Has just announced that they have elected Andre Dawson with 77.9 of the votes or 420 of the 539 ballots. Dawson, who spent 21 seasons (1976-1996) in the majors playing mainly both center and right field with the Montreal Expos (now the Washington Nationals), the Chicago Cubs, Boston Red Sox and Florida Marlins, batted .279 while amassing 2774 hits, 438 home runs and 1591 rbis, was an eight time all-star (1981-83, 1987-91), won the gold glove eight times (1980-85, 1987-8), won the silver slugger award four times (1980-81, 1983, 1987), won the National League MVP in 1987 and the NL Rookie of the Year Award in 1977. Dawson will be inducted into the Hall on July 25, along with manager Whitey Herzog and umpire Doug Harvey, who were both elected last month by the Veterans Committee.
Congratulations on finally getting into the Hall, Andre.
First, the answer to last week’s trivia question, which no one even attempted to answer. First, the question: Name the first ex-Phil to be elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame? And the answer is: Nap Lajoie is the first ex-Phil to be elected into the Baseball Hal of Fame, as he was elected as a member of the 1937 class, receiving 168 votes or 83.58% of the vote in the second Hall of Fame election, being that year’s highest vote getter. Nap was a member of the Phils for four years, 1896-1900. A new weekly trivia question will be asked at the bottom of this post.
The 2009 regular season started last night as the 2008 World Champions Philadelphia Phillies faced one of their oldest rivals, the Atlanta Braves, in a night game at Citizens Bank Park, which included the raising of the 2008 banner and fireworks, as the Phils wore their special opening night uniforms with gold trim and the 2008 World Series patch.
Sadly, during the game itself, all of the fireworks were on the Atlanta Braves’ side as they torched Phils’ starter Brett Myers for four runs, via three home runs, in the first two innings. Things looked very promising for Myers as he easily got out the first two batters that he faced, via a fly out to center and a 6-3 ground out. Then Chipper Jones, with the count 3-2, hit a single to left, getting the first hit of the 2009 season. The next batter, Brian McCann then hit a 2-0 pitch into deep right field for a two-run home run, the first home run of the new season, as the Braves took a quick 2-0 lead. In the second, the Braves added to their lead as Jeff Francoeur hit his first home run of the year, a rocket into the left field seats, making it 3-0 Atlanta. One batter later, Jordan Schafer, in his first major league at-bat, made it 4-0 Braves as he slugged a 3-1 fastball into center field. Myers would settle down after that, giving up only five more hits as he pitched a total of six innings. While the Braves were raining on Myers’ parade, Derek Lowe was expertly handcuffing the Phils, giving up only two hits in his eight strong innings of work, a one-out ground-rule double to Carlos Ruiz in the third inning, the first Phillies’ hit of the season, who was then left stranded on second, and a two-out single to Jimmy Rollins in the sixth, who was then left on first as Jayson Werth lined out right to Lowe to end the inning. The Phils would finally score a run in the ninth inning, getting it off of reliever Mike Gonzalez. Pinch hitter Eric Bruntlett started the inning off with a pinch hit double. Rollins then flied out to right, sending Bruntlett over to third with one out. The next batter, Werth, then singled sharply to left, scoring Bruntlett, collecting the first Phillies RBI of the season, making it a 4-1 Braves’ lead. Chase Utley followed with a walk, sending Werth over to second, and bringing up the tying run to the plate in the person of Ryan Howard. Howard, who had been given a steady diet of off-speed pitches all night by Lowe, saw five straight sliders from Gonzalez, working the count full. Thus, Howard was caught off-guard when pitch no. six from Gonzalez was a fast ball, the first one he had seen all night, which was sent right down the pike, for a call third strike. Howard was followed by Raul Ibanez, who, like Howard, was looking for his first hit of the year, and seeing if he could help his new team out early in the season. Sadly, it was not to be, as he struck out, swinging, on a 3-2 fastball, ending the ballgame as a 4-1 Braves’ victory.
Brett Myers, in his six innings of work, gave up four runs on eight hits, including three home runs, and a walk while striking out six. His regular season record is now 0-1 with a 6.00 ERA. Jack Taschner, pitching in his first official game as a Phil, pitched a 1-2-3 inning as he struck out a batter. Scott Eyre followed him for two-thirds of an inning, recording a strikeout. Chad Durbin then pitched the final third of an inning, striking out the only batter he would face. Brad Lidge pitched the ninth for the Phils, pitching a 1-2-3 inning, including a strikeout. Derek Lowe pitched eight strong innings for the Braves, staying out of trouble all night, as he gave up only two hits to the Phils as he struck out four. His record is now 1-0 with a 0.00 ERA. Mike Gonzalez pitched an inning, giving up a run on two hits and a walk, while getting two very important strike outs to end the game.
At this point, Eric Bruntlett is leading the team in batting with a 1.000 batting average, as he went 1 for 1 with a double. Carlos Ruiz follows at .333, as he went 1 for 3 on the night with a ground-rule double. Jimmy Rollins and Jayson Werth follow with both men going 1 for 4 for a .250 batting average, with Werth having the Phils’, at the moment, only RBI of the season.
The short series will continued tomorrow night at Citizens Bank Park. The game will start at 7:05 pm Eastern. The Phillies will send to the mound their ageless wonder Jamie Moyer, who record is presently 0-0 with a -.– ERA. The Braves will counter with Jair Jurrjens, who’s record is also 0-0 with a -.– ERA.
Now, here is this week’s trivia question: Name the first ten Phillies’ Opening Day Pitchers? You all know where to find the answer. The answer will be posted on Thursday.
The late Joe Gordon, former second baseman for the Yankees and Indians of the 1930s and 1940s was the only one of 20 men voted on by the Veterans Committee to be elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame, as he was placed on 10 of 12 ballots for 83.3 percent of the vote of those who started their baseball careers prior to 1942, going over the required 75 percent of the vote needed to enter the hall. The ex-Yank and Indian star beat out Allie Reynolds, who received 8 votes and Wes Ferrell, who received 6 votes. The Veterans were at the same time unable to elect any of the ten players who were on the post-1943 ballot. The player with the highest amount was ex-Cub Ron Santo, who received 39 votes for 60.9 percent of the ballots. He was followed by ex-Red Sox, Senator, Twin, Phil and Cardinal Jim Kaat, who received 38 votes for 59.4 percent of the vote. Once again, the Veterans Committee, which is made up of all living hall of famers, were unable to elect someone who was among their contemporaries, being unable to do so previously in 2003, ’05 and ’07. The committee will next vote on players whose playing careers began after 1943 in 2010. Maybe by then they will be able to decide on which of their contemporaries to get behind and elect, although it looks like Santo and Kaat may be the favorites in that year.
Anyway, congratulations to Gordon, and good luck to Reynolds, Ferrell, Santo and Kaat when they are before the committee in 2013 and 2010, respectively.
Kaat’s career a study in consistency
Lefty workhorse a Veterans Committee finalist at Baseball Hall of Fame
He was also one of the most effective pitchers of the last 50 years and now will be considered for the Hall of Fame by the Veterans Committee.
Kaat, born on Nov. 7, 1938, played for the Washington Senators/Minnesota Twins (1959-73), Chicago White Sox (1973-75), Philadelphia Phillies (1976-79), New York Yankees (1979-80) and St. Louis Cardinals (1980-83). A 6-foot-4 lefty with great athletic ability, Kaat pitched 25 seasons in the Majors and posted a 283-237 record with a 3.45 ERA and 2,461 strikeouts.
Kaat’s best season was in 1966, when he won a league-leading 25 games with 19 complete games, three shutouts, a 2.75 ERA and just 55 walks in more than 300 innings. The Sporting News named him American League Pitcher of the Year. His other top seasons were 1972, when he went 10-2 with a 2.07 ERA in a season shortened due to a broken hand, and 1974-75 with the White Sox, when he won 21 and 20 games.
A three-time All-Star (1962, ’66, ’75), Kaat also won 16 consecutive Gold Glove Awards from 1962 to ’77. He pitched in the postseason four times, winning a World Series ring with the Cardinals in 1982.
Kaat was the last original Washington Senators player to retire. Not only did Kaat log 200-plus innings 14 times (including 300-plus twice), but he had 180 complete games, including nine seasons with 10 or more.
Kaat will be considered for the Class of 2009 at the Hall of Fame by the Veterans Committee as part of the post-1942 ballot (players who began their careers in 1943 and after). The other members of the post-1942 Veterans Committee final ballot are Dick Allen, Gil Hodges, Tony Oliva, Al Oliver, Vada Pinson, Ron Santo, Luis Tiant, Joe Torre and Maury Wills. Any player receiving at least 75 percent of the vote from the Veterans Committee, which consists of the 64 living Hall of Famers, will be enshrined at the Hall of Fame as part of the Class of 2009.
Results from the Veterans Committee vote will be announced Dec. 8 at baseball’s Winter Meetings in Las Vegas. (H/T National Baseball Hall of Fame.org)
As I said earlier, I hope he is elected in the Hall, and not just because he was part of the mid-70s Phillies’ team that won three straight NL Eastern Division pennants, but because he was a good pitcher he was a good pitcher who was also a good fielder. (Hey, he did win all of those Gold Glove Awards, remember?) Good, luck, Kaat, hope you get the call next month.
The 20th annual event, co-sponsored by the Hall of Fame and the State University of New York-Oneonta, will run from Tuesday through Friday with more than 60 participants discussing topics ranging from commissioners, umpires and player agents to issues regarding integration, ethnicity, gender and the handicapped.
Presentations will include observations on the careers of baseball figures as diverse as Ty Cobb, Frank Robinson, Jim Brosnan, Jim Bouton, Gene Baker, Effa Manley and Bobby Murcer.
“The goal of the program is to allow for an academic exchange of discussions about how baseball is perceived in American culture,” Hall of Fame librarian Jim Gates said. “We don’t look at baseball in the field in this program. That’s for the SABR [Society of American Baseball Research] people. This is about baseball’s connection to art, poetry, literature, architecture, theater, music and other cultural areas.”
Participants do get to experience baseball in the field at one point. An old-fashioned Town Hall Game is scheduled late Thursday afternoon at Cooper Park where the rules from the earliest form of baseball are in effect, such as one out per inning, stakes for bases and outs being achieved either by catching the ball or throwing it at a runner.
After the game, participants will be treated to a barbecue chicken dinner in the Hall’s gallery with entertainment provided by Tim Wiles, the Hall’s director of research and co-author of “Baseball Greatest Hit: The Story of Take Me Out to the Ball Game.”
Former New York Times sports columnist Ira Berkow, author of 17 books that include profiles of Hall of Famers Hank Greenberg and Casey Stengel, will deliver the keynote address Wednesday in the Grandstand Theater of the Hall. Berkow follows in a tradition of distinguished keynote speakers that includes authors George Plimpton, Isaac Asimov, W.S. Kinsella and Roger Kahn and players’ union leaders Marvin Miller and Don Fehr.
Panel discussions in the Bullpen Theater will center on themes such as the fierceness of competitors, African-American pioneers, power of commissioners, minority issues and baseball’s relationship to business, law, music, broadcasting and photography.
A featured session Wednesday night will be “Baseball and Freedom: Umpires and the Roots of Order and Freedom,” featuring commentary from Judge George Nicholson of the State of California Court of Appeals, Judge William Shubb of the United District Court, Eastern District, California, and Pacific Coast League president Branch Rickey III, among others.
“It’s a mixture,” Gates said of the participants. “There is old faculty, tenured faculty, new faculty, under-graduate and graduate students. We want to encourage the involvement of the next generation of scholars. The atmosphere is laid back with a lot of interaction. In the past, we’ve had meetings among students that have often led to the subjects of their dissertations.”
The registration fee for the full session is $165, $150 for Friends of the Hall of Fame Members and $50 for graduate and undergraduate students (with student identification cards). The fee includes continental breakfast each day, a catered picnic Thursday, refreshments, and a three-day pass to the Hall of Fame. Per diem rates are available for those unable to attend the entire symposium. (H/T MLB.com)
They have an symposium on baseball’s interaction with American culture? Who knew?