but it tells information about the team including year founded (1871), former locations, retired numbers, and world championships (4 times). Each team has this along with various items from the team which include Brian McCann’s bat, Tyler Flowers mask, and Billy Wagner’s shoes.

Keeping with the Braves theme, one of the coolest things I saw was a jersey made of baseball cards. It is a full-size replica of a Phil Niekro jersey made out of thousands of baseball cards cut and arranged just right. It comes from collage artist LaVern Brock, and I thought it was quite amazing.

Phil Niekro card jersey

Speaking of cards, I collected baseball cards when I was younger. I even had a small side business where I would sell cards at card shows. This was late 90s early 00s and it was a lot of fun. One card I would love to have come across, even just to see one, was the Honus Wagner T206.

Background of Wagner T206

The card was made by the American Tobacco Company as part of its T206 series between 1909 and 1911. However, Wagner did not want the production of the card to continue. I’ve read stories that said he did not like the fact it was a tobacco company making the card and others saying he simply wanted more money. For whatever reason, the card became very limited with just 50-200 being released. The exact number is unknown. While the card is not the rarest, it is among the most sought after. The most recent sale that I could find came in October 2016 when it sold for $3.12 million.

So as you can see there are extremely famous items in the museum and works of art. I will come back to art in a later post, but right now I want to talk about perhaps one of the strangest things I saw.

History in Cooperstown

I love history. In fact I am a high school history teacher, and I love my job. History encompasses so much, and I love historical places. And there are two places in Baltimore I’d love to visit that are no longer around. One is the St. Mary’s Industrial School for Boys, and the other is a saloon on Frederick Street. Both no longer exist and both deal with George Herman “Babe” Ruth.

Ruth attended the school and this is where he began to play organized baseball. The saloon was once owned by Ruth’s father. Both places hold history that I would love to learn more about. However, both are long gone. But the Hall of Fame somehow has a piece of each building which I found interesting.

The top brick was part of the saloon owned by Ruth’s father. The stone came from the school Ruth attended.

I don’t want to make this an extremely long post, so I am going to end it here. However, I have more in the works including some things about women in baseball, the sport in Latin America, and I want to talk about some of the plaques I saw.

Read up on our other posts on the Hall of Fame here.

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Travel to Cooperstown, NY: Hall of Fame


This past March I was fortunate to be able to travel to Cooperstown, NY and visit the Baseball Hall of Fame. The main reason I went was to do research for my master’s thesis at the Giamatti Research Center which is inside the Hall. And it turned out to be a crazy week.

Despite getting there on Monday, I was not able to get into town until Monday evening, so I missed one day of possible research. But at least I missed the snow, all 30+ inches of it.

Monday night the snow came and it just kept coming. I wound up being snowed in at my hotel for 2 straight days. I had rented a very small car and after the snow stopped it was completely covered.

I don’t know how much snow actually fell, but I heard reports from people at the hotel of upwards of 40+ inches. The Holiday Inn Express was where I stayed which was fortunately near a grocery store that was open. Twice I walked to the store since I could not get my car out until late Wednesday. I really liked the hotel and would recommend it to anyone traveling there. The only issue I had was the internet was not fast enough to stream MLB.tv which drove me nuts since the World Baseball Classic was going on and the hotel did not have MLB Network.

I spent the last two days of the week in the research library which was an amazing experience. The staff there was very helpful having pulled a lot of items I’d requested weeks before I arrived.

Food/Coffee in Cooperstown

It was a very quiet time to be in Cooperstown. Most stores weren’t even open, but the town has some fantastic spots. I really enjoyed Stagecoach Coffee which is in downtown Cooperstown. I loved the food here and the coffee was good too, and I am admittedly a bit of a coffee snob. But my favorite place, and I ate lunch here more than once, was the Doubleday Cafe. The food was fantastic, the beer was cold, and the staff was very nice.

Stagecoach Coffee

My breakfast sandwich at Stagecoach Coffee – it was amazing!

Since I was on a trip more to research than be a tourist, although I was both, I did not even bring my camera. So all my photos came from my phone unfortunately. With that in mind I want to close out this post with some photos of the Hall of Fame. I will be back to talk more about some of the things I saw inside the Hall, but for now I leave you with some photos of one of the coolest places I’ve ever been.

 

This is the first post in a series on the Baseball Hall of Fame and my trip there. Stay tuned and check back for more. You can stay up to date on all Hall of Fame posts here.

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Congratulations to the Baseball Hall of Fame Class of 2017


First of all, let me say congratulations to the class of 2017. Jeff Bagwell, Tim Raines, and Ivan Rodriguez are all worthy and deserve this honor. I want to focus on these three for the time being, then I will come back in a later post and talk about those that did not make it in.

Jeff Bagwell

Bagwell joins his fellow “Killer Bees” companion Craig Biggio. While there were others that joined these two in the rotating Killer Bees, these two were the constant force for the Astros for many years. Bagwell had some great years in Houston, but 1994 really stands out.

Even though the season was cut short, Bagwell did some amazing things in just 110 games. That year he was an all-star, Silver Slugger winner, Gold Glove winner, and the National League MVP. In those 110 games, Bagwell scored 104 runs, drove in 116, slugged .750, and had an OPS of 1.201. Not to mention the 39 home runs and while you are at it 15 stolen bases.

With 449 home runs and a lifetime .297 hitter, he was one of the most feared sluggers through the 90s. Bagwell fell just 15 votes shy of induction in 2016, but his 7th time was a charm. If you go back and look through the previous six years of voting, there was a steady climb for Bagwell. He started out with just over 41% of the vote in his first try, then slowly started creeping up. He mixed in a few years with big 15% or more jumps in the voting till finally getting in this year.

Tim Raines

One of the best lead off hitters of all-time was elected in his final year of eligibility by the writers association, and it is well deserved. A 7-time all-star and 3-time World Series champ, Raines set the table for some of the best teams in the game.

For four straight years in the early 80s Raines led the National League in stolen bases, and stole 70+ in six straight years. He ranks 5th all-time in stolen bases and ranks as one of the best all-time in stolen base percentage. But one thing that stands out to me when looking at his stats are that he walked 1330 times and struck out only 966. For a lead off hitter that is exactly what you want. Raines had a lifetime .385 OBP.

Ivan Pudge Rodriguez

Pudge Rodriguez was one of the best catchers to ever play the game, and he becomes only the second catcher of all-time to be elected on the first ballot. The 14-time All-Star, 13-time Gold Glove winner, and 1999 American League MVP was one of the most exciting players to watch both in the batter’s box and on defense.

Making his Major League debut at only age 19, Pudge quickly established himself as a defensive force. He threw out 45% of would be thieves on the bases and led the league seven times in throwing out runners.

While he was known for his defense perhaps first and foremost, Rodriguez was quite the hitter as well. A lifetime .296 hitter, which is more impressive when you realize he didn’t walk much, slugged 572 doubles and 311 home runs over his 21 year career.

All three players are definitely well deserving of this honor. Tomorrow I want to get into those that didn’t make and where they are headed. As always please give us your thoughts either here or on social media somewhere.

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College Baseball Hall of Fame Announces 2015 Inductees


Press Release College Baseball Hall of Fame

LUBBOCK, TexasOne of only three men to twice win a recognized college player of the year award plus two men who led their teams to the World Series at both the collegiate and Major League levels highlight the 2015 National College Baseball Hall of Fame induction class.

“This class features players and coaches with some incredible superlatives,” said Mike Gustafson, executive director of the College Baseball Hall of Fame. “There are some unique and outstanding accomplishments by the individuals in this class.”

This year’s class, which will be inducted as a part of the annual celebration of college baseball on June 28-29 in Lubbock, Texas, is headlined by Lance Berkman, who led Rice to its first College World Series appearance before embarking on a stellar Major League career; and Frank Viola, the talented left-hander who led his St. John’s club to Omaha in 1980 and went on to a 15-year Major League career that included winning the 1988 American League Cy Young Award.

The switch-hitting Berkman was named National Player of the Year by the NCBWA in 1997 on the strength of a .431 batting average, 41 home runs and 143 RBIs. During his three years at Rice, the Owls made their first NCAA tournament appearance in 1995 and their first College World Series appearance in 1997.

Viola registered a 26-2 career record at St. John’s, leading the Redmen in 1980 to Omaha, where he opened the CWS with a 6-1 victory over eventual national champion Arizona. However, it was another postseason win, a 1-0, 12-inning thriller in the 1981 NCAA regional over Yale and Ron Darling for which he is best remembered.

Also included in the class are Joe Arnold, a two-time NJCAA All-American pitcher at Miami-Dade who also earned Most Valuable Player honors at the 1966 NJCAA World Series; former Lubbock Christian and Texas Tech coach Larry Hays, one of only eight coaches at any level of college baseball with 1,500 wins; Al Holland, who shattered records in his four years at North Carolina A&T; Bill Holowaty, the third-winningest coach in NCAA Division III history; Mike Kelly, who was the consensus national player of the year in 1990 and winner of the Golden Spikes Award in 1991; and Rick Reichardt, who won the first recognized collegiate national player of the year award in 1964.

As a junior college player at Miami-Dade, Arnold played for the legendary Demie Mainieri. He is one of only two junior college players to twice be named NJCAA All-American as well as MVP of the NJCAA World Series in Grand Junction, Colorado. He later attended Arizona State where he won 11 games, finishing his collegiate playing career with a 40-5 record. He later enjoyed a stellar coaching career, leading Florida Southern to two NCAA Division II national championships before assuming the reins at the University of Florida, where he twice took the Gators to Omaha.

Hays coached Lubbock Christian to 695 wins and the 1983 NAIA national championship before moving across town to Texas Tech, where he assumed a program that had a losing record throughout its history. In his 22 years on campus, he led the Red Raiders to 813 wins and all four of their con­ference championship titles, as well as their first nine NCAA tournament appearances. In 2008, he became only the fourth coach in NCAA history to win 1,500 games.

Holland rode a blazing fastball to a record-setting career in which he tossed four no-hitters and twice led the nation in strikeouts per nine innings. His microscopic 0.26 ERA in 1975 also led the nation and is the third best ERA in NCAA Division I history.

Holowaty led Eastern Connecticut State to four NCAA Division III national championships and was honored four times as the national coach of the year. His 1,404 wins trail only 2009 inductee Gordie Gillespie and 2013 inductee Don Schaly on the Division III list.

Kelly’s three years at Arizona State rank as three of the most illustrious in school history. He is on a list with 2006 inductees Robin Ventura and Brooks Kieschnick as the only NCAA Division I players to twice take home player of the year honors. He finished his career in Tempe with a .376 batting average, 46 homers and 194 RBIs.

Reichardt was the first player in Big Ten history to repeat as batting champ. His 1964 batting aver­age of .443 in Big Ten play earned him The Sporting News National Player of the Year recogni­tion, plus All-America honors from ABCA.

“Our voting committees consists of longtime college baseball media members, active and former coaches, retired umpires, past inductees, college baseball historians and in several cases they are also former players,” Gustafson said. “I commend them on another outstanding job.”

Tickets for the 2015 induction will be available in May on the Hall of Fame’s website at www.collegebaseballhall.org.

For more information, contact Mike Gustafson, National College Baseball Hall of Fame president and CEO, atgus@collegebaseballfoundation.org.

2015 NCBHOF INDUCTEE EXTENDED BIOS:

Joe Arnold, Miami-Dade/Arizona State, 1965-67 (Pitcher)

As a pitcher at Miami-Dade College, he was a two time All-American. In 1965 and ’66, he finished with a combined record of 29-4, while being named the MVP of the 1966 Junior College World Series. In 2006, he was recognized as a member of the 50th Anniversary NJCAA World Series Team. His record of 30 2/3 innings pitched at the 1966 Junior College World Series still stands.

After Miami-Dade, Arnold played for Arizona State University. In one year he compiled an 11-1 record, giving him a total of 40 wins and 5 losses in three years of collegiate competition.

As the Florida Southern head coach from 1977 to 1983, he led the Moccasins to a 316-69 record for a .821 winning percentage. Arnold’s Moccasins teams won Regional titles in six of his seven years and NCAA Division II National Championships in 1978 and 1981. From 1984 to ’94 he served as head coach of the Florida Gators and led them to 434 wins and a .640 winning percentage. In addition, his Gator teams appeared in 1988 and ’91 College World Series.

Lance Berkman, Rice, 1995-97 (First baseman/Outfielder)

Berkman hit .322 with six home runs and a Southwest Conference-leading 26 doubles as a freshman. Rice went 43-19 overall and finished one game behind Texas Tech in the SWC, which was good enough to make the NCAA Tournament for the first time in school history.

As a sophomore, he led the SWC with 20 home runs and finished fourth in the batting race with a .398 average. The Owls finished at 42-23 and won the final SWC post-season tournament.

Berkman turned in one of the greatest seasons in Division I history in 1997, winning the WAC Triple Crown with a .431 average, 41 homers and 134 RBIs. He also led the conference in runs and hits. Overall, he was 11th in the nation in batting, second in runs, third in hits, second in slugging, and first in total bases, RBIs and home runs. In the NCAA Tournament, Rice swept through the Central Regionals, and Berkman was named the Most Outstanding Player. The Owls’ subsequent trip to the College World Series was the first in school history. For his efforts, he was named National Player of the Year by the NCBWA and was unanimous All-American at first base.

Berkman’s final career stats: .385 batting average, 67 home runs with 272 RBIs.

Larry Hays, Lubbock Christian/Texas Tech, 1971-2008 (Coach)

The first 16 of his 38 seasons as head coach were spent coaching the Lubbock Christian (NAIA) baseball program. From 1971 to 1986, Hays had 10 seasons with 40 or more wins with the Chaparrals, winning the NAIA national championship in 1983. He went 695-381 while coaching the Chaps.

When he took over at Texas Tech, the Red Raiders had an overall losing record, but Hays put out a winning product in two years. The best times, however, came in a stretch from 1995 to 2004. In that span, Tech won two Southwest Conference championships and two Big 12 Conference championships. He won a tournament title in each conference. Tech made nine NCAA tournament appearances, including eight straight from 1995 to 2002.

Hays’ season honors included being named coach of the year following nine different seasons. The highlight was the 1997 season when he was selected Big 12 Conference Coach of the Year by the Big 12 coaches, The Dallas Morning News and the Austin American-Statesman.

On April 2, 2008, Hays won game No. 1,500. He left with a career total of 1,509 wins – good for 5th among coaches at four-year schools at the time, behind only Gordie Gillespie, Augie Garrido, Gene Stephenson and Mike Martin.

In 1991, Hays was inducted into the NAIA Hall of Fame, and in 2001 he became the first collegiate baseball coach to be inducted into the Texas Baseball Hall of Fame.

Al Holland, North Carolina A&T, 1972-1975 (Pitcher)

Holland pitched at North Carolina A&T from 1972-1975 before beginning a 10-year Major League Baseball career. He threw four no-hitters in college, one in each year he pitched. His no-hitter in 1972 against North Carolina Central included 25 strikeouts.

As a freshman in 1972, Holland led the nation in strikeouts (143) and was second in ERA (0.54). The following year, NC A&T’s last in the NAIA, he recorded an ERA of 1.03 and added another 102 strikeouts. Though the Aggies moved up to NCAA status, Holland continued to dominate the competition during the next two years with a 0.95 ERA and 105 strikeouts in 1974, and a nation-leading 0.26 ERA and 118 strikeouts in 1975.

Holland was a two-time NAIA All-American in 1972 and 1973. He was named to the MEAC Hall of Fame in 1993.

Bill Holowaty, Eastern Connecticut State, 1969-2013 (Coach)

One of the most successful coaches in NCAA Division III history, Holowaty retired with a 1,404- 525-7 career record. Holowaty led Eastern to four national championships and was national coach of the year four times. He finished third on the NCAA Division III wins list behind Gordie Gillespie and Don Schaly, both previous inductees of the National College Baseball Hall of Fame. He has the most victories of any coach – in any sport – in New England intercollegiate history.

Having been named national coach of the year four times and regional coach of the year 14 times, Holowaty’s legend was built upon consistency. In addition to winning four national championships, the Warriors posted at least 30 wins 28 times in the last 40 seasons under the head coach and brought a streak of 11 straight 30-win seasons into 2012, when they fell one win shy of extending that streak. Only one Holowaty-coached team in 44 seasons ever won less than 60 percent of its games. Despite winning “only” 58.5 percent of its game, that 1989 team came within an acrobatic outfield catch by its opponent of reaching the national tournament. The following year, the Warriors recorded the first of four 40-win campaigns, and advanced to the national tournament, where they proceeded virtually unchallenged to a second national title.

Under Holowaty, Eastern either won the Little East Conference regular-season or post-season championships or both in the same season 14 times in 16 years. The Warriors are the only program to win back-to-back LEC tournament titles – having done it twice – and are the only program to win consecutive outright LEC regular-season titles, having captured four straight between 2002 and 2005. Eastern won or shared LEC regular-season titles eight times in the first nine seasons of LEC competition.

Mike Kelly, Arizona State, 1989-91 (Outfielder)

Kelly put together one of the best three-year careers in the illustrious history of Arizona State baseball. He was a career .350 hitter with 197 runs scored, 46 doubles, 194 RBIs and 46 home runs. His 46 home runs rank third in ASU career history.

At the time of his induction into the ASU Hall of Fame in 2014, Kelly also ranked sixth in RBIs (194) and ninth with in runs scored (197). He was a three-time All-American during his playing career, including winning the 1991 Golden Spikes Award and was the consensus 1990 National Player of the Year. He was also the 1990 Pac-10 Player of the Year after a season when he hit .376 with 17 doubles, six triples, 21 home runs and 82 RBIs, which ranks among the top individual efforts in college baseball history.

Kelly was the second overall selection in the 1991 major league draft by the Atlanta Braves and went on to play parts of six seasons in the major leagues with four different teams.

Rick Reichardt, Wisconsin, 1963-64 (Outfielder)

A native of Steven’s Point, Wisconsin, he enrolled at Wisconsin to play football. During the 1963 baseball season, he led the Big 10 in home runs (5) and batting average and recorded a .429 average in conference games. He also was a third-team All-Big Ten selection.

During the 1963 football season, Reichardt led the Big Ten in receptions with 26 catches for 383 yards and one touchdown for the conference champion Badgers.

In the 1964 baseball season, he finished second in the nation with a .443 batting average in conference games, also a school record. He was the first Big Ten player to repeat as batting champion and recorded 15- and 17-game hitting streaks. On the season, he also scored 28 runs and stole nine bases, which led the conference. Following that season, he was named first-team All-Big Ten and first-team All-American by ABCA and The Sporting News.

He finished his Wisconsin career with a .394 batting average, a school record, and was named the 1964 National Player of the Year by The Sporting News. Reichardt signed the largest Major League Baseball bonus contract at the time with the LA Angels.

Frank Viola, St. Johns, 1979-81 (Pitcher)

Viola recorded a 6-1 record with a 2.09 ERA during his first season at St. John’s. He followed that up in 1980 with a 10-1 record and a 2.16 ERA in 87.2 innings and recorded his best season in 1981, finishing with a 10-0 record and a 0.87 ERA in 83 innings pitched.

St. John’s appeared in NCAA post-season play in each of his three years and in game one of the 1980 College World Series, Viola helped defeat eventual national champion Arizona, 6-1. His most memorable victory was a 1981 Regional victory of Yale and Ron Darling, in which Viola pitched 11 scoreless innings. Following the 1981 season, Viola was named first-team All-America by Baseball America.

NATIONAL COLLEGE BASEBALL HALL OF FAME INDUCTEE NOTES:

Mike Kelly joins Brooks Kieschnick and Robin Ventura as the only players to win an ac­knowledged national player of the year award in two separate years.

Larry Hays is one of only eight coaches in the history of college baseball at any level with 1,500 wins, joining Augie Garrido, Gordie Gillespie*, Gene Stephenson*, Mike Martin, Lloyd Simmons, Wayne Graham*, Mark Marquess and Larry Hays*.

* National College Baseball Hall of Fame inductee

Lance Berkman will be the fifth-youngest inductee at 39 years, 4 months (Brooks Kieschnick was the youngest at 34 years, 1 month, followed by Nomar Garciaparra, John Olerud and Robin Ventura at 38 years, 11 months)

Frank Viola’s 1981 NCAA regional win over Yale and Ron Darling was detailed by legend­ary New Yorker scribe Roger Angell, who covered the anticipated matchup during the 1981 MLB strike and watched the game with 92-year old Smokey Joe Wood.

Both Larry Hays and Bill Holowaty played and coached collegiate basketball.

Rick Reichardt won the first acknowledged national player of the year recognition when he was named The Sporting News Player of the Year in 1964.

Joe Arnold was named to the JUCO World Series 50th Anniversary Team in 2007.

This is the first induction class since 2012 in which every member is living.

The three pitchers (Arnold, Holland, Viola) in this class combined to go 96-12 in their collegiate careers.

The three coaches in this class (Arnold, Hays, Holowaty) combined to win seven national championships, with a total of 3,723 wins.

The three position players in this class combined to win seven national player of the year recognitions.

With the induction of the 2015 class, the National College Baseball Hall of Fame will have 93 inductees

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Baseball Bloggers Alliance Recommends Seven for the Hall of Fame


Press Release by Baseball Bloggers Alliance

BBA Binary Ballot Recommends Seven For Cooperstown

Seven players from the 2014 Baseball Writers of America ballot were recommended for enshrinement in the Baseball Hall of Fame by the members of the Baseball Bloggers Alliance on Friday.

Given the backlog of quality players on the ballot, this year the BBA adopted the plan suggested by St. Louis Post-Dispatch columnist Derrick Goold of a binary ballot.  Each player on the ballot was given a yes or no vote by the BBA voters and those receiving over 75% were then recommended.

With this format, pitcher Randy Johnson received 100% of the vote while pitcher Pedro Martinez was close behind at 95%.  Others that topped the 75% mark were catcher/second baseman/outfielder Craig Biggio (90%), pitcher John Smoltz (89%), catcher Mike Piazza (85%), first baseman Jeff Bagwell (77%) and outfielder Tim Raines (77%).

Those that just fell short of the mark were designated hitter Edgar Martinez (71%) and pitcher Curt Schilling (68%).

The rest of the voting was as follows:

Mike Mussina 67%
Barry Bonds 65%
Roger Clemens 63%
Alan Trammell 53%
Jeff Kent 44%
Gary Sheffield 38%
Larry Walker 37%
Fred McGriff 33%
Mark McGwire 33%
Don Mattingly 31%
Lee Smith 31%
Sammy Sosa 23%
Carlos Delgado 19%
Nomar Garciaparra 13%
Cliff Floyd 4%
Brian Giles 4%
Rich Aurilia 3%
Darin Erstad 3%
Troy Percival 3%
Aaron Boone 1%
Jason Schmidt 1%
Jermaine Dye 0%
Tom Gordon 0%
Eddie Guardado 0%

Using this binary method, only 13% turned in a ballot with less than 10 names selected.  40% turned in a ballot with 15 or more names selected, with a high of 20.

The official website of the BBA is located at baseballbloggersalliance.wordpress.com. The BBA can be found on Twitter by the handle @baseballblogs and by the hashmark #bbba.  For more information, contact Niko Goutakolis at baseballbloggersalliance@gmail.com.

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Kauffman Stadium to Host Game Benefiting College Baseball Hall of Fame


Wichita State, Missouri to play April 22 at home of Kansas City Royals

Kansas City Royals Press Release

Kauffman Stadium will soon be the site of a college baseball border clash.

The National College Baseball Hall of Fame “Classic at The K” will feature a matchup between the Wichita State Shockers and the Missouri Tigers on Tuesday, April 22, at 7 p.m. Farmland Foods will be the presenting sponsor of the game, which will benefit the National College Baseball Hall of Fame, located in Lubbock, Texas.

classicK640

“We are so honored that David and Dan Glass and the Royals organization have chosen to host this game,” said Hall of Fame Executive Vice President of Development Jana Howser, daughter of late Royals Hall of Fame Manager Dick Howser. “We look forward to a wonderful night of college baseball.”

Wichita State leads the all-time series, having won six of the 10 matchups between the teams. They last met in 2004 with the Shockers winning, 3-0.

Tickets in the BATS Crown Club, which will include a special menu offered at a reduced price, will be available for $25 for adults and $14 for youth ages 14 and under. Fans may also purchase tickets in the KIA Diamond Club for $15 for adults and $10 for youth. Please note that Royals Crown Club and Diamond Club seat holders will be given a special opportunity to purchase tickets in these two areas and will receive an email with information on how to purchase tickets within the next week. In addition, general admission seating in the lower seating bowl will be available for purchase at $10 for adults and $5 for youth.

Fans may purchase tickets online at www.royals.com/hofgame, by visiting the Kauffman Stadium Box Office or by calling 1-800-6-ROYALS.

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Baseball Australia Announces 2014 Hall of Fame Inductees


There will be three new inductees into the Baseball Australia Hall of Fame in 2014.

The Baseball Australia Hall of Fame started in 2005 and recognizes players and coaches who have had an impact on the game of baseball at the highest level. The inductees must be of good character and have never brought the game into disrepute.

The Hall has seven eras of classification starting with Pre 1900. It continues with 1900 to 1918, 1919 to 1946 (start of American influence and the Claxton Shield), 1947 to 1967 (post war), 1968 to 1988 (Asia influence), 1989 to 1999 (first ABL), and 2000 to the present.

2014 Baseball Australia Hall of Fame Inductees:

  • Phil Alexander, South Australia.  Category:  Playing 1968 – 1988
  • Kaye Greenham, Western Australia.  Category:  Playing 1947 – 1967
  • Brendan Kingman, New South Wales.  Category: Playing 1989 – 1999 & 2000 onwards

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Korea: Baseball Hall of Fame to be Built in Busan


According to a report by Busan Haps, the city of Busan and the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) have agreed to build a Korea Baseball Museum and Korea Baseball Hall of Fame.

An entire ‘Baseball Theme Park” will be build including a three-story building, four regular baseball fields, two Little League fields, one softball field, an indoor baseball practice field, and a baseball experience hall.

In the three-story building there will be many attractions comprising 3,374 square meters (36,317 sq ft). The first floor will be composed of a multi-purpose hall, video room, and a library of foreign player stats. An amateur baseball center, a professional baseball center, and a lecture room will be on the second floor. Finally, the third floor will include the hall of fame and a conference hall. The building will also feature a roof top garden.

Hyundai Motor Corp has agreed to donate the four regular sized baseball fields for the project.

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Baseball Hall of Fame Japan Honors Peter O’Malley, Former Dodgers Owner


Press Release Baseball Federation of Japan

To commemorate 110th birth anniversary of late Walter O’Malley (1903-1979), former Dodgers owner, the Baseball Hall of Fame opened a special exhibition “Baseball in Japan and the O’Malley family” on June 29 and Walter’s son, Peter O’Malley (75), joined ribbon cutting with Commissioner Ryozo Kato and Renzo Ishii (81), former manager of Waseda University baseball club.

Commissioner Kato presented the guest of honor with letters of commendation for the lasting friendship between Japanese baseball community and his family.  The exhibition displays valuable memorabilia borrowed from O’Malley family and will last till July 15.

In accepting the recognition, Peter O’Malley responded by saying that this was his 85th visit to Japan beginning with the first one in the fall of 1956 with Dodgers and will aim for a century!  He is a great supporter to bring baseball and softball back to the Olympic Games and reiterated his pledge to help WBSF’s reinstatement campaign for the next 2 months.

Photo by courtesy of The Baseball Hall of Fame Japan.

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College Baseball Hall of Fame Celebrates Newest Members


Night of Champions features Class of 2013 induction

Press Release College Baseball Hall of Fame

LUBBOCK, Texas — Baseball champions of yesterday and today gathered here Saturday for the College Baseball Hall of Fame’s Night of Champions, where seven new members were inducted.

The distinguished baseball players honored and inducted into the Hall of Fame during the Night of Champions include Arizona State third baseman Sal Bando; Oklahoma State pitcher Tom Borland; Grambling State second baseman Ralph Garr; University of Tampa first baseman Tino Martinez; Marietta College coach Don Schaly; USC shortstop Roy Smalley; and Colby College, Maine and Husson College coach John Winkin.

Bando is one of eight Arizona State Sun Devils to be inducted into the College Baseball Hall of Fame, including his coach, Bobby Winkles.

“The journey of getting to Arizona State started to sink in, and I was just hoping to compete, let alone get inducted into the College Baseball Hall of Fame,” he said. “It’s truly been a blessing.”

One of the inductees said not only was it an honor to have been able to play college baseball, but to then be awarded for it, as well.

“I really enjoyed my college career at the University of Tampa,” Martinez said. “This is the last thing I ever dreamed of and [never] thought this would happen.”

John Schaly represented his father, the late Don Schaly, and said his dad was a very humble man who would not have taken the credit had he been able to accept the award.

“He built a great legacy, and that will be something to remember for many years to come. And as a Family, we’re very proud of everything he did,” he said.

The late Tom Borland’s family also represented him during the Night of Champions, and his daughter, Jana King, said the College Baseball Hall of Fame helped her family realize the impact her father had on college baseball.

“This is just a great time for us to honor his history and his accomplishments,” she said. “To be honest, a lot of times we referred more to his professional career, so it was very educational for us — I have three older brothers — to learn about his college career and the amazing things he did there.”

A few of the inductees discussed the recognition the College Baseball Hall of Fame has been able to give to college baseball.

“I think baseball is really gaining momentum at being the No. 1 sport, and I hope that continues, and I think what they’re doing here in Lubbock is a wonderful thing,” Garr said.

Those also honored during the Night of Champions included LSU’s Alex Bregman, the Brooks Wallace Shortstop of the Year; Oklahoma’s Jonathan Gray, the Pitcher of the Year; Gonzaga’s Marco Gonzales, the John Olerud Two-Way Player of the Year; Ole Miss’ Stuart Turner, the Johnny Bench Award winner; Gloucester County College coach Mike Dickson, the Skip Bertman National Coach of the Year; and Dale Williams, the National Collegiate Umpire Award winner.

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Eight Great Latin American Ballplayers


By Ismael Nunez

This month of February is African-American History Month. It’s also Dominican History Month, and in the first week of February every year:  Dominican Republic, Cuba, Puerto Rico, and Venezuela participated in the Caribbean World Series!

Yet the games are not shown on prime-time and at the same time there are several Latin American ballplayers many USA citizens don’t know much about.  Here are the Magnificent Eight!

Cuba

Martin Dihigo stood 6’3 and was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1977. He was the first Latin American Ballplayer who played in the Negro Leagues elected into the Hall. The only ballplayer elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in four countries (Mexico, Cuba, Venezuela, United States).  In Cuba he was called “The Immortal” in other Latin American countries he was called “El Maestro” (The Master). As a pitcher he won over 25o games had a winning percentage over .650. As a hitter he had a batting average of over .300 and won batting  and home-run titles.  Too many, including former Negro League Hall of Famers, consider him the greatest player ever!

Jose Mendez stood only 5’8. In Cuba he was called “El Diamante Negro” (The Black Diamond) yet he had a winning percentage of .747.  When Major League Teams traveled to the island in exhibition games Mendez won most of the time! In one game he defeated Hall of Fame Pitcher Christy Mathewson in 1911.

Cristobal Torriente stood between 5’9 and 5’10 yet weighed 190 pounds. He was called “The Cuban Babe Ruth”, played baseball year-round, and was a star player both in the Negro and Cuban Leagues from 1913 to 1922. His lifetime batting average was .352.

All Three of these Cubans are in Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY

Dominican Republic

Tetelo Vargas has been called “The Father of Dominican Baseball and The Dominican Deer” who was excellent both on defense and offense! Long before there was Manny Ramirez, and Vladimir Guerrero there was Vargas. Playing in the Negro Leagues, Puerto Rican, Dominican, and Mexican Leagues he put together a lifetime batting average of .300.  He also had good speed, and was notable base stealer.

Horacio “Rabbit” Martinez was an outstanding shortstop, and a clutch hitter.

To many he was the greatest shortstop ever to play in the Dominican Republic and one of the top shortstops in the Negro Leagues from the 1930’s and 1940’s. In an article for SABR (Society for American Baseball Research) many would say long before Hall of Famer Ozzie Smith there was Martinez making those plays. He had a rifle of an arm and brilliant speed.

In his Biographical Encyclopedia of the Negro Baseball Leagues, James A. Riley wrote that Martinez was “a good bunter, fast on the bases, and good on either end of the hit-and-run play! Always a hustler!”

Dominican baseball player Manny Mota had this to say about Martinez “Mr. Horacio Martínez was without a doubt one of the greatest players in the history of the Dominican Republic. Besides being a great player, he was like a father to me. I’ve got a great deal of respect and admiration for him.”

Rob Ruck, author, The Tropic of Baseball: Baseball in the Dominican Republic, and co-writer/producer of the film Republic of Baseball stated this, “I think that both Tetelo Vargas and Horacio Martínez merit consideration for the Hall of Fame. Now that the Hall has opened its “Viva Baseball” exhibit about Latinos in baseball, I hope that they might establish a special committee to consider such candidacies, as they did once before, in 2006!

Puerto Rico

Pancho Coimbre & Perucho Cepeda

Long before Puerto Rican great like Roberto Clemente, Orlando Cepeda, Roberto Alomar arrived in the Hall of Fame, you had these two individuals.  Coimbre and Cepeda both stood 5’11 and both were Afro-Puerto Rican as well as outstanding hitters/fielders. Cepeda’s single season batting average of .464 is the highest in Puerto Rican Baseball History. Coimbre’s lifetime batting average of .337 is the second best in Puerto Rican Baseball History.  Both are in the Puerto Rican Baseball Hall of Fame.

Mexico

The country has had baseball fever long before Fernandomania in 1981, Bobby Avila winning the A.L. batting title in 1954, or the country winning the 2013 Caribbean World Series. Before all of this there was Hector Espino!

He was called the “Babe Ruth of Mexico”  and his  achievements have been compared favorably with many baseball legends who have received baseball’s highest honor.

He won a staggering 18 batting titles(winter/summer leagues) which is six more than the 12 batting crowns Hall of Famer Ty Cobb captured. He also spent 24 years with the Orange Men from 1960-84. Hall of Famers Brooks Robinson (Orioles) and Carl Yastrzemski (Red Sox) are tied with 23 years of service in one uniform.

He became the oldest man to win a batting title in 1983 when he was 43 years-old and hit .316. Ted Williams was 40 when he hit .328 in 1958.

He led Mexico to its first Caribbean World Series win in 1976, and in 1988 was elected to the Mexican Baseball Hall of Fame (Salón de la Fama del Beisbol Profesional de México).

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College Baseball Hall of Fame Receives Major Donation


Press Release: College Baseball Hall of Fame

LUBBOCK, Texas — The National College Baseball Hall of Fame has been based in Lubbock, Texas, since its founding in 2004. However, on Tuesday, the dream of a permanent home devoted to recognizing and preserving the history of the game took a major step toward becoming reality.

The Moody Foundation, based in Galveston, Texas, awarded the Hall of Fame a $5 million capital campaign grant. The grant brings the total raised toward the campaign to approximately $7 million, not including the value of the land committed by the City of Lubbock. The total campaign goal is $13 million, with $9 million needed for facility construction and a $4 million endowment.

“This is a momentous day for our organization,” said Mike Gustafson, executive director of the College Baseball Hall of Fame. “This is a huge step forward for the capital campaign and the mission of the museum.”

Supporting the College Baseball Hall of Fame and its mission of preservation and education was a natural fit for the foundation, said Frances Moody-Dahlberg, executive director of the Moody Foundation.

“The Moody Foundation has a long history of activities in Lubbock,” she said. “The timing couldn’t be more perfect to support the College Baseball Hall of Fame given the Moody history with baseball and economic development. The trustees and staff of the foundation are proud to support this important project.”

Although the grant from the Moody Foundation is vital to the success of the capital campaign, local success also has been crucial, said Jana Howser, Hall of Fame vice president of development.

“Generous support from within Lubbock, across Texas and around the country are all important components in realizing this national treasure,” Howser said. “The decision by the Moody Foundation to grant $5 million dollars is spectacular. We are immensely grateful for their generous decision and are excited about the road ahead.”

The National College Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum will be dedicated to preserving the artifacts and stories that tell the history of college baseball and to providing educational opportunities for visitors. The Hall of Fame complex also will include a baseball field for youth tournaments and other amateur baseball events.

“We look so forward to providing a world-class facility,” Howser said. “The Moody Foundation Board of Trustees embraces the necessity of a proper national hall of fame that will educate the extraordinary history of college baseball.”

WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING:

“I learned a long time ago that everything we do is a value statement. A $5 million dollar gift by the Moody Foundation is an immense value statement about establishing a national home for college baseball’s greatest history and the College Baseball Foundation.”

— Andy Lopez, head coach of the 2012 national champion Arizona Wildcats and
former head coach of 2012 CBHOF inductee and Florida Gator Brad Wilkerson

“What fantastic news! The College Baseball Hall of Fame facility becomes reality. Congratulations to all that have worked so hard to make it happen. Now the great game of college baseball and its history will finally have a proper home. This is truly a wonderful day for all who love the ‘purest national pastime,’ college baseball.”

— Gene Stephenson, head coach, Wichita State

“I am very excited and humbled by the generous donation that the Moody family is making to the CBF. It is greatly appreciated and they will always have a place in our hearts.”

— Brooks Kieschnick, 2006 Hall of Fame inductee

“What a great day for everyone involved in college baseball. This grant will now allow the College Baseball Foundation to get closer to achieving its dream. The building of the CBHOF and field will be a beautiful masterpiece that will honor the past, present and future players, coaches, and umpires of the great game of college baseball. I am honored and humbled to be a part of it.”

— Dick Runchey, regional adviser, NCAA Baseball Umpire Program
and recipient of the inaugural National Collegiate Umpire Award

“This is very exciting news. I always thought that working with foundations was the right way to go and I commend the Moody Foundation for their gift. There’s no question that the construction process can begin soon. The people of Lubbock have been very supportive and college baseball will soon have a home for the National College Baseball Hall of Fame.”

— Skip Bertman, 2006 Hall of Fame inductee and honorary chair of the capital campaign

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MLB: No Players Elected into Hall of Fame for 2012


The talk lately around baseball has been about the Hall of Fame voting. This is the first year for some of the more notorious steroid users in the game, or suspected steroid users, including Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, and Sammy Sosa.

There have been two very distinct sides to the arguments either calling for the best to be inducted, or for these players to never be inducted.

I stand in the middle.

I don’t have a problem with not inducting them on the first ballot, even though a few of them would have been sure first ballot Hall of Famers even before they used steroids. I don’t consider that too harsh a penalty for what the world has deemed to be “cheating”. However, what I don’t understand is how so many people have said they should never be inducted.

They are simply some of the greatest players in the history of the game. If this is going to be a morality issue, then vote in Dale Murphy. There isn’t a nicer guy not in the HOF who put up HOF numbers for a short period of time like he did. Back-to-back MVPs in the 1980s when he was one of the most feared hitters in the game, not just the National League.

I just can’t wrap my head around not ever putting these guys in the HOF.

It seems pretty pathetic that the same guys who voted for Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens to have all of those MVPs and Cy Young Awards now turn their back and won’t vote them into the Hall of Fame. Everyone knew they were using performance enhancing drugs when they were winning the awards, so why give them the awards and then not vote them into the Hall? It all seems pretty petty and idiotic to me.

If you wanted to punish them in the first place, why not vote someone else for MVP or Cy Young? Make your morality stand then, not now. I think the time has past for all of that nonsense. If you are so concerned about their “cheating”, then take away the awards. Go to the limits to show that cheating will not be tolerated and if you are caught you will suffer the worst consequences possible.

But that’s not how the writer’s work. They are more concerned about a ‘good story’. What fills column inches more than a good scandal?

Another group, albeit smaller than the first, are saying if the HOF wants to put someone in, put in Pete Rose. Where is that coming from? How about putting in a guy who had over 3,000 hits, was an All-Star at two different positions, and was a leader on his team for decades in Craig Biggio? Is his name ever linked to steroids? No! Don’t start throwing out Rose’s name because of the likes of Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens are forever tainted with the steroid label.

In case you didn’t notice, there are other people on the ballot that are worthy of being in the Hall of Fame. Biggio is probably at the top of the list. And what about his teammate Jeff Bagwell? Both were dominate for years at their respective positions. Stop throwing out Rose’s name into the conversation. His Hall of Fame chances ended completely when he admitted to gambling on baseball.

Rose as a player is easily a Hall of Fame caliber player. He’s one of the best to ever play the game, but he will never get into the Hall. I think in due time, the voters and fans will forgive some of the steroid era players long before they ever even have the chance to vote in Rose.

So please stop the calls for Rose to get in. Stop the calls for these guys to never get inducted. If you need to punish them, make them wait before their big day, but they are, at least some of them, deserving whether or not they used performance enhancing drugs. And let’s focus on the player who didn’t use steroids who are also deserving of receiving that call one day.

This debate will continue for years unfortunately. I don’t see any of them getting in next year either. Not with the new guys added to the ballot who are definite first ballot guys like Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine.

That’s just my 2 cents. I’d like to hear what you have to say.

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Rich Fetchiet named 2012 National Collegiate Umpire Award winner


Award recipient honored for three decades of work

LUBBOCK, Texas — The College Baseball Hall of Fame announced Wednesday this year’s recipient of the National Collegiate Umpire Award — honoring a lifetime of excellence in umpiring. The award — sponsored by Honig’s Whistle Stop, a provider of umpire gear — will be presented as part of the College Baseball Night of Champions on June 30 in Lubbock, Texas.

The recipient of the 2012 award is Rich Fetchiet, who has umpired college baseball for 35 years. He has worked three College World Series at two levels of NCAA baseball. His resumé also includes serving as a coordinator for eight NCAA Division I collegiate conferences, service on numerous NCAA committees and assignment to five major international competitions, culminating in the Olympic Games.

“Knowing who some of the other nominees were made the notification of selection overwhelming to me,” Fetchiet said. “I remain beyond humbled. Perhaps what makes this recognition so special is knowing that it comes from my friends and colleagues in college baseball umpiring. I am deeply grateful and appreciative of this award and look forward to the celebration in Lubbock.”

Fetchiet’s selection was the result of a nomination and screening process by past and current NCAA national coordinators of umpires, NCAA regional advisers, umpire conference coordinators and four collegiate head coaches.

“The final ballot included three names, and the entire vote count was separated by a mere three votes,” said Mike Gustafson, executive director of the College Baseball Hall of Fame. “That Rich won such a close vote speaks to his work on and off the baseball diamond.”

For more information, contact Mike Gustafson, executive director, at gus@collegebaseballfoundation.org.

Courtsey National College Baseball Hall of Fame

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Higuera, Three Others Named To Mexican Hall Of Fame


By Bruce Baskin

Former Milwaukee Brewers All-Star pitcher Teodoro “Teddy” Higuera was among four men elected Monday to Mexican baseball’s Hall of Fame, the Salon de la Fama in Monterrey. Also chosen were pitcher Mercedes Esquer, outfielder Jimmie Collins and team executive Dr. Arturo Leon Lerma.

Esquer, who was 212-141 in 26 Mexican League seasons between 1977 and 2005, received the most votes among the Players with 304; Higuera, who had 69 wins and 746 strikeouts for Milwaukee from 1985 through 1988, got in with 294. Catcher Alex Trevino, who hit .249 over a 13-year Major League career, was a distant third with 105 votes.

Collins, who batted .354 with 1,596 hits and 190 steals over 11 Liga campaigns, was the lone Veterans selection with 313 tallies while Lerma (a longtime president of the Hermosillo Naranjeros and Mexican Pacific League) had 309 votes in the Directors category.

The Salon de la Fama began in Mexico City with five inductees in 1939, but was dormant until moving to the Cuauhtemoc brewery grounds at Monterrey in 1964. The Salon has 187 members (including several North American legends like Josh Gibson and Roy Campanella) and is open six days per week.

www.salondelafama.com.mx

Bruce Baskin is the Editor/Producer at the BASEBALL MEXICO website.

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USA: Dave Van Horne named 2011 Ford C. Frick Award Winner for Broadcasting Excellence


COOPERSTOWN, NY – Dave Van Horne, who has spent the last 42 seasons calling play-by-play action for the Montreal Expos and the Florida Marlins, has been selected as the 2011 recipient of the Ford C. Frick Award, presented annually by the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum for excellence in baseball broadcasting.

Van Horne, who will be honored during Hall of Fame Weekend, July 22-25, is the first Expos broadcaster to win the Frick Award. He is the second Marlins broadcaster honored, joining Felo Ramirez, a Spanish-language broadcaster, and the second Frick Award winner to have called games for a Canadian team, following Tony Kubek, who broadcast games for the Blue Jays and was honored in 2009.

“Dave Van Horne introduced Major League Baseball to English-speaking fans in Montreal, and his voice became the standard for two generations of Expos fans,” said Hall of Fame President Jeff Idelson. “Since 2001, Dave has energized Marlins fans in South Florida with his infectious love for the game, his excitable play-by-play, and his signature ‘Up, Up and Away’ home run calls. We are thrilled to announce Dave Van Horne as the 2011 Frick Award winner.”

Van Horne, a native of Easton, Pa., began his broadcasting career with the Richmond Braves of the International League, and was twice named the Virginia Sportscaster of the Year by the National Sportswriters and Sportscasters Association before joining the Expos for their inaugural season of 1969. He called Expos games on radio and television, describing such memorable moments as the Expos debut on April 8, 1969, Willie Mays’ 3000th hit, Nolan Ryan’s passing Walter Johnson on top of the career strikeout list and Steve Carlton striking out his 4,000th batter. Van Horne also called games for The Baseball Network on ABC and NBC.

Van Horne joined the Marlins in 2001 as the club’s lead radio voice. He broadcast the Marlins’ 2003 World Championship season, adding to a resume that includes three World Series and National League Championship Series broadcasting assignments for Canadian networks. Van Horne also broadcast the last Expos game in Montreal, in 2004, as a member of the visiting Marlins radio broadcast team.

Van Horne has shared the broadcast booth with partners such as Don Drysdale, Pee Wee Reese, Duke Snider, Ken Singleton, Buck Martinez, Tom Cheek and Tommy Hutton. He was the recipient of the 1996 Jack Graney Award, given by the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame for contributions to the game through broadcasting.

Van Horne will be honored as an award recipient during Hall of Fame Weekend 2011, July 22-25 in Cooperstown, N.Y, along with 2011 J.G. Taylor Spink Award winner Bill Conlin, who was announced on Tuesday. Pat Gillick, who was elected on Monday by the Expansion Era Committee, will be inducted on July 24, along with any electees who emerge from 2011 Baseball Writers’ Association of America election, to be announced Jan. 5.

The Ford C. Frick Award is voted upon annually and is named in memory of the sportswriter, radio broadcaster, National League president and Baseball commissioner. For a complete list of recipients,click here.

Ten finalists for the 2011 Ford C. Frick Award were selected in October, featuring three fan selections from an online vote conducted at www.facebook.com/baseballhall and seven broadcasters chosen by a research committee from the Cooperstown-based museum. The final ballot contained a mix of pioneers and current-day broadcasters, and was voted upon by a 20-member electorate. Complete biographical information on the 10 finalists can be found here. The 10 finalists: Rene CardenasTom CheekDizzy DeanJacques DoucetBill KingNed MartinTim McCarverGraham McNameeEric Nadel and Van Horne. Cardenas, Doucet, McCarver, Nadel and Van Horne were the living candidates.

In September, Cheek (11,661 votes), King (4,758 votes) and Doucet (2,714 votes) finished as the top three vote-getters in the Museum’s online fan poll for inclusion on the final 10-name ballot.

The 20-member electorate, comprised of the 15 living Frick Award recipients and five broadcast historians/columnists, includes Frick honorees Marty BrennamanJerry ColemanGene ElstonJoe GaragiolaJaime JarrinMilo HamiltonTony KubekDenny Matthews, 2010 Frick Award winner Jon MillerDave Niehaus (who cast his vote before passing away Nov. 10), Felo RamirezVin ScullyLon SimmonsBob Uecker and Bob Wolff, and historians/columnists Bob Costas (NBC), Barry Horn(Dallas Morning News), Stan Isaacs (formerly of NY Newsday), Ted Patterson (historian) and Curt Smith (historian).

Voters were asked to base their selections on the following criteria: longevity; continuity with a club; honors, including national assignments such as the World Series and All-Star Games; and popularity with fans. This year’s balloting process marked the eighth time fans had the opportunity to be a part of selecting the final ballot for the award, after changes to the voting process implemented by the Hall of Fame’s Board of Directors to the voting process in 2003.

To be considered, an active or retired broadcaster must have a minimum of 10 years of continuous major league broadcast service with a ball club, network, or a combination of the two. More than 200 broadcasters were eligible for consideration for this year’s award, with bios of each candidate appearing at the Web site.

Courtesy BaseballHall.org

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USA: Trio of MVPs Headline Hall of Fame Ballot


UNITED STATES – A trio of former Most Valuable Players headline the 19 new candidates on the 2011 Hall of Fame ballot mailed recently to nearly 600 voting members of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America. Writers with at least 10 consecutive years of experience comprise the electorate and the results will be announced on January 5.

Juan Gonzalez, who captured a pair of American League MVP Awards (1996, 1998) with the Texas Rangers, joins former National League MVP winners Jeff Bagwell (1994) and Larry Walker (1997) as prominent newcomers on the ballot. Other notable first-time nominees includes Rafael Palmeiro, who tallied 569 home runs and 3,020 hits in a 20-year career, along with two former Rookie of the Year Award winners, Benito Santiago and Raul Mondesi.

Other players on the ballot for the first time are catcher Charles Johnson; utility player B.J. Surhoff; first basemen Tino Martinez and John Olerud; second basemen Carlos Baerga and Bret Boone; outfielders Bobby Higginson and Marquis Grissom; pitchers Kevin Brown, John Franco, Al Leiter and Kirk Rueter.

Pitcher Bert Blyleven and second baseman Roberto Alomar lead a group of 14 holdovers from last year’s ballot seeking to gain entry into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York. The duo failed to gain election by fewer than 10 votes in 2010.

Other former big leaguers returning to the ballot are first basemen Don Mattingly, Fred McGriff and Mark McGwire; shortstop Alan Trammell; third baseman/designated hitter Edgar Martinez, outfielders Dale Murphy, Dave Parker and Tim Raines; outfielder/designated hitter Harold Baines and relief pitcher Lee Smith.

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MLB Hall Of Fame Selections


UNITED STATES – Entering the hallowed halls of the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown is not an easy task. However, 39 Major League icons have been voted into the exclusive group in their first year of eligibility.

Only five hall of famers have received more than 98 percent of the votes. This list includes Ty Cobb (98.23%), Tom Seaver (98.84%), Nolan Ryan (98.79%), George Brett (98.19%), and Cal Ripken, Jr. (98.53%).

Players inducted by special elections (ex: Lou Gehrig and Roberto Clemente) and the Committee on Baseball Veterans are not included.

INAUGURAL CLASS (5)
1936: Ty Cobb (98.23%)
1936: Walter Johnson (83.63%)
1936: Christy Mathewson (90.71%)
1936: Babe Ruth (95.13%)
1936: Honus Wagner (95.13%)

1ST YEAR ELIGIBILITY (39)
1962: Jackie Robinson (77.50%)
1962: Bob Feller (93.75%)
1966: Ted Williams (93.38%)
1967: Red Ron (91.98%)
1969: Stan Musial (93.24%)
1972: Sandy Koufax (86.87%)
1974: Mickey Mantle (88.22%)
1977: Ernie Banks (83.81%)
1979: Willie Mays (94.68%)
1980: Al Kaline (88.31%)
1981: Bob Gibson (84.04%)
1982: Hank Aaron (97.83%)
1985: Lou Brock (79.75%)
1986: Willie McCovey (81.41%)
1988: Willie Stargell (82.44%)
1989: Johnny Bench (96.42%)
1989: Carl Yastrzemski (94.63%)
1990: Jim Palmer (92.57%)
1990: Joe Morgan (81.76%)
1991: Rod Carew (90.52%)
1992: Tom Seaver (98.84%)
1993: Reggie Jackson (93.62%)
1994: Steve Carlton (95.82%)
1995: Mike Schmidt (96.52%)
1999: Nolan Ryan (98.79%)
1999: George Brett (98.19%)
1999: Robin Yount (77.46%)
2001: Dave Winfield (84.47%)
2001: Kirby Puckett (82.14%)
2002: Ozzie Smith (91.74%)
2003: Eddie Murray (85.28%)
2004: Paul Molitor (85.18%)
2004: Dennis Eckersley (83.20%)
2005: Wade Boggs (91.86%)
2007: Tony Gwynn (97.61%)
2007: Cal Ripken, Jr. (98.53%)
2009: Rickey Henderson (94.81%)

2ND YEAR ELIGIBILITY (8)
1937: Tris Speaker (82.09%)
1937: Cy Young (76.12%)
1937: Nap Lajoie (83.58%)
1972: Yogi Berra (85.61%)
1973: Warren Spahn (82.89%)
1974: Whitey Ford (77.81%)
1992: Rollie Fingers (81.16%)
2000: Carlton Fisk (79.56%)

3RD YEAR ELIGIBILITY (9)
1938: Grover Cleveland Alexander (80.92%)
1947: Carl Hubbell (86.96%)
1951: Mel Ott (87.17%)
1955: Joe DiMaggio (88.84%)
1983: Juan Marichal (83.69%)
1987: Catfish Hunter (76.27%)
1991: Fergie Jenkins (75.40%)
1991: Gaylord Perry (77.20%)
2005: Ryne Sandberg (76.16%)

4TH YEAR ELIGIBILITY (7)
1939: Eddie Collins (77.74%)
1939: Willie Keeler (75.55%)
1939: George Sisler (85.77%)
1947: Lefty Grove (76.40%)
1972: Early Wynn (76.01%)
1976: Robin Roberts (86.86%)
1984: Harmon Killebrew (83.13%)

5TH YEAR ELIGIBILITY (6)
1942: Rogers Hornsby (78.11%)
1949: Charlie Gehringer (85.03%)
1969: Roy Campanella (79.41%)
1978: Eddie Mathews (79.42%)
1997: Phil Niekro (80.34%)
1998: Don Sutton (81.61%)

6TH YEAR ELIGIBILITY (6)
1947: Mickey Cochrane (79.50%)
1947: Frankie Frisch (84.47%)
1952: Paul Waner (83.33%)
1984: Luis Aparicio (84.62%)
1987: Billy Williams (85.71%)
2003: Gary Carter (78.02%)

7TH YEAR ELIGIBILITY (2)
1951: Jimmie Foxx (79.20%)
1964: Luke Appling (84.00%)

8TH YEAR ELIGIBILITY (3)
1948: Herb Pennock (77.69%)
1948: Pie Traynor (76.86%)
1985: Hoyt Wilhelm (83.80%)

9TH YEAR ELIGIBILITY (8)
1953: Dizzy Dean (79.17%)
1953: Al Simmons (75.38%)
1954: Bill Dickey (80.16%)
1956: Hank Greenberg (84.97%)
1968: Joe Medwick (84.81%)
2000: Tony Perez (77.15%)
2008: Rich Gossage (85.82%)
2010: Andre awson (77.92%)

10TH YEAR ELIGIBILITY
1955: Ted Lyons (86.45%)
1956: Joe Cronin (78.76%)
1970: Lou Boudreau (77.33%)
1984: Don Drysdale (78.41%)

11TH YEAR ELIGIBILITY (2)
1955: Gabby Hartnett (77.69%)
1980: Duke Snider (86.49%)

12TH YEAR ELIGIBILITY (4)
1952: Harry Heilmann (86.75%)
1955: Dazzy Vance (81.67%)
1975: Ralph Kiner (75.41%)
1976: Bob Lemon (78.61%)

13TH YEAR ELIGIBILITY (1)
2006: Bruce Sutter (76.92%)

14TH YEAR ELIGIBILITY (2)
1954: Rabbit Maranville (82.94%)
1954: Bill Terry (77.38%)

15TH YEAR ELIGIBILITY (1)
2009: Jim Rice (76.44%)

Photo courtesy of homeruncards.com

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Andre Dawson Elected To Hall Of Fame


UNITED SATATES – Andre Dawson earned baseball’s highest honor Wednesday when the slugging outfielder was elected to the Hall of Fame. The eight-time All-Star received 420 of 539 votes, 15 more than the 75 percent necessary to gain election, by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America.

The 21-year career veteran, nicknamed “The Hawk,” was on the ballot for the ninth time. Last year, Dawson fell 44 votes shorts of gaining entry to baseball’s hallowed halls.

He will be inducted into the Hall of Fame on July 25 in Cooperstown (N.Y.)along with former Royals and Cardinals manager Whitey Herzog and umpire Doug Harvey, who were elected last month by the Veterans Committee.

Dawson, who played with the Montreal Expos, Chicago Cubs, Boston Red Sox and Florida Marlins, underwent 12 knee operations. He also won eight Gold Gloves and four Silver Slugger awards during a career that spanned two decades.

One of only three players – including Barry Bonds and Willie Mays – with at least 400 home runs and 300 stolen bases, Dawson finished his career with a .279 batting average with 1,591 RBIs and 314 steals.

2010 HALL OF FAME VOTING RESULTS:

1. Andre Dawson – 420 votes (77.9%)
2. Bert Blyleven – 400 votes (74.2%)
3. Roberto Alomar – 397 votes (73.7%)
4. Jack Morris – 282 votes (52.3%)
5. Barry Larkin – 278 votes (51.6%)
6. Lee Smith – 255 votes (47.3%)
7. Edgar Martinez – 195 votes (36.2%)
8. Tim Raines – 164 votes (30.4%)
9. Mark McGwire – 128 votes (23.7%)
10. Alan Trammell – 121 votes (22.4%)
11. Fred McGriff – 116 votes (21.5%)
12. Don Mattingly – 87 votes (16.1%)
13. Dave Parker – 82 votes (15.2%)
14. Dale Murphy – 63 votes (11.7%)
15. Harold Baines – 33 votes (6.1%)
16. Andres Galarraga – 22 votes (4.1%)

Note: 405 votes (75%) needed for induction.

Photo courtesy of sportsmemorabilia.com

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IBAF President Elected To Hall Of Fame Board


USA – International Baseball Federation (IBAF) President Dr. Harvey W. Schiller was recently elected to the Hall of Fame’s board of directors.

Schiller, who became the 19th member during the board’s annual meeting on July 25, has been on the front line in the IBAF quest to get baseball reinstated as an Olympic sport. The IBAF is the governing body for the game of baseball worldwide.

“With the election of Dr. Harvey Schiller, the board has added a leader with great character and experience, whose passion for the game is reflected in his grand body of work,” Jane Forbes Clark, chairman of the board of directors, said in a statement. “His energy, vision and diverse experiences will add new perspectives to our leadership team.”

Schiller, who has a B.S. in chemistry from The Citadel, also holds three degrees in chemistry from the University of Michigan: Ph.D., Master’s and Bachelor’s.

A former Southeastern Conference commissioner and chief executive officer of Yankees/Nets, Schiller was also the man who gave controversial former World Championship Wrestling (WCW) bigwig Eric Bischoff his walking papers while president of Turner Sports.

HALL OF FAME’S BOARD OF DIRECTORS:

Jane Forbes Clark (Chairman)
Joe Morgan (Vice Chairman)
Allan H. “Bud” Selig (MLB Commissioner)
Bob DuPuy (MLB President and COO)
Bill DeWitt Jr. (MLB Owner, St. Louis Cardinals)
David Glass (MLB Owner, Kansas City Royals)
Jerry Reinsdorf (MLB Owner, Chicago White Sox)
George Steinbrenner (MLB Owner, New York Yankees)
Lee MacPhail (Former AL President)
Paul Beeston (Former MLB President)
Bill Gladstone (MiLB Owner, Tri-City Valley Cats)
Kevin Moore (President, Clark Estates, Inc.)
Ed Stack (Former Hall of Fame Chairman)
Dr. Harvey W. Schiller (President, IBAF)
Phil Niekro (Inducted Player)
Robin Roberts (Inducted Player)
Brooks Robinson (Inducted Player)
Frank Robinson (Inducted Player)
Tom Seaver (Inducted Player)

Photo courtesy of asama.org

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Henderson, Rice To Join Baseball Hall Of Fame


USA – Stolen base king Rickey Henderson, Red Sox slugger Jim Rice, and Joe Gordon, the former second baseman for the Yankees and Indians honored posthumously by the Veterans’ Committee, will all enter the National Baseball Hall of Fame this weekend in Cooperstown, New York.

Sunday’s induction ceremony, which will be broadcast exclusively on MLB Network, will also be streamed live on MLB.com in its entirety.

The Hall of Fame weekend schedule starts Friday with Play Ball with Ozzie Smith – an interactive baseball experience that allows fans to be on the same field with baseball legends like Smith, Wade Boggs, Eddie Murray, and Harmon Killebrew.

The second day of activities on Saturday will begin with a star-studded golf tournament, a press conference for the 2009 inductees, and end with a lavish red carpet arrival for more than 50 Hall of Famers.

This year’s inductees will officially become members of the prestigious Hall of Fame club on Sunday when the new plaques honoring Henderson, Rice and Gordon will be installed at the Hall of Fame and Museum.

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