Results tagged ‘ National Baseball Hall of Fame ’
Former Yankees pitchers Goose Gossage and Phil Niekro will compete with fellow Hall of Famer Rollie Fingers and more than 20 additional former major-league players from the past three decades in the May 25 Hall of Fame Classic in Cooperstown. The fifth annual Classic is moving to Memorial Day Weekend this year as the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum celebrates the time-honored connection between the National Pastime and the nation’s military.
Two of the game’s legendary managers, Bobby Cox and Cito, Gaston will reprise their 1992 World Series matchup as opposing skippers with players that will include former Yankees pitchers Brian Boehringer and Brian Fisher as well as Bob Boone, Bret Boone, Bert Campaneris, Doug Creek, Will Clark, John Doherty, Cliff Floyd, Jeffery Hammonds, Jim Hannan, Todd Haney, T.J. Mathews, Brian McRae, Desi Relaford and Dmitri Young. More players will be announced in the coming weeks.
Four soldiers from the 10th Mountain Division will also participate in the Classic, which will be preceded at 1 p.m. by the Legends Hitting Contest at Doubleday Field. The 10th Mountain Division Color Guard and Band from nearby Fort Drum, N.Y., will be featured in pregame ceremonies – including the 12 p.m. Cooperstown Game Day Parade on Main Street – as the Museum presents a salute to our Armed Forces.
Following the Classic, the Hall of Fame will host “A Night at the Museum” – a new event that provides a limited number of fans an unforgettable evening with Hall of Famers and other big league stars from 7-9 p.m. Fans can take pictures with their heroes while sharing a meet-and-greet experience throughout the Cooperstown shrine.
On Friday, May 24, the Museum will host the Legends for Youth Skills Clinic, from 4-7 p.m. at Doubleday Field. Hosted in conjunction with the Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association, the Clinic gives youth participants ages 5-12 a chance to learn hands-on training from several former major league stars. The event concludes with an autograph session for participants. Registrations are free but limited and can be secured by calling 607-547-0397.
Fans may experience May 24-26 Classic Weekend through two packages available for the first time in 2013:
Baseball’s Past and Present will feature a baseline ticket on either the first- or third-base side to the Hall of Fame Classic and a one-day Museum admission pass for just $25, a savings of $7 off the regular rate.
Let’s Play Two features a baseline ticket on either the first- or third-base side to the Classic and entry to “Night at the Museum,” a two-hour exclusive opportunity to meet and greet Hall of Famers and other former big leaguers from 7-9 p.m. at the Hall of Fame. Let’s Play Two is available for $50 per person.
Classic Weekend will also feature a Hall of Fame golf tournament fundraiser for the Museum, a member photo opportunity with Hall of Fame members, curator-led talks on the history of Doubleday Field, a family photo opportunity at Doubleday Field and the Family Catch at Doubleday Field.
Ticket packages for the 2013 Hall of Fame Classic are online at http://www.baseballhall.org or by phone at 1-877-726-9028. Tickets for the Hall of Fame Classic are $12.50 for first and third base seats and $11 for general admission outfield seats. Tickets are only available via phone or online and will not be sold at the Museum in Cooperstown.
The Museum has teamed up with Sports Travel and Tours to offer baseball fans a one-stop opportunity to purchase Hall of Fame Classic Weekend travel packages. For more information or to plan a trip to Cooperstown, please call 1-888-310-HALL (4255).
Considering what the American League East standings look like, the Yankees-Red Sox rivalry could use a little boost. It got it Friday night with Ichiro Suzuki’s first game at Yankee Stadium wearing the pinstripes. The sellout crowd of 49,571 responded to every move the hit maker made during the game, another sound drubbing of Boston, 10-3. The Yankees are 6-1 this year against the Red Sox, who are last in the division and trail the Bombers by 11 1/2 games.
“Usually when I came here [with the Mariners], the fans were all over me the whole game,” Ichiro said. “But the fans tonight were awesome. They cheered for me all night. I hope that continues.”
Right from the start, Suzuki enjoyed the fans’ reaction. The Bleacher Creatures’ roll call did present a problem in his mind, but he was able to doff his cap in response.
“I wanted to take my hat off and acknowledge them,” he said. “But I was worried that if I tipped my cap while a ball was hit to me and I couldn’t catch it that those cheers would turn to boos.”
Suzuki’s contributions were modest, but they were there. He had one hit in four at-bats, a single in the fourth inning before Russell Martin homered. Ichiro was also on base in the eighth after hitting into a fielder’s choice and scored another run on Curtis Granderson’s grand slam. Raul Ibanez also homered in the first inning with a runner on first base.
That was the difference in the game. Both sides hit three home runs, but the trio socked by the Sox off Phil Hughes were all with the bases empty – Dustin Pedroia in the first, Carl Crawford in the third and Jarrod Saltalamacchia in the fourth.
“You can usually live with those,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said of the solo home runs.
The long ball has haunted Hughes all season. He gave up home runs in each of his first 12 starts of the season, but that pace slowed. The three home runs Hughes allowed Friday night equaled the total the righthander had allowed over his previous five starts. For the season, Hughes has given up 25 home runs in 121 1/3 innings.
All those home runs might have given Suzuki the idea that perhaps he, too, might take advantage of the Stadium’s cozy dimensions in right field. Anyone who has witnessed Ichiro taking batting practice is aware he can go deep, but just like Wade Boggs he has been fearful that he might ruin his stroke by trying to hit home runs.
Suzuki has a great respect for the game. He has been to the National Baseball Hall of Fame four times. When I contacted him in my role with the Baseball Writers’ Association of America in 2001 to notify him that he was voted the AL Jackie Robinson Rookie of the Year Award winner, he answered the call from an office in the Cooperstown, N.Y., museum while on a visit there.
So it was hardly a surprise to hear him talk about one of baseball’s greatest rivalries.
“For a long time, the Yankees organization expects to win, and the players are accustomed to winning,” Suzuki said. “That is the mentality here. To have played my first game here with them against the Red Sox was special. There is an expression in Japan that on nights like this you grab your cheek to see if it is real and that you are not dreaming.”
In the United States, we pinch ourselves in the same situation. The cultures came together for Ichiro Suzuki Friday night.
COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. – Former Yankees managers Lou Piniella and Joe Torre were among the baseball people who came to the National Baseball Hall of Fame’s Induction Weekend. I kidded them that they must be rehearsing for when their time comes for induction. In another two years, both will likely be on the Veterans Committee’s ballot from the Expansion Era for their careers as managers.
Lou was here for both of Sunday’s inductees, Barry Larkin and the late Ron Santo. Larkin was the shortstop on Piniella’s Reds team that won the 1990 World Series in a sweep of the Athletics. During his time as manager of the Cubs, Piniella also became a friend of Santo, the former third baseman who later was a fixture at Wrigley Field as a broadcaster.
Santo died last year, and his widow, Vicki, gave a moving acceptance speech. How she got through it without breaking down was amazing to me. She painted a brilliant picture of the man who was as identified with the Cubs as former teammates Ernie Banks and Billy Williams, who were on hand for the ceremony. They were among the 45 Hall of Famers who attended the ceremony, including Yankees favorites Yogi Berra, Whitey Ford, Dave Winfield, Phil Niekro and Rickey Henderson.
Larkin told a story about how Piniella addressed the Reds in 1990 before the start of spring training and explained to them that he did not like losing and that he did not intend for this team to lose. Cincinnati won its first nine games that season and went wire to wire to win the National League West, the division the Reds were in before the NL Central was created with realignment in 1994. They defeated the Pirates in the NL Championship Series before sweeping the A’s in the World Series, so Lou kept his promise about not losing.
Larkin was that baseball rarity that played his entire career for his hometown team. I could think of only three other Hall of Famers who did that, and all were Yankees – Lou Gehrig, Phil Rizzuto and Whitey Ford. Gehrig grew up on the West Side of Manhattan, the Scooter in Brooklyn and Ford in the Queens neighborhood of Astoria, and each spent his entire playing career in the Bronx.
I remember when Paul O’Neill was traded to the Yankees from the Reds in 1993, and a lot of people said that he would have trouble playing in New York. O’Neill, who was also on that ’90 Reds team and like Larkin had grown up in Cincinnati, told me once that he never had any doubts that he would do well in New York. He was not unfamiliar with the city because his sister, Molly, then the food critic for the New York Times, lived there for many years.
“There was a lot more pressure on me playing for the Reds because it was my hometown,” Paulie said. “I never felt that kind of pressure in New York. The fans in New York welcomed me and got behind me early on. I enjoyed the New York experience a lot more than Cincinnati.”
Torre came up for Saturday’s program at Doubleday Field for former teammate Tim McCarver, who was honored with the Ford C. Frick Award for broadcasting alongside Bob Elliott of the Toronto Sun as the J.G. Taylor Spink Award winner for baseball writing. Joe and Timmy were teammates with the Cardinals and have remained good friends over the years.
Among the people McCarver credited for his playing career, which covered four decades from 1959 through 1980, was Hall of Fame catcher Bill Dickey, a career Yankee. McCarver said that in those pre-draft years of the 1950s that he almost signed with the Yankees because he was so impressed by Dickey but wound up signing with the Cardinals.
“Bill Dickey gave me the greatest piece of advice I ever received for a catcher,” McCarver said. “He told me, ‘Be a pitcher’s friend.’ And I am happy to say that a couple of Hall of Famers who are up on this stage with me have been lifelong friends, Bob Gibson and Steve Carlton.”
COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. – Yogi Berra is here after all.
Yogi was not on the original list of returning Hall of Famers for this year’s Induction Weekend at the National Baseball Hall of Fame. He was not expected to attend due to some recent health concerns.
But there he was in the lobby of the Otesaga Hotel Thursday night with his wife, Carmen, and son, Larry.
“He called me the other day and asked what I was doing this weekend,” Larry told me. “I said I had nothing planned. ‘Good,’ he said. ‘You can drive me to the Hall of Fame.’ He and Mom just love this weekend. They couldn’t stay away.”
Yogi and Carmen are treated like royalty, as well they should be. One by one, Hall of Famers from Bert Blyleven to Billy Williams to Al Kaline to Eddie Murray to Ozzie Smith to Robin Yount to George Brett to Tony Perez came over to talk to the Berras. Yogi was getting around pretty well on his cane.
“Hey, this weekend is about fun,” Yogi said, “and I could use some fun.”
Whitey Ford and his wife, Joan, were also walking around the lobby. Whitey seemed surprised when I told him Yogi was here.
“Oh,” Whitey said, “I was hoping he wouldn’t come until Monday.”
Only a joke, of course. The Yankees’ most popular batterymates remain the closest of friends.
The Sunday induction ceremony is for former Reds shortstop Barry Larkin, who was elected by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America, and the late Cubs third baseman Ron Santo, who was elected by the Golden Era Committee. Also to be honored Saturday will be Tim McCarver with the Ford C. Frick Award for broadcasting and Bob Elliott of the Toronto Sun with the J.G. Taylor Spink Award for baseball writing. Legendary Cardinals managers Red Schoendienst, Whitey Herzog and Tony La Russa will also be part of the Saturday program.
Hall of Fame president Jeff Idelson and I greeted Larkin and his family as they pulled up in front of the hotel.
“This is just the beginning,” Jeff told Barry.
“I know,” Larkin said, “I can’t wait.”
Among the people Larkin sent invitations to for Induction Weekend was Derek Jeter, but the Yankees’ captain is with the team for a weekend series in Oakland, Calif.
“I knew he couldn’t come, but I wanted him to know I was thinking of him,” Larkin said. “He is one of the guys you think of when it comes to shortstops. He’ll be here someday, too.”
The national holiday of Memorial Day turned out to be a full day off for the Yankees’ bullpen as well Monday. The relievers have Bartolo Colon to thank for that with an old-fashioned complete game shutout, the ninth of his career but the first in five seasons, in a 5-0 dusting of the Athletics.
Except for the date on his birth certificate, there doesn’t appear anything old about Colon, who turned 38 last week but has turned back the clock for the Yankees this year. Still wounded by a no-decision May 18 at Baltimore when he came out of the game after eight scoreless innings of three-hit, seven-strikeout ball only to watch the game go 15 innings before the Yankees finally pulled it out, Colon took care of business for himself Monday.
His pitch count was still a manageable 96 entering the ninth inning, and Colon remained on the mound after he gave up a leadoff double. The runner got to third base but no farther as the A’s for a second time in the game wasted a leadoff double.
The other occasion was back in the second, one inning after the Yankees had staked Colon to a 3-0 lead. The veteran righthander, who pitched a game reminiscent of his 2005 American League Cy Young Award season, set the tone of the game in that inning by keeping the runner at second by getting a foul pop, a strikeout and an infield out.
That began a stretch of 12 consecutive outs that Kevin Kouzmanoff ended with a leadoff single in the sixth. Colon ran off six more outs in a row before yielding another leadoff hit, an infield single by Kurt Suzuki in the eighth. Mark Ellis followed with a grounder up the middle that Colon wisely let go past him to shortstop Derek Jeter, who fielded the ball, stepped on second and threw to first to finish off a double play.
Except for some warm-up throws by Joba Chamberlain in the ninth, the bullpen was quiet. After being forced to use his relief corps for 7 2/3 innings in Saturday night’s 12-inning loss at Seattle, Yankees manager Joe Girardi enjoyed watching Colon and CC Sabathia combine to pitch 17 of the next 18 innings. Only Lance Pendleton’s mop-up job for CC Sunday counted as a work day for the bullpen.
The victory was welcomed by Colon, who had not had a winning decision in his previous five starts and was 0-2 with a 4.60 ERA during that stretch. Colon’s first victory since April 27 got his season record even at 3-3 to go with a spiffy 3.26 ERA.
In what has been a habit for the Yankees on this West Coast trip, they struck early against the starting pitcher, in this case Trevor Cahill, who got off to a 6-0 start this year but is now winless in his past four starts despite a decent 3.51 ERA during that stretch. With an offense ranked 12th among the 14 AL teams, Oakland leaves little margin for error to its pitchers.
On the 16th anniversary of his first major-league hit, Jeter opened the game with a knock and scored one out later on Mark Teixeira’s two-run home run. That made it 16 jacks for Tex, who tied Curtis Granderson for the club lead and passed the center fielder in RBI, 38-37. Teixeira is on a homer binge lately with four in his past five games and seven in his past 11. Tex hit 10 homers in May. He didn’t get to 16 home runs last year until July 9.
Colon hadn’t stepped on the rubber yet, so who knew that would be all the runs the Yankees would need. Robinson Cano mae it 3-0 with a double to score Alex Rodriguez, who had walked. Jeter and Francisco Cervelli, who caught while Russell Martin nursed a sore left foot, supplied pad-on runs with late-inning sacrifice flies.
Cervelli sure didn’t act like a catcher on the bases. He had two steals, as did Brett Gardner. The duo’s running in the seventh after drawing walks helped the Yankees to a run without a hit. The rest was all Colon, who made this Memorial Day memorable.
I’ll be out of town the next few days to attend the Cooperstown Symposium on Baseball and American Culture, an annual event at the National Baseball Hall of Fame where academics and other baseball aficionados gather to discuss seriously through individual presentations and panel groups the connection between the game and the American experience. I am honored to give the keynote address. I only hope my delivery is as effective as that of Bartolo Colon.
Alex Rodriguez’s relationship with the National Baseball Hall of Fame began Wednesday night. A-Rod met with Brad Horn, the vice president for communications and education for the Museum, before the game.
Horn drove down from Cooperstown, N.Y., to be part of the pre-game ceremony in which Rodriguez presented to the Hall the cleats he wore at Yankee Stadium the night of Aug. 4 against the Blue Jays when he hit his 600th career home run. A-Rod also received gifts from his teammates to commemorate the occasion presented by manager Joe Girardi: a Hublot Swiss-made watch in recognition of hitting his
600th home run, a Steuben Glass custom engraved piece in recognition of
hitting his 600th home run and a Steuben Glass custom engraved piece in recognition of his
reaching 600 career home runs and 300 stolen bases.
You can be sure this won’t be the last time the Hall will receive a souvenir of one of Alex’s record achievements.
That was not all Brad brought back with him from Cooperstown. When he heard a Hall of Fame executive was at the Stadium, Nick Swisher came up to Horn and donated the bat he used the night of July 16 against the Rays when the Yankees had a pre-game memorial in honor of the late owner George Steinbrenner. With that bat, Swisher hit a game-tying home run in the eighth inning and a game-winning single in the ninth of the Yankees’ 5-4 victory.
I need to take issue with a discussion on YES between Michael Kay and Ken Singleton on Sunday’s telecast of the Yankees-White Sox game. It is not a criticism but rather an explanation or, better put, an attempt at one.
Former White Sox first baseman Frank Thomas, a two-time American League Most Valuable Player, was honored Sunday at U.S. Cellular Field and had his uniform No. 35 retired. In reviewing Thomas’ career, Kay and Singleton fittingly talked about his credentials as a candidate for the National Baseball Hall of Fame. There was even a text-message question to viewers on the topic.
Thomas retired after the 2008 season and will be eligible for consideration by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America on the 2014 ballot. I have no dispute here about Thomas’ legitimacy as a candidate for first-ballot election. Interestingly, the result of the text poll was 71 percent yes and 29 percent no, which means that according to texters the “Big Hurt” is not first-ballot worthy, since 75 percent of ballots cast is required for election.
But in the discussion about the writers’ vote, Kay and Singleton save some examples of first-ballot electees and questioned why Joe DiMaggio isn’t among them. At one point, Singleton said, “What were the writers thinking?”
Well, here goes. First off, the rules were different when DiMaggio, an obvious choice for the Hall of Fame if there ever was one, first went on the ballot, which was 1953. He had retired after the 1951 season when he was only 37 years old (the 1952 ballot had already been formed by the time of the announcement, which is why he was not on it).
Unlike today, there was no five-year waiting period before a player become eligible for the ballot. DiMaggio went on the ballot one year after he retired. Remember, no one had been elected on the first ballot up to that time since the original class of 1936 (Ty Cobb, Honus Wagner, Babe Ruth, Christy Mathewson, Walter Johnson). Lou Gehrig was elected by acclamation by the BBWAA in 1939.
According to veteran writers I talked to over the years, it was not uncommon for voters at that time to dismiss first-year candidates out of the thinking that the player might un-retire. There was no five-percent rule at the time, either, which came about in the mid 1980s requiring candidates to get at least five percent of the vote to stay on the ballot.
There was apparently some feeling at the time that DiMaggio, still in his 30s, might get himself back in shape and return to the Yankees. This was a period not too far removed from World War II when former players, most notably Jimmie Foxx, did precisely that.
In fact, that is one of the reasons the five-year rule came into being in 1954, which was DiMaggio’s second year on the ballot. Joe D. was actually the first test case. The writers allowed anyone who had received more than 100 votes on a previous ballot to be grand-fathered onto the ballot without having to wait five years. The only player to which that applied was DiMaggio, who came close to being elected in 1954 (69.4 percent) before making it in 1955 (88.8).
Another rule of thought in voting in those years was that players had to “wait their turn.” One writer once told me that he could not vote for DiMaggio while Joe Cronin and Hank Greenberg, who preceded Joe D. to the majors by quite a few years (10 for Cronin, six for Greenberg) were not yet in. They were elected in 1956, the year after the “Yankee Clipper.”
I am by no means saying that I agree with the thinking of that time, only that it was different. I am fairly confident that if DiMaggio did not go on the ballot until 1957 in satisfying the five-year waiting period he would have been elected on the first ballot. As it was, he got into the Hall two years earlier than that.