Skip to main content

A Call to the Hall Deserved By More (Not Who You Think)

On Tuesday, it was announced that long-time Expos and Cubs outfielder Andre Dawson was voted by the Baseball Writers Association of America to be inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame. Dawson will be inducted on July 25th, in Cooperstown, NY, along with former Major League manager Whitey Herzog and umpire Doug Harvey, who were both elected by the Veterans Committee in December.

The statistic that most people in the media are tossing out there, as pertaining to Dawson, is that he is one of three players in the history of MLB to hit at least 400 homeruns and steal at least 300 bases. The other two men are Barry Bonds and Willie Mays. That is obviously a very exclusive club and Dawson is quite deserving. In his 21-year career, Dawson hit 438 homers, drove in 1591 runs and had 2774 hits.

Not to take anything away from those who ARE being honored this year, but I feel as though it's time to honor someone who has been deserving for a long time. If you aren't familiar with Buck O'Neil, you should be. O'Neil was a long time negro leagues player...a good one not a great one...who managed in the same league, then later became the first black coach in Major League history. Keeping in mind that the negro league clubs played closer to a few dozen games each summer, as opposed the 150+ games that ML fans might be used to, O'Neil's career stats were respectable. He collected 355 hits in 362 career games, batting .288 in 12 seasons. O'Neil missed two seasons and part of a third serving in the US Navy in the 1940's.

Playing career and coaching landmarks aside, Buck's efforts to promote baseball, pass down the history of the game (especially the negro leagues) and keep the spirit of baseball alive should be what make him a baseball immortal. O'Neil was instrumental in the design of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City. O'Neil was featured prominently in Ken Burns' documentary Baseball as the key story teller for many aspects of the negro leagues and early black ballplayers. O'Neil served as a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame veterans committee, before he passed away in 2006...the same committee that never elected him.

Surely, based on his playing and coaching numbers O'Neil wasn't elite. But he was surely among the top tier of men who have enhanced the sport off of the field. The Ford C. Frick Award is given annually to a broadcaster for "major contributions to baseball". If broadcasters who never played professional baseball can be honored and umpires are inducted as well, why not have a liaison or ambassador award for other individuals who have offered great contributions to the sport that we love?

Such an award could be given to a man like Ken Burns who, through his films, has documented history and elevated a lasting spirit of baseball like no one else. Or it could be given to iconic figures like Abbott & Costello, who, through comedy, have increased the adoration and appeal of the sport for many generations.

There are simply more people deserving of having their legacies commended by the National Baseball Hall of Fame. There are ways to make it happen as their board of directors can do whatever they like. How about an annual honor called The Buck O'Neil Impact Award?

--------------------------------

Andre Dawson will be signing autographs at the Lakewood BlueClaws game on July 1st. Check out the BlueClaws Blog here.

Randy Johnson, a future Hall of Famer, announced his official retirement this week. The blog known as More Hardball features a Tale of the tape match up between two lefties- Johnson and Phillies' great Steve Carlton. Click this link to check that out.

Make sure you follow PhoulBallz.com on Twitter HERE !

BallHype: hype it up!

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

2022 Top Phillies Prospects Countdown: #13 OF Ethan Wilson

Taken with the Phillies' second round draft pick (49th overall) last year, outfielder Ethan Wilson has landed among the top prospects in the organization. A co-freshman of the year in 2019, with South Alabama, Wilson has been on the radar of some big league teams for quite a while.  In his junior season last year, Wilson batted .313 with seven home runs and 30 RBI.  When his collegiate season was through, the lefty hitter quickly debuted in the minors.   In 30 games with Class A Clearwater last year, Wilson tallied a .215 average with three homers, 17 RBI and two steals. Listed at six-foot-one, 210-pounds, Wilson opened the 2022 campaign with Class A Advanced Jersey Shore.  The 22-year-old has been slow to start offensively, but confidence and poise are not a problem for this strong, promising individual. On the base paths, Wilson is quick and can contribute with his feet.  Defensively, the Alabama native will likely play left or right field moving forward.  Possessing an ability t

Who is Your Favorite Willie 'Mays' Hayes?

PhoulBallz.com is wondering which individual who has portrayed Willie "Mays" Hayes is the favorite of the public. Hayes, of course, is the character made famous in the Major League motion picture series. In Major League , Willie "Mays" Hayes was portrayed by budding Hollywood actor Wesley Snipes, who would go on to action movie superstardom. Snipes has starred in major motion pictures like the Blade trilogy, Passenger 57 , Undisputed and many more. Snipes remains an impact Hollywood actor, despite legal troubles related to income tax evasion. Snipes was replaced for the sequel, Major League II when his busy career, and possibly the film's budget, would not allow him to return, by Omar Epps. Another budding actor, Epps had previously worked with director David S. Ward, on the film The Program , and landed the role of Hayes, who had become a Hollywood action star over the off-season that occured between the two films. Epps' career portraying athletes rolle

Prospect Nation 2012: #1 RHP Trevor May

With a massively impressive campaign in 2011 for the Class A Advanced Clearwater Threshers, right-handed starting pitcher Trevor May locked down his spot as Philadelphia's top prospect and is on the fast track toward the big leagues. He is the reigning Paul Owens Award winner, given to the top pitcher and player in the Phillies' developmental system each year. In 27 starts with the Threshers in 2011, May posted a 10-8 record with a 3.63 ERA, while striking out a Florida State League leading 208 batters in 151 1/3 innings. He also held opposing hitters to a .221 average. The Phillies' 4th round draft pick from 2008, May earned the win in the 50th annual Florida State League All-Star Game at Bright House Field last year. He also was twice named FSL Pitcher of the Week and earned Phillies Minor League Pitcher of the Month honors for June. After signing with Philadelphia, May helped lead the rookie level Gulf Coast League Phillies to a championship in 2008. In 5 regular