Hall of Fame Class of 2013 soon to take shape
Pre-Integration Era voting, Spink, Frick winners to be revealed at Winter Meetings
The Hall of Fame Class of 2013 will begin to take shape at the upcoming Winter Meetings in Nashville, as voting for the Pre-Integration Era ballot will take place, as well as the announcements of the J.G. Taylor Spink and Ford C. Frick Award winners.
This year's Pre-Integration ballot includes six former players, three executives and one umpire with origins in the game prior to 1947: Samuel Breadon, Bill Dahlen, Wes Ferrell, Marty Marion, Tony Mullane, Hank O'Day, Alfred Reach, Jacob Ruppert, Bucky Walters and Deacon White.
Breadon, Reach and Ruppert are on the ballot after serving as executives for decades. Breadon took control of the Cardinals in 1920, hired Branch Rickey to create the blueprint for the modern farm system and presided over nine pennant-winning clubs and six World Series champions.
Reach worked with the Philadelphia club of the National League for 20 years, also establishing the A.J. Reach Company to produce sporting equipment and the "Reach's Official Base Ball Guide" which was used in both the American Association and American League.
Ruppert owned the Yankees from 1915-39 and famously brought Babe Ruth to New York. He presided over more than a dozen future Hall of Famers, the construction of Yankee Stadium and six World Series titles.
O'Day spent 30 years as a Major League umpire from 1888-1927, officiating 10 World Series (tied for second-most in history) after he pitched in the Majors from 1884-90 and managed the 1912 Reds and the 1914 Cubs.
As for the six former players:
Dahlen played 21 Major League seasons from 1891-1911, appearing in almost 90 percent of his games at shortstop. Dahlen drove in 1,234 runs and recorded 120 hits or more in a season 15 times. He retired in 1911 as the active home run leader (84), and as the all-time leader in games played (2,444).
Ferrell pitched for 15 seasons from 1927-41, amassing a 193-128 record and a 4.04 ERA. He won 20 games six times and is the only pitcher from the 20th century to win at least 20 games in each of his first four full Major League seasons.
Marion was one of the best fielding shortstops of his era, playing 13 years in the Majors (1940-50 and 1952-53) and hitting .263 with 36 home runs and 624 RBIs. He was the 1944 National League MVP.
Mullane won 284 games from 1881-94, and tossed complete games in 468 of his 504 career starts. He won 30 or more games in each of his first five full seasons and finished with a 284-220 career record and a 3.05 ERA.
Walters pitched 19 seasons (1934-50), and went 198-160 with a 3.30 ERA. He was named the 1939 NL MVP when he went 27-11 with a 2.29 ERA and also struck out 137 to earn the pitching Triple Crown.
White played for 20 seasons from 1871-90, hitting .312 and playing all nine positions. He's remembered as one of the best barehanded catchers of his time.
Candidates who receive votes on 75 percent of the ballots cast by the 16-member Pre-Integration Era Committee will be inducted in Cooperstown on July 28, 2013.
Bert Blyleven, Pat Gillick, Phil Niekro, Don Sutton, Bill DeWitt, Roland Hemond, Gary Hughes and Bob Watson are a part of that Committee, along with eight historians and veteran media members: Jim Henneman, Steve Hirdt, Peter Morris, Phil Pepe, Tom Simon, Claire Smith, T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com and Mark Whicker. The ballot was determined by the Historical Overview Committee, which is comprised of 11 historians.
There are three finalists for the J.G. Taylor Spink Award -- Paul Hagen (MLB.com), Jim Hawkins (formerly of the Detroit Free Press) and Russell Schneider (formerly of the Cleveland Plain Dealer) -- which is given annually to a sports writer "for meritorious contributions to baseball writing." Canadian baseball writer Bob Elliott was last year's recipient.
The Ford C. Frick Award is given annually to a a broadcaster with a minimum of 10 years of continuous Major League broadcast service with a club, network or combination of the two. More than 200 broadcasters were eligible for the award, and the list has been narrowed to 10 finalists: Tom Cheek, Ken Coleman, Jacques Doucet, John Gordon, Bill King, Graham McNamee, Eric Nadel, Eduardo Ortega, Mike Shannon and Dewayne Staats.
The finalists include three fan selections (Cheek, King and Doucet) chosen via online balloting at the Hall of Fame's Facebook page over two rounds of voting this fall. The other seven were selected by a Hall of Fame research committee. Tim McCarver received the honor last year.