There’s no sugar-coating the fact that this season has not been anything like what we all had hoped back in February, but there are some bright spots that are impossible to ignore. In fact, the performances of Matt Kemp and Clayton Kershaw last night once again put their names among those that have to be considered for Cy Young and Most Valuable Player in the National League.
The Dodgers haven’t had that happen since 1988 when Kirk Gibson and Orel Hershiser pulled it off and it hadn’t happened before that in Los Angeles since 1974 with Steve Garvey and Mike Marshall. Of course, we got spoiled in the early 60s when Maury Wills and Don Drysdale did it in 1962, followed by Koufax winning both awards in 1963. Don Newcombe pulled off the double-feat in 1956 back in Brooklyn, the first year the Cy Young Award was given out.
Meanwhile, it hasn’t happened to any team in the NL since Pujols and Carpenter did it for St. Louis in 2005 and the last time it happened in the bigs was when Minnesota did it with Morneau and Santana in 2006.
If the season ended today, do you think they’d both take home these coveted awards?
There’s so much coverage out there right now about Duke Snider’s passing, it’s hard to fathom. Rightfully so, of course. He’s arguably the greatest offensive player in franchise history and holds so many team records it’s almost impossible to list them all.
But what’s also somewhat unique is just how long it’s been since we lost one of our legendary Dodgers. There are 10 uniforms retired and prior to yesterday, the Dodgers had not lost any of these great figures since Pee Wee Reese back in August of 1999.
Fortunately, we still have a trio of Hall of Fame legends who are with us today – Tommy Lasorda, Sandy Koufax and Don Sutton, along with legendary broadcasters Vin Scully and Jaime Jarrin. Not to mention legends like Don Newcombe, Tommy Davis, Maury Wills, “Sweet” Lou Johnson, Steve Garvey, Ron Cey, Bill Russell, Davey Lopes, Rick Monday, Fernando Valenzuela, Wes Parker, Dr. Frank Jobe, Billy DeLury and of course, all those who played the majority of their careers in the 80s, 90s and 00s. The list of these legends could go on for pages.
A day like yesterday is the ultimate reminder that we need to learn all we can from these gentlemen while they are here with us. We are so lucky to have all these people at the Stadium on a regular basis and they helped create the franchise we’ve all come to know and love.
If you see them out and about, be sure to tell them how much they mean to you and the Dodgers.
Just received this release from the Hall of Fame, which puts Steve Garvey, Tommy John and others closer to enshrinement than they’ve ever really been before.
Expansion Era Committee to Consider 12 Candidates
for Hall of Fame Election at December’s Winter Meetings
— Ballot Features Eight Long-Retired Players, Three Executives and One Manager for Consideration of Careers Whose Greatest Impact Felt from 1973-present —
(COOPERSTOWN, NY) – Eight former major league players, three executives and one former manager comprise the 12-name Expansion Era ballot for the Committee to Consider Managers, Umpires, Executives and Long-Retired Players for Hall of Fame election, to be reviewed and voted upon at the 2010 Baseball Winter Meetings by a 16-member electorate. The results of the Expansion Era vote will be announced on December 6 at 10 a.m. ET from the Winter Meetings in Orlando, Fla.
Every candidate receiving votes on 75 percent of the 16 ballots cast will earn election to the National Baseball Hall of Fame and will be honored during Hall of Fame Weekend 2011, July 22-25 in Cooperstown, New York.
The 12 individuals who will be considered by the Expansion Era Committee in December for Hall of Fame Induction in 2011: Former players Vida Blue, Dave Concepcion, Steve Garvey, Ron Guidry, Tommy John, Al Oliver, Ted Simmons and Rusty Staub; former manager Billy Martin; and executives Pat Gillick, Marvin Miller and George Steinbrenner. Martin and Steinbrenner are deceased; all other candidates are living.
The 16-member electorate charged with the review of the Expansion Era ballot features: Hall of Fame members Johnny Bench, Whitey Herzog, Eddie Murray, Jim Palmer, Tony Perez, Frank Robinson, Ryne Sandberg and Ozzie Smith; major league executives Bill Giles (Phillies), David Glass (Royals), Andy MacPhail (Orioles) and Jerry Reinsdorf (White Sox); and veteran media members Bob Elliott (Toronto Sun), Tim Kurkjian (ESPN), Ross Newhan (retired, Los Angeles Times) and Tom Verducci (Sports Illustrated).
The Expansion Era ballot was devised by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America (BBWAA) appointed Historical Overview Committee, comprised of 11 veteran members: Dave Van Dyck (Chicago Tribune); Bob Elliott (Toronto Sun); Rick Hummel (St. Louis Post-Dispatch); Steve Hirdt (Elias Sports Bureau); Moss Klein (formerly Newark Star-Ledger); Bill Madden (New York Daily News); Ken Nigro, (formerly Baltimore Sun); Jack O’Connell (BBWAA secretary/treasurer); Nick Peters (formerly Sacramento Bee); Tracy Ringolsby (FSN Rocky Mountain); and Mark Whicker (Orange County Register).
The Expansion Era covers candidates among managers, umpires, executives and long-retired players whose most significant career impact was realized during the 1973-present time frame. Eligible candidates include: Players who played in at least 10 major league seasons, who are not on Major League Baseball’s ineligible list, and have been retired for 21 or more seasons (those whose last major league season was no later than 1989); Managers and Umpires with 10 or more years in baseball and retired for at least five years, with any candidates who are 65 years or older first-eligible six months from the date of the election following retirement; and Executives who have been retired for at least five years, with any active executives 65 or older eligible for consideration.
The Expansion Era Committee is the first of a three-year cycle of consideration for Managers, Umpires, Executives and Long-Retired Players by Era, as opposed to the previous consideration by classification, with changes approved and announced by the Hall of Fame’s Board of Directors at the conclusion of Hall of Fame Weekend 2010.
The changes maintain the high standards for earning election to the National Baseball Hall of Fame, with focus on three eras: Expansion (1973-present); Golden (1947-1972) and Pre-Integration (1871-1946), as opposed to the previous four Committees on Baseball Veterans, which considered the four categories of candidates. Three separate electorates will now consider by era a single composite ballot of managers, umpires, executives and long-retired players on an annual basis, with Golden Era Committee candidates to be considered at the 2011 Winter Meetings for Induction in 2012 and the Pre-Integration Era Committee candidates to be considered at the 2012 Winter Meetings for Induction in 2013. The Expansion Era Committee will next meet at the 2013 Winter Meetings for Induction in 2014.
“The procedures to consider the candidacies of managers, umpires, executives and long-retired players have continually evolved since the first Hall of Fame election in 1936,” said Jane Forbes Clark, chairman of the board for the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. “Our continual challenge is to provide a structure to ensure that all candidates who are worthy of consideration have a fair system of evaluation. In identifying candidates by era, as opposed to by category, the Board feels this change will allow for an equal review of all eligible candidates, while maintaining the high standards of earning election.”
The 12 candidates for Expansion Era consideration:
Vida Blue spent 17 seasons pitching in the majors with the Oakland A’s, Kansas City Royals and San Francisco Giants, compiling a 209-161 record, with a 3.27 ERA in 502 major league games/473 starts. Blue, the 1971 AL MVP and Cy Young Award winner, was named to six All-Star teams, and won at least 18 games five times in his career.
Dave Concepcion spent 19 seasons as the Cincinnati Reds shortstop, compiling a .267 average with 2,326 hits, 321 stolen bases and two Silver Slugger Awards, along five Gold Glove Awards and nine All-Star Game selections.
Steve Garvey compiled a .294 career average over 19 major league seasons with the Dodgers and Padres, amassing 2,599 hits, 272 home runs, 1,308 RBI and 10 All-Star Game selections. He hit .338 with 11 home runs and 31 RBI in 11 postseason series, was named the 1978 and 1984 NLCS MVP and won the 1981 Roberto Clemente Award. Garvey won four Gold Glove Awards and played in an N.L. record 1,207 straight games.
Pat Gillick spent 27 years as the general manager for the Blue Jays, Orioles, Mariners and Phillies, winning at every stop along the way, with his teams earning nine post-season berths and three World Series championships. In his 27 years as GM, his teams finished with a winning record 20 times.
Ron Guidry pitched 14 seasons for the New York Yankees, compiling a 170-91 record, a 3.29 ERA and a strikeout-to-walk ratio of 2.81-to-1. In 10 postseason starts, Guidry was 5-2 with a 3.02 ERA. Four times he won 18 games or more in a season, including a Cy Young Award winning 1978 season with a 25-3, 1.74 era record.
Tommy John pitched 26 seasons for the Indians, Dodgers, Yankees, Angels and A’s, finishing his career after the 1989 season with a record of 288-231 and 3.34 ERA. His 700 career starts rank eighth on the all-time list and his 4,710.1 innings rank 20th all-time.
Billy Martin spent 16 seasons 1969, 1971-83, 1985, 1988) managing the Twins, Tigers, Rangers, Yankees (five different stints) and A’s, compiling a 1,253-1015 record (.552). Martin’s teams finished in first place five times, winning two American League pennants and one World Series with 1977 Yankees.
Marvin Miller was elected as the head of the Major League Baseball Players Association in 1966 and quickly turned the union into a powerhouse. Within a decade, Miller had secured free agency for the players. By the time he retired in 1982, the average player salary was approximately 10 times what it was when he took over.
Al Oliver compiled 2,743 hits in 18 seasons with the Pirates, Rangers, Expos, Giants, Phillies, Dodgers and Blue Jays. He finished with a .303 career average, 529 doubles and 1,326 RBI, recording 10 seasons with a .300 or higher average, including nine straight from 1976-1984.
Ted Simmons played for 21 seasons, totaling a .285 batting average, 2,472 hits, 483 doubles, 248 home runs and 1,389 RBI for the Cardinals, Brewers and Braves. An 8-time All-Star, he garnered MVP votes six times in his career.
Rusty Staub totaled 2,716 hits in a 23-year major league career, with a .279 average, 292 home runs, 1,466 RBI and six All-Star Game selections. He appeared in at least 150 games in 12 seasons, and his 2,951 big league games rank No. 12 on the all-time list.
George Steinbrenner guided the New York Yankees franchise as principal owner from purchasing the team in 1973 to his death in 2010, with his teams winning 11 American League pennants and seven World Series titles.
The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum is open seven days a week year round, with the exception of Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day. The Museum observes regular hours of 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. from Labor Day until Memorial Day Weekend. From Memorial Day through the day before Labor Day, the Museum is open from 9 a.m. until 9 p.m. seven days a week. Ticket prices are $16.50 for adults (13 and over), $11 for seniors (65 and over) and for those holding current memberships in the VFW, Disabled American Veterans, American Legion and AMVets organizations, and $6 for juniors (ages 7-12). Members are always admitted free of charge and there is no charge for children 6 years of age or younger. For more information, visit our Web site at baseballhall.org or call 888-HALL-OF-FAME (888-425-5633) or 607-547-7200.