Results tagged ‘ Enos Slaughter ’

Hall to honor 11 Yanks legends among WWII vets

The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum will salute the ballplayers who served during World War II and honor the contributions of a modern baseball pioneer’s legacy with two special recognitions during the annual Awards Presentation at Hall of Fame Weekend Saturday, July 25, in Cooperstown, N.Y.

The Hall will recognize all the players who served in World War II, with United States Navy Secretary Ray Mabus speaking on behalf of all military branches as America marks the 70th anniversary of the end of the Second World War. More than 500 major leaguers joined the military during World War II, including Hall of Famers such as Bob Feller, who enlisted in the Navy just days after the bombing of Pearl Harbor Dec. 7, 1941; and Hank Greenberg, who re-enlisted in the Army Air Corps in 1942 after being drafted and serving in the Army in 1941 before being honorably discharged Dec. 5, 1941.

Thirty-six Hall of Famers – more than 11 percent of all Hall of Fame members – served during World War II, including eight players with the Yankees: Yogi Berra, Bill Dickey, Joe DiMaggio, Joe Gordon, Johnny Mize, Phil Rizzuto, Red Ruffing and Enos Slaughter. Other Hall of Famers with Yankees connections who served during WWII were executives Larry MacPhail and Lee MacPhail and manager Bob Lemon.

The rest of the Hall of Fame roster of World War II veterans were Feller, Greenberg, Luke Appling, Al Barlick, Willard Brown, Nestor Chylak, Mickey Cochrane, Leon Day, Larry Doby, Bobby Doerr, Charlie Gehringer, Billy Herman, Monte Irvin, Ralph Kiner, Ted Lyons, Stan Musial, Pee Wee Reese, Robin Roberts, Jackie Robinson, Red Schoendienst, Duke Snider, Warren Spahn, Bill Veeck, Ted Williams and Early Wynn.

The Museum will also pay tribute to the legacy and contributions of former Reds, Cardinals and Senators outfielder Curt Flood, whose test of the reserve clause via the United States Supreme Court in 1970 laid the groundwork for the advent of free agency several years later. Major League Players Association executive director Tony Clark will speak on behalf of Flood’s challenge of the system and contributions to the Supreme Court case that led to free agency.

A three-time All-Star and seven-time Gold Glove Award winner in center field, Flood petitioned the Court to allow him to choose his employer instead of being subject to a trade. Flood sat out the 1970 season. That year the Court ruled against Flood in a 5-to-3 decision. His efforts inspired pitchers Andy Messersmith and Dave McNally to pick up the fight five years later when they challenged the reserve clause through the players’ right to binding arbitration in 1975. Flood passed away in 1997.

These two special recognitions will join the Museum’s annual presentation of the Ford C. Frick Award for broadcast excellence and the J.G. Taylor Spink Award for meritorious contributions to baseball writing. Dick Enberg, the television voice of the Padres, will receive the Frick Award. Tom Gage, who covered the Tigers for the Detroit News for 36 seasons, has been selected the Spink Award winner by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America.

Now in its fifth year, the Awards Presentation takes place at 4:30 p.m. Saturday, July 25, at historic Doubleday Field, the day before the 2015 Induction Ceremony.

Admission for the Awards Presentation is free. The one-hour ceremony precedes the Hall of Fame Parade of Legends, featuring Hall of Fame members in a Main Street parade through Cooperstown.

The Class of 2015 at the Hall of Fame features Craig Biggio, Randy Johnson, Pedro Martínez and John Smoltz, who were all elected to the Hall of Fame by the BBWAA in January. More than 50 Hall of Famers are scheduled to be in Cooperstown to honor the Class of 2015 at the Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony at 1:30 p.m. Sunday, July 26, at the Clark Sports Center, which is one mile south of the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown.

For more information on Hall of Fame Weekend, please visit http://www.baseballhall.org/visit/hall-of-fame-weekend.

Beltran joins 1,000 AL & NL hit club

Carlos Beltran was out of the lineup Saturday night and may not play Sunday, either, for the Yankees at Tropicana Field. The right fielder has a severe cold. 

Beltran started the winning rally Friday night with a leadoff single in the eighth inning. Brett Gardner pinch ran for Beltran and stole second base with two out. He scored on a single to center by Alex Rodriguez, who also homered twice and drove in four runs.

The knock by Beltran was his 1,000th career hit in the American League to go with 1,329 hits in his time in the National League. He is the only active player with 1,000 or more hits in both leagues and the eighth player overall to accomplish the feat. The list from the Elias Sport Bureau includes two former Yankees — Dave Winfield (1,976 AL; 1,134 NL) and Alfonso Soriano (1,018 AL; 1,077 NL). The others are Orlando Cabrera (1,020 AL; 1,035 NL), Vlad Guerrero (1,375 AL; 1,215 NL), Carlos Lee (1,033 AL; 1,240 NL), Fred McGriff (1,143 AL; 1,347 NL) and Frank Robinson (1,184 AL; 1,759 NL).

Rodriguez’s 61st career multi-home run game was his first since May 23, 2012 against the Royals at Yankee Stadium and the sixth of his career against the Rays, the first since May 17, 2011 at St. Petersburg, Fla. According to Baseball-Reference.com, Rodriguez (at age 39 years, 264 days), became the third-oldest Yankees hitter since 1914 with a multi-homer game. The only Yankees to do it at an older age were Raul Ibanez (twice: Sept. 22, 2012 against the Athletics at age 40 years, 112 days and May 8, 2012 against the Rays at age 39 years, 341days) and Enos Slaughter (July 19, 1959 against the White Sox at age 43 years, 83 days).

Earlier Saturday in a couple of transactions involving pitchers, lefthander Matt Tracy was claimed off waivers by the Marlins and righthander Joel De La Cruz was outrighted off the 40-man roster and onto the roster of Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

 

Multiple postseason scenarios from Game 162

Here are the possible postseason scenarios facing the Yankees going into Wednesday night’s 162nd game of the season. They had a one-game lead over Baltimore in the American League East with a record one game better than Texas and Oakland, who entered play against each other Wednesday tied for first in the AL West.

The Atheltics beat the Rangers to complete a sweep and win the West. The Yankees need to win tonight or have the Orioles lose to capture the division crown. The Yankees did not win the season serie against either the Orioles or the A’s.

Here goes:

If the Yankees win tonight: They will be the No. 1 seed and face the winner of the Wild Card Game in a best-of-5 series beginning Sunday at the Wild Card team’s home park.

If the Yankees lose tonight and Baltimore loses: The Yankees will win the AL East and begin the AL Division Series Saturday at Oakland.

If the Yankees lose tonight and Baltimore wins: The Yankees and the Orioles will play a tiebreaker game at 7:10 p.m. Thursday at Camden Yards; the winner will be the AL East champ, the loser is the Wild Card to face Texas.

If the Yankees lose tonight, Baltimore loses and Oakland wins: The Yankees will win the AL East and will be the No. 2 seed and begin a best-of-5 ALDS Saturday at Detroit.

If the Yankees lose tonight, Baltimore wins and Oakland wins: The Yankees and the Orioles will play a tiebreaker game at 7:10 p.m. Thursday at Camden Yards; the winner will be the AL East champ, the loser will be the Wild Card; if the Yankees win the tiebreaker, they will begin the ALDS Saturday at Detroit; if the Yankees lose the tiebreaker, they will be the Wild Card and play Oakland at the Oakland Coliseum.

Got all that? The point is, the Yankees can make it easy on all of this by just winning tonight.

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Raul Ibanez, who hit a game-tying, two-run home run in the ninth inning Tuesday night and drove in the winning run with a single in the 12th, became the first player in Yankees history to hit a game-tying home run in the ninth and then get a walk-off run batted in later in the same game. He was also the first Yankees player with a game-tying RBI in the ninth and a game-winning RBI in extras since Graig Nettles in 1973. Ibanez was the first Yankees player over the age of 40 to get a game-winning RBI since Enos Slaughter Aug. 4, 1957 in the second game of against the Indians (two-out single in the bottom of the ninth).

It marked the fourth time a Yankees player hit a home run this season to tie a game in the ninth inning or later. Ibanez (who also homered Sept. 22 at the Stadium against the A’s to make the score 9-9 in the 13th) became the first Yankees player to do so twice in the same season since Gary Sheffield in 2004. It was Ibanez’s fourth career pinch-hit home run and second this season (also Sept. 22 against Oakland). Of his 19 home runs, 11 have come in the sixth inning or later and 10 have tied the score or given the Yankees the lead.

Heavenly day

COOPERSTOWN, N.Y.

While many people around the country are reading the book about George Steinbrenner, “Steinbrenner: The Last Lion of Baseball,” its author, Bill Madden, was honored Sunday with the J.G. Taylor Spink Award for contributions to baseball writing as part of the induction ceremonies at the Clark Sports Center.

It wasn’t this best-seller alone that earned Madden the honor that is presented annually by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America, but the bulk of his 40-year career as a baseball writer was spent covering the Yankees and their volatile owner since he joined the staff of the New York Daily News in 1978 after working for the United Press International wire service. The book is a reflection of that time when the Yankees returned to dynastic proportions as a team under an owner of quite frankly bombastic proportions.

Madden was the Yankees’ beat writer at the News from 1981 through 1988 and has maintained a close relationship with the team since becoming the paper’s national baseball columnist in 1989. He continues to break stories around the team on a regular basis and works closely with beat writer Mark Feinsand to keep Daily News readers informed of Yankees doings.

At UPI, Madden was a protg of Milton Richman, one of the most respected baseball reporters. At the Daily News, Billy was counseled by Dick Young, probably New York’s savviest reporter. Both are winners of the award Madden received Sunday and were saluted in his speech for their contributions in making him deserving of the same honor.

“For more than a century, newspapers and to a certain extent books have been the lifeblood of baseball in that they have been the primary vehicles in which the game has been handed down from generation to generation,” Madden said. “I know I speak for millions of people when I say I became a baseball fan by reading newspapers and learning about it through books. With all due respect to the famous broadcasters who became such a part of the fabric of this game, the printed word is forever. The ready reference to the game’s rich history is preserved forever in libraries and bookstores and newspaper archives.”

I have known Billy for 30 years and was delighted in my role as secretary-treasurer of the BBWAA to notify him of his election the morning of our announcement during the Winter Meetings last December in Indianapolis. The Hall’s Induction Weekend has been an annual sort of working vacation for the two of us the past 15 years. Billy’s time up here goes back even further. He noted that his first induction ceremony was in 1979.

It is akin to a pilgrimage this journey back to the game’s ancestral roots however misplaced historically. The fact is, if baseball didn’t really have its beginnings in this lovely central New York State village, it should have.

As umpire Doug Harvey, one of Sunday’s inductees, said in his speech, “In baseball, you have to touch home. This is the home of baseball. And before you die, you should come to Cooperstown to touch home, and I’ll be here to see that you do.”

Madden has done so dozens of times, but it was his own home that he touched on in his speech. Billy was spoon-fed newspapers by his father, Charlie Madden, a New Jersey businessman whose personal favorite was the New York Herald Tribune when young Billy was introduced to the work of Red Smith, Harold Rosenthal and Tommy Holmes. On his own, Billy also discovered the New York Journal American and Jimmy Cannon and the New York World Telegram and cartoonist Willard Mullin.

An irony of Billy’s career was that he made his name at the Daily News, the one paper his father would not let into the house. Charlie would allow Billy to read it in his office, a plumbing supply business. The plumbers brought the tabloid News and would leave copies there.

“My father regarded the Daily News as a scandal rag and would not allow it in our house,” Billy said. “But he did have to admit that Dick Young, who covered the Brooklyn Dodgers and later the Mets, was probably the greatest baseball reporter of them all. And so he would allow me to read Young’s stuff whenever I was in the store. Who then knew that someday I’d be working at the Daily News and have Dick Young as my mentor. I’m sorry, Dad, but the Herald Tribune was out of business when I got out of college, so the News was it.”

Ford C. Frick Award winner for broadcasting Jon Miller, the voice of the Giants and ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball, also referred to his father taking him to Giants games at Candlestick Park and that Miller found himself paying more attention to what broadcasters Russ Hodges and Lon Simmons, both former Frick Award winners, were doing in the booth through his binoculars.

“I noticed that Russ would grab a handful of French fries and devour them between pitches,” Miller said. “Then he took a cup of whatever and gulped it down before the next pitch. I thought that’s the life for me.”

Unable to attend were former Yankees coach Don Zimmer, with whom Madden collaborated on two books, and former Yankees player, coach, manager and general manager Lou Piniella, “with whom,” Billy said, “I shared the Steinbrenner experience.” Zimmer’s knees don’t allow him to travel, and Piniella is managing the Cubs, at least for the rest of this season.

Gene Michael, who wore even more hats than Piniella with the Yankees including one as chief scout, did make the ride up from New Jersey for Madden and Hall inductee Andre Dawson, who played for “Stick” when he managed the Cubs in 1987. “Hawk” was the National League Most Valuable Player that year even though the Cubs finished in last place. It is a distinction he shares with 2003 American League MVP Alex Rodriguez, then with the Rangers.

Dawson’s speech, often emotional, ranked in eloquent intensity with that of former teammate Ryne Sandberg’s 2005 address, still the finest I have ever heard. Ryno, one of the most popular players in Cubs history, may well be their next manager once Lou leaves Wrigley Field. Sandberg has toiled in the minors for four years and produced winning teams, but he told me he has been given no indication that he is the first choice. In fact, a Chicago writer told me that there is a strong sense that Illinois native and Northwestern educated Joe Girardi, a former Cubs catcher, would have a step up on Sandberg is he does not stay with the Yankees beyond this year, the last on his current contract.

Whitey Herzog’s humorous speech included further references to Casey Stengel, who befriended the young player when he was an outfielder in the Yankees system and predicted he would become a manager.

“One of the most important things Casey told me was to hire good coaches and not be afraid of their taking your job some day,” Herzog said. “Casey said that unless you own the club or you die on the job, you’re going to get fired anyway, so you might as well have the best coaches.”

Herzog said that while he was managing the Cardinals, former St. Louis outfielder Enos Slaughter, who also played for the Yankees and Stengel briefly in the 1950s, finally got into the Hall of Fame and said in his speech, “It’s about time.”

“But I don’t feel that way,” Whitey said. “I believe that any time you get into the Hall of Fame is the best time. A lot of people have asked me what it’s like to get elected to the Hall of Fame, and I’d say, ‘I don’t know. I won’t know until July 25, the day it happens.’ Well, now I can tell everybody that it’s like going to heaven before you die.”

Amen.