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Hall of Fame Needs a Lifetime Achievement Classification

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  • Hall of Fame Needs a Lifetime Achievement Classification

    In another thread, Jim posted this about Buck O'Neil:

    O'Neil isn't a guy I support for any one reason. He wasn't good enough as a player, I doubt that as a manager alone he was enough, scouts haven't found a home in the Hall--but he was significant in all three areas. Add to it his role as an ambassador for the game and especially for the Negro Leagues (think Ken Burns) and his work to create the Negro League HOF, the sum of his contributions is so great that it deserves to be recognized by the Hall.
    That's absolutely right. And there are other players who contributed their life to the game, helping it to thrive and perpetuate. Lke Buck, they never quite gained the notoriety necessary in any one area to be elected to Cooperstown, yet the sum of their contributions would have to be considered as great as some players elected to the Hall with 14 years played and little else on their resume.

    I submit that the HOF needs a new classification. Call it Lifetime Achievement (LA) or Contributor. If you make it a separate award like they give the Writers and broadcasters I think you're belittling the lives of these men. Indeed, there are probably a couple Frick and Spink awardees who deserve plaques, but writers and broadcasters are not eligible for inclusion with the regular members.

    I'm thinking of this sort of criteria for the LA category:

    At least 30 years in the game as a MLB or minor league player, manager, coach, umpire, scout, GM, broadcaster, author, writer, entertainer, executive or other contributor.

    Besides Buck O'Neil, who else comes to mind as being a strong candidate for this HOF Lifetime Achievement classification?
    Last edited by Freakshow; 02-01-2011, 08:38 AM. Reason: add scout; change mascot; reduce years
    Si quaeris peninsulam amoenam, circumspice.

    Comprehensive Reform for the Veterans Committee -- Fixing the Hall continued.

  • #2
    Don Zimmer comes to mind.

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    • #3
      Sounds like a good idea. Scouts, Little League coaches that have made a great contributution to baseball, and also individuals who help the community through baseball.
      MySpace Codes

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      • #4
        Originally posted by stejay View Post
        Sounds like a good idea. Scouts, Little League coaches that have made a great contributution to baseball, and also individuals who help the community through baseball.
        Who do you have in mind? Candidates, please.
        Si quaeris peninsulam amoenam, circumspice.

        Comprehensive Reform for the Veterans Committee -- Fixing the Hall continued.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Freakshow View Post
          Who do you have in mind? Candidates, please.
          I can't name many little league coaches, and Community voulnteers really
          MySpace Codes

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          • #6
            Jimmie Reese, Paul Krichell, Tony Lucadello, Cy Slapnicka, Lefty O'Doul are just a few.

            They should have something similar to the Ford Frick award for announcers. There have been lots of amazing people in this game who deserve recognition.
            "It's good to be young and a Giant." - Larry Doyle

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Freakshow View Post
              At least 35 years in the game as a MLB or minor league player, manager, coach, umpire, GM, broadcaster, author, writer, mascot, executive or other contributor.
              35 years seems rather excessive.
              Players come up at 20 years of age, but few GMs or execs start that young. Many would pass on before they even become eligible.
              Perhaps 20 years? Players only need 10.

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              • #8
                In a sense there already is such and award. It is called the Hall of Fame.
                But they usually look for a specific area where a person warrants induction-Player, Manager, Umpire, or Contributor. I could see this award for people whose overall contributions warrant mention, but no single area stands out.
                Names like Zimmer and Reese have already been mentioned. I think that Roger Craig, Jim Turner, and Art Fowler may be considered for their contributions as pitching coach, along with being a player and, in Craig's case, manager.

                Welcome back ARod. Hope you are a Yankee forever.
                Phil Rizzuto-a Yankee forever.

                Holy Cow

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by soberdennis View Post
                  In a sense there already is such and award. It is called the Hall of Fame.
                  But they usually look for a specific area where a person warrants induction-Player, Manager, Umpire, or Contributor. I could see this award for people whose overall contributions warrant mention, but no single area stands out.
                  Names like Zimmer and Reese have already been mentioned. I think that Roger Craig, Jim Turner, and Art Fowler may be considered for their contributions as pitching coach, along with being a player and, in Craig's case, manager.
                  The problem with that is that the Hall of Fame has ignored coaches and scouts entirely. Managers, umpires, and executives have all been elected, but no coaches or scouts have been considered.
                  "It's good to be young and a Giant." - Larry Doyle

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by soberdennis View Post
                    In a sense there already is such and award. It is called the Hall of Fame.
                    I pretty much agree with this. What's the HOF if not a LA award?
                    The HOF just need to keep it's eyes and minds open more.

                    But they usually look for a specific area where a person warrants induction-Player, Manager, Umpire, or Contributor. I could see this award for people whose overall contributions warrant mention, but no single area stands out.
                    Names like Zimmer and Reese have already been mentioned. I think that Roger Craig, Jim Turner, and Art Fowler may be considered for their contributions as pitching coach, along with being a player and, in Craig's case, manager.
                    Most of the names mentioned should not be in the HOF. Zimmer and Craig would be like Harold Baines or Jesse Orosco in the HOF. The only names I have heard mentioned that would make sense are O'Neil and O'Doul.
                    You should get into the HOF by being great at what you're great at. The summation of several "good" areas shouldn't get you into the Hall. Feels too much like padding stats.
                    Last edited by dgarza; 03-26-2008, 04:02 PM.

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                    • #11
                      What about Tony Lucadello? Lucadello is considered by quite a few people to have been the best scout in baseball and he helped revolutionize the role of a scout in baseball.

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                      • #12
                        A few points:

                        --As was said, the Hall has no way of honoring achievements in things like coaching and scouting, along with authors, mascots and other contributors that make baseball the wonderful game we all love.
                        --Despite what it's rules say, the Hall has failed to honor people who have contributed to the game in multiple ways over the course of their lifetime.
                        --Longevity is a hallmark of greatness. Meteors are brilliant for a moment; stars shine forever. Both are worthy of honor by the HOF.
                        --The idea of the new classification is not to flood the HOF with undistinguished nobodies. I'm thinking of electing one every five years. Yes, Buck O'Neil. Yes, Lefty O'Doul. That gives us ten years to decide who #3 would be.
                        Si quaeris peninsulam amoenam, circumspice.

                        Comprehensive Reform for the Veterans Committee -- Fixing the Hall continued.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          limitations

                          Originally posted by dgarza View Post
                          I pretty much agree with this. What's the HOF if not a LA award?
                          The HOF just need to keep it's eyes and minds open more.
                          The rules seem to require that everyone elected by the committees on veterans --since 1953?-- is classified as a manager, or as an umpire, or etc. But the committee members are not asked to limit their attention to one category of a candidates work. Because the committees meet in person (except for electing recent players), they are able to discuss all of a candidates baseball career.

                          Unfortunately for varied contributions, the latest version appoints different people to different committees --eg, a committee for consideration of managers and umpires. So it is likely that no one with more complex contribution (eg, a combination other than manager plus umpire) will ever be on the agenda --whether the agenda is set by the committee members or by someone else in a preliminary nominating/screening stage.

                          If a crucial part of someone's resume is advancement of baseball outside North American, as for Lefty O'Doul and Japan, that only makes it less likely, more impossible!, to be considered.

                          Further, the specialization of the committees implies that their members will be appointed for special expertise or experience.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            The Lifetime Achievement Award (which should have been the sole way to honor all non-player members of the Hall in the first place) is a great idea and I'd suggest the following as the kind of people to honor, just off the top of my head:

                            Doc Adams
                            Lee Allen
                            Roger Angell
                            Sy Berger
                            Charles Conlon
                            Robert Creamer
                            L. Robert Davids
                            Charlie Dressen
                            Ted Giannoulas
                            Gil Hodges
                            Bill James
                            Frank Jobe
                            Paul Krichell
                            Mike Marshall
                            Leo Mazzone
                            Buck O'Neil
                            Pete Palmer
                            Max Patkin
                            Robert Peterson
                            Hal Richman
                            Francis Richter
                            Lawrence Ritter
                            Johnny Sain
                            "It is a simple matter to erect a Hall of Fame, but difficult to select the tenants." -- Ken Smith
                            "I am led to suspect that some of the electorate is very dumb." -- Henry P. Edwards
                            "You have a Hall of Fame to put people in, not keep people out." -- Brian Kenny
                            "There's no such thing as a perfect ballot." -- Jay Jaffe

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Classic View Post
                              The Lifetime Achievement Award (which should have been the sole way to honor all non-player members of the Hall in the first place) is a great idea and I'd suggest the following as the kind of people to honor, just off the top of my head:

                              Doc Adams
                              Lee Allen
                              Roger Angell
                              Sy Berger
                              Charles Conlon
                              Robert Creamer
                              L. Robert Davids
                              Charlie Dressen
                              Ted Giannoulas
                              Gil Hodges
                              Bill James
                              Frank Jobe
                              Paul Krichell
                              Mike Marshall
                              Leo Mazzone
                              Buck O'Neil
                              Pete Palmer
                              Max Patkin
                              Robert Peterson
                              Hal Richman
                              Francis Richter
                              Lawrence Ritter
                              Johnny Sain
                              That is SPOT-ON, Brad.

                              When you stop and think for a couple minutes, a lot of names start pouring out that the HOF is incapable of honoring with a plaque. Maybe one of these needs to be elected more often than every five years.

                              It also points out a pernicious effect of the Frick and Spink award winners. Those men are "in the hall of fame", but they are not hall of famers; they don't have a plaque. And they can't, under present criteria.

                              Well, that's just wrong. Look at the rosters of winners:

                              Frick Award

                              1978 — Mel Allen, Red Barber
                              1979 — Bob Elson
                              1980 — Russ Hodges
                              1981 — Ernie Harwell
                              1982 — Vin Scully
                              1983 — Jack Brickhouse
                              1984 — Curt Gowdy
                              1985 — Buck Canel
                              1986 — Bob Prince
                              1987 — Jack Buck
                              1988 — Lindsey Nelson
                              1989 — Harry Caray
                              1990 — By Saam
                              1991 — Joe Garagiola
                              1992 — Milo Hamilton
                              1993 — Chuck Thompson
                              1994 — Bob Murphy
                              1995 — Bob Wolff
                              1996 — Herb Carneal
                              1997 — Jimmy Dudley
                              1998 — Jaime Jarrin
                              1999 — Arch McDonald
                              2000 — Marty Brennaman
                              2001 — Rafael "Felo" Ramírez
                              2002 — Harry Kalas
                              2003 — Bob Uecker
                              2004 — Lon Simmons
                              2005 — Jerry Coleman
                              2006 — Gene Elston
                              2007 — Denny Matthews
                              2008 — Dave Niehaus

                              Spink Award

                              1962 — J.G. Taylor Spink
                              1963 — Ring Lardner
                              1964 — Hugh Fullerton
                              1965 — Charles Dryden
                              1966 — Grantland Rice
                              1967 — Damon Runyon
                              1968 — Harry G. Salsinger
                              1969 — Sid Mercer
                              1970 — Heywood C. Broun
                              1971 — Frank Graham
                              1972 — Dan Daniel, Fred Lieb, J. Roy Stockton
                              1973 — Warren Brown, John Drebinger,
                              John F. Kieran
                              1974 — John Carmichael, James Isaminger
                              1975 — Tom Meany, Shirley Povich
                              1976 — Harold Kaese, Red Smith
                              1977 — Gordon Cobbledick, Edgar Munzel
                              1978 — Tim Murnane, Dick Young
                              1979 — Bob Broeg, Tommy Holmes
                              1980 — Joe Reichler, Milton Richman
                              1981 — Allen Lewis, Bob Addie
                              1982 — Si Burick
                              1983 — Ken Smith
                              1984 — Joe McGuff
                              1985 — Earl Lawson
                              1986 — Jack Lang
                              1987 — Jim Murray
                              1988 — Bob Hunter, Ray Kelly
                              1989 — Jerome Holtzman
                              1990 — Phil Collier
                              1991 — Ritter Collett
                              1992 — Leonard Koppett, Bus Saidt
                              1993 — Wendell Smith
                              1994 — No Award Presented
                              1995 — Joseph Durso
                              1996 — Charley Feeney
                              1997 — Sam Lacy
                              1998 — Bob Stevens
                              1999 — Hal Lebovitz
                              2000 — Ross Newhan
                              2001 — Joe Falls
                              2002 — Hal McCoy
                              2003 — Murray Chass
                              2004 — Peter Gammons
                              2005 — Tracy Ringolsby
                              2006 — Rick Hummel
                              2008* — Larry Whiteside

                              This "honor", similar to the players, has become watered down, conflating legends of the game with a buncha "who's hes?" There are a few men here that deserve a plaque, to be elected to the Hall of Fame. Men who were widely acknowledged as being the best of the best; who set a standard that succeeding generations aspired to attain. They deserve to be more than just a name on a list. But rather than give them their due, the HOF decided to shunt them off to their own little corner of the Hall, apart from the hall of famers. It ain't right.
                              Si quaeris peninsulam amoenam, circumspice.

                              Comprehensive Reform for the Veterans Committee -- Fixing the Hall continued.

                              Comment

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