Tag Archive | "National Baseball Hall Of Fame"

Rest In Peace Earl Weaver

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Rest In Peace Earl Weaver

Posted on 21 January 2013 by Trish Vignola

Earl Weaver was among the most winning managers in Major League Baseball. Fans loved him. His players…didn’t. He was Lou Piniella before Lou Piniella.

APphoto_Obit Earl  Weaver Baseball

In 17 years at the helm of the Baltimore Orioles, something unheard of for a manager these days, his teams won 1,480 games. They won four American League championships and the 1970 World Series. Sadly, Mr. Weaver died Jan. 18 while on a cruise. If you are going to go, go big, right? He was of 82. The cause of death seems to be an apparent heart attack, but details of his death are not immediately known.

As the Orioles’ manager, Weaver’s winning percentage was .583. That’s the ninth best of all time. He was named Manager of the Year three times. His teams had 100-win seasons five times. He was thrown out of 98 games for arguing with umpires, his calling card. The Orioles retired his No. 4 uniform and he was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1996.

Weaver managed the Orioles from 1968 through 1982. However, by 1985, Baltimore’s beloved O’s had fallen upon hard times. The “Earl of Baltimore” returned in what proved to be a futile effort to right the ship. At the end of the 1986 season, Mr. Weaver retired for good. After a sixth-place in the American League in 1967, the Orioles came storming back behind Mr. Weaver’s leadership in 1968, finishing second.

The next year, they won the American League East division championship with a record of 109-53. That was the best in team history. The Orioles swept the Minnesota Twins 3-0 in the AL championship series, but lost the World Series to the “Miracle” Mets. In 1970, Mr. Weaver led the Orioles to 108 victories, paced by the slugging of first baseman Boog Powell, who had 35 home runs and 114 runs batted in and was named the American League’s most valuable player. After again defeating the Twins in three straight games for the AL pennant, the Orioles advanced to the World Series and beat the Cincinnati Reds, four games to one. Twice more, in 1971 and in 1979, Mr. Weaver took the Orioles to the World Series, only to lose both times to the Pittsburgh Pirates.

As an on-the-field manager, Mr. Weaver was primarily a motivator who seldom dwelled on the techniques of hitting, fielding or pitching. The Washington Post reported, “The only thing Weaver knows about a curve ball,” Oriole Hall-of-Fame pitcher Jim Palmer once said, “is that he couldn’t hit one.”

Off the field, Mr. Weaver kept his distance from his players, sitting alone on airplanes when the team traveled. He could be harsh and sarcastic, and his verbal clashes with Palmer were well publicized. “Any difference we ever had was overshadowed by the fact that his teams always won,” Palmer said in 1996, after Mr. Weaver’s election to the Hall of Fame. “I enjoyed our relationship even though there was some tension.”

Comments (0)

The Hall Will Be A Bit Emptier This Year

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The Hall Will Be A Bit Emptier This Year

Posted on 10 January 2013 by Trish Vignola

After days of speculating, today we found out that no player was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame for 2013. This has easily been the most controversial vote by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America (BWAA) since they were a part of the election process. Today shows us that trauma of the steroid era has clearly not healed.

BarryBonds

 

The first page in baseball’s history of the “steroid era” has been written. The owner of baseball’s most cherished records, Barry Bonds, was clearly rejected. Cy Young winner, Roger Clemens, might have skirted prison time in 2012, but today he did no better. Only Craig Biggio came close to election. He got 68.2% of the vote, falling 39 votes short.

With 569 members of the BWAA returning ballots, the Los Angeles Times reports that 427 votes would have been needed to meet the 75% standard for election. This is only the eighth time since 1936 that there has been no election class. The last was 1996. Former Detroit Tigers ace Jack Morris, in his second to last year on the ballot, was second with 67.7%. Jeff Bagwell got 59.6%, followed by Mike Piazza at 57.8% and Tim Raines at 52.2%.

This is the first time the Baseball Hall of Fame will host a ceremony with no living inductees since 1960. The July 28 ceremony will honor the three inductees of baseball’s pre-integration era. Each of these inductees had been dead for at least 74 years.

Barry Bonds holds the career and single-season home-run records. He is the only seven-time most valuable player and was only named on 36.2% of the ballots. Clemens is the only seven-time Cy Young Award winner and was named on 37.6%.

Players remain on the ballot for 15 years, provided they receive at least 5% of the vote. However, this has easily been the most baffling ballot in the Hall’s history. Links to alleged steroid use has turned a player the Times described as “a first-ballot lock into an also-ran.” Voters were divided between those who wanted to deny induction to any player with ties to performance-enhancing drugs, those who are taking a “wait and see” approach to what additional information might emerge about those players, and those who just want to vote for the most dominant players of their their era.

Mark McGwire got a paltry 16.9% of the votes. In his six previous appearances, he never received more than 23.7%. McGwire and Sammy Sosa were credited with reviving baseball in 1998, when the two players battled for the single-season home-run record. McGwire ended with 70. Sosa finished with 66. In 2001, Bonds hit 73 home runs.

Bonds leads the all-time home-run list at 762, with Sosa eighth at 609 and McGwire 10th at 583. The trio is the only men to hit more than 62 home runs in a season – Bonds did it once, McGwire twice and Sosa three times. Yet, these former historic impact players are now dim long shots for Baseball’s Valhalla.

Comments (0)

A Look at this Year’s Baseball Hall of Fame Ballot – Meet Fred McGriff

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

A Look at this Year’s Baseball Hall of Fame Ballot – Meet Fred McGriff

Posted on 28 December 2012 by Trish Vignola

Fred McGriff played 19 major league seasons with the Blue Jays, Padres, Braves, Devil Rays, Cubs and Dodgers. He is one of 37 players on the 2013 Baseball Writers’ Association of America (BBWAA) ballot for the Class of 2013 at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. He returns to the ballot for the fourth time after receiving 23.9 percent of the vote in 2012.

FredMcGriff

BBWAA members who have at least ten years of tenure with the organization can vote in the election. The results will be announced Jan. 9. Any candidate who receives votes on at least 75 percent of all BBWAA ballots cast will be enshrined in the Hall of Fame as part of the Class of 2013. The Induction Ceremony will be held July 28 in Cooperstown.

Born on Oct. 31, 1963 in Tampa, Florida, McGriff was drafted in the ninth round of the 1981 amateur draft by the New York Yankees. Nicknamed the “Crime Dog” in honor of his surname’s similarity to the children’s character “McGruff”, the following year he was traded to the Blue Jays. By 1987, he was playing full-time at the major league level.

In his second full season, he hit 34 homers. That was the first of seven consecutive seasons with 30 or more, a feat he accomplished 10 times. The following season he finished sixth in MVP voting and took home his first of three Silver Slugger Awards at first base. His 36 home runs led the league.

“When he comes up, we hold our breath,” said then-Rangers manager Bobby Valentine reports Samantha Carr of the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

In 1990, McGriff finished 10th in MVP voting. He was then traded to the San Diego Padres with Tony Fernandez in exchange for Joe Carter and Roberto Alomar. McGriff was not ready to be brushed to the footnotes of baseball history yet.

In his two full seasons with the Padres, he finished in the top 10 in MVP voting twice. He earned another Silver Slugger Award and made his first All-Star Game appearance. In 1992, he led the league in homers with 35, making him the first player since the dead-ball era to lead both leagues in home runs.

“He has outstanding bat speed,” said former Padres manager Greg Riddoch to the Baseball Hall of Fame. “When that ball jumps off his bat to left-center field, it’s like a shot out of a cannon.”

In 1993, McGriff was traded to the Braves. He went on an offensive tear over the second half of the season to rally the Braves to the division title. He finished fourth in MVP voting that season and won his third Silver Slugger Award.

In 1994, McGriff was named MVP of the All-Star Game and finished second in the Home Run Derby to Ken Griffey Jr. He was hitting .318 with 34 home runs before the strike ended the season. The next year, McGriff has another quality season – 27 home runs, 93 RBI – hitting cleanup for the Braves and hit two home runs to help Atlanta win the World Series title.

A quiet leader in the clubhouse, McGriff was known for his positive attitude and love of the game. “McGriff’s smile lights up a room,” said Riddoch.

In 1998, McGriff was picked up by the expansion Tampa Bay Devil Rays, where he stayed productive for four seasons before ending his career with stops with the Cubs, Dodgers and eventually back with the Devil Rays.

McGriff finished his career just seven homers short of the 500 home run club, tied with Lou Gehrig for 26th all-time. He had a career .284 batting average, 2,490 hits, 441 doubles and 1,550 RBI. He and Gary Sheffield are the only players to hit 30 home runs for five different major league teams. In 10 postseason series, he batted .303 with 10 home runs, 37 RBI and 100 total bases. He was named to five All-Star Games, finished in the top 10 in MVP voting six times and ranks 42nd all-time in RBI.

“He had a marvelous career,” said former Devil Rays manager Lou Piniella. “He’s a classy person. He’s been a dominant player at his position for years. He played on a world championship team. If I had a [Hall of Fame] vote, I’d vote for him.”

With a ballot frought with controversy, a candidate like McGriff is refreshing. He gives legitimacy to baseball’s recent past and is more than deserving of enshrinment.

Comments (1)

Meet Tom Cheek – The 2013 Ford Frick Award Winner

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Meet Tom Cheek – The 2013 Ford Frick Award Winner

Posted on 27 December 2012 by Trish Vignola

Tom Cheek called the first 4,306 regular-season and 41 postseason games in Toronto Blue Jays history. He helped ignite a love affair between a Canadian city and America’s National Pastime. It was that body of work that helped Cheek to be selected as the 2013 recipient of the Ford C. Frick Award, presented annually for excellence in broadcasting by the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.

TomCheek

Cheek, who passed away on Oct. 9, 2005, will be honored as part of Hall of Fame Weekend 2013 July 26-29 in Cooperstown, New York. Cheek becomes the second Frick Award winner whose career came primarily with a Canadian team, following Dave Van Horne’s selection as the Frick Award winner in 2011. Van Horne spent parts of four decades broadcasting Montreal Expos games.

“Tom Cheek was the voice of summer for generations of baseball fans in Canada and beyond,” said Hall of Fame President Jeff Idelson in the Frick press release. “He helped a nation understand the elements of the game and swoon for the summer excitement that the expansion franchise brought a hockey-crazed nation starting in the late 1970s. He then authored the vocal narrative of a team that evolved into one of the most consistent clubs of the 1980s and 1990s. We are thrilled to celebrate Tom’s legacy with baseball broadcasting’s highest honor.”

Born June 13, 1939, one day after the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum opened its doors in Cooperstown, in Pensacola, Florida, Cheek was raised in a Navy family and joined the armed forces himself in 1957. He served in the Air Force until discharged in 1960. Cheek’s father, also named Tom, was a World War II hero who served as a fighter pilot in the Battle of Midway in 1942.

After continuing his education at SUNY Plattsburgh and the Cambridge School of Broadcasting in Boston, Cheek worked as a disc jockey in Plattsburgh, New York. He was a sports director for a group of three stations in Burlington, Vermont. He called University of Vermont sports for several years.

In 1974, Cheek began work as a backup announcer to Van Horne on Expos broadcasts. Then in 1976 at the age of 37, he landed the job as the radio voice of the expansion Blue Jays. Paired first with Hall of Fame pitcher Early Wynn and later with Jerry Howarth starting in 1981, Cheek’s passionate and lighthearted approach to his job dazzled fans eager to embrace Toronto’s new role as an American League outpost.

His call of Joe Carter’s World Series-winning home run in Game 6 of the 1993 Fall Classic – “Touch ’em all Joe! You’ll never hit a bigger home run in your life.” – quickly became embedded in the sports conscious of Blue Jays fans around the globe.

Cheek called every regular season and postseason Blue Jays game from the franchise’s birth on April 7, 1977 through June 2, 2004. A little more than a year later, Cheek passed away on Oct. 9, 2005. Cheek was inducted into the Blue Jays Level of Excellence in 2005. That same year, the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame established the Tom Cheek Media Leadership Award, with Cheek being honored with the first award.

Cheek will be honored at the Hall of Fame’s Awards Presentation on Saturday, July 27 in Cooperstown, along with 2013 J.G. Taylor Spink Award winner Paul Hagen. Cheek was chosen from a list of 10 finalists selected in October, featuring three fan selections from an online vote 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: Ken Coleman, Jacques Doucet, John Gordon, Bill King, Graham McNamee, Eric Nadel, Eduardo Ortega, Mike Shannon, Dewayne Staats and Cheek. Doucet, Gordon, Nadel, Ortega, Shannon and Staats were the living candidates. In September and October, a total of 34,283 votes were cast in the Museum’s online fan poll for inclusion on the final 10-name ballot, with Cheek, King and Doucet as the top three fan poll selections.

Comments (0)

Jacob Ruppert is Headed to the Hall of Fame

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Jacob Ruppert is Headed to the Hall of Fame

Posted on 08 December 2012 by Trish Vignola

Umpire Hank O’Day, Yankees owner Jacob Ruppert and 19th Century catcher/third baseman Deacon White have been elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame by the Pre-Integration Era Committee. This week O’Day, Ruppert and White were each named on the necessary 75 percent of all ballots cast by the 16-member Pre-Integration Era Committee. The ballot considered of six former players, three executives and one umpire whose contributions to the game were significant and dated from organized baseball origins through 1946. The Pre-Integration Era Committee held meetings on Sunday in Nashville, Tenn., site of Baseball’s Winter Meetings. O’Day, Ruppert and White will be joined in the Hall of Fame Class of 2013 by any nominees that emerge from the Baseball Writers’ Association of America voting. The rest of the class, if any, will be announced on Wednesday, Jan. 9.

The 16-member Pre-Integration Era Committee was comprised of Hall of Fame members Bert Blyleven, Pat Gillick, Phil Niekro and Don Sutton; major league executives Bill DeWitt, Roland Hemond, Gary Hughes and Bob Watson. It also included veteran media members and historians Jim Henneman, Steve Hirdt, Peter Morris, Phil Pepe, Tom Simon, Claire Smith, T.R. Sullivan and Mark Whicker. Hall of Fame Chairman of the Board Jane Forbes Clark served as the non-voting chairman of the Pre-Integration Era Committee. Jacob Ruppert and Hank O’Day each received 15 votes (93.8%). Deacon White received 14 votes (87.5%). The next closest in voting was Bill Dahlen who received 10 votes (62.5%).

O’Day, who passed away on July 2, 1935, umpired in the first modern World Series in 1903, one of 10 times that he worked the Fall Classic. O’Day was a National League umpire for 30 years and made the defining call in the famous 1908 Giants vs. Cubs contest that featured Johnny Evers forcing out Fred Merkle at second base after what appeared to be the game-winning hit. O’Day becomes the 10th umpire elected to the Hall of Fame.

Ruppert bought a struggling Yankees franchise in 1915 and quickly changed the team’s fortunes by purchasing Babe Ruth from the Red Sox and building Yankee Stadium. While Ruppert owned the Yankees, New York won 10 American League pennants and seven World Series titles. Ruppert passed away on Jan. 13, 1939.

White played 20 seasons for teams in the National Association, the National League and the Players League, compiling 2,067 hits in only 1,560 games. White led his league in batting average twice and RBI three times, and was a standout bare-handed defensive catcher before switching to third base later in his career. White passed away on July 7, 1939.

The Pre-Integration Era Committee will next consider candidates in 2015 for the 2016 Induction year, as the process to consider candidates by era repeats on a three-year cycle. In 2013, the Expansion Era Committee – which met previously in 2010 – will consider candidates whose main career contributions came from 1973 through the present. In 2014, the Golden Era Committee – which met previously in 2011 – will consider candidates whose main career contributions came from 1947-72. Committees will continue to meet at the Winter Meetings.

Hall of Fame Weekend 2013 will be held July 26-29 in Cooperstown, NY, with the Induction Ceremony slated for Sunday, July 28, 2013. The BBWAA election results will be announced at 2 p.m. ET on Wednesday, Jan. 9. The election of O’Day, Ruppert, and White brings the total number of Hall of Famers to 300.

Also this week at the Winter Meetings, two Hall of Fame award winners will be announced, with the BBWAA selecting its annual J.G. Taylor Spink Award on Tuesday, Dec. 4 for meritorious contributions to baseball writing. On Wednesday, Dec. 5, the Museum will announce the Ford C. Frick Award winner, given for excellence in baseball broadcasting.

Comments (0)

Advertise Here
Advertise Here