Baseball HOF Celebrates the Champion S.F. Giants

By Paul Post

Brad Horn has witnessed some of the most amazing feats in recent World Series history.

It’s his job to help collect artifacts that will be displayed in Cooperstown and become part of the National Baseball Hall of Fame’s permanent collection.

This year, Horn traveled to San Francisco and Detroit and had no trouble choosing his favorite moment from the 2012 Fall Classic.

“Personally, it was watching Pablo Sandoval hit three home runs in Game 1, and then having him be such a willing and gracious donor in giving his bat to Cooperstown, as he did with his historic triple in the 2012 All-Star Game,” said Horn, the Hall of Fame’s senior director of communications and education.

“Also, it was a pleasure dealing with Giants players during the acquisition process – particularly Gregor Blanco, whose glove we received – who were so appreciative of being asked to donate these artifacts,” he said.

Horn made the trip with Hall of Fame President Jeff Idelson.

Last year, on their way back from St. Louis, following the Cardinals’ 2011 World Championship, they stopped at Albany (N.Y.) International Airport to display artifacts such as jerseys, caps, bats, spikes and balls for the media.

This year, Hurricane Sandy got in their way.

“Within the first 15 minutes of the final out, Jeff and I compared our lists, determined our final ‘requests’ and then split responsibilities to ask certain players for their artifacts,” he said. “Over the next two hours, it was about finding the right moments in the clubhouse to talk with the players we were requesting artifacts from, identifying the proper artifacts, working with the clubhouse manager and Major League Baseball authenticators to place the items in our control, and then making sure the story is complete. There’s a lot of happiness and goodwill from the players toward the Hall of Fame, so we want them to feel good and understand the donation process as it is underway.”

The Giants won Game 4 on the night of Oct. 28. Horn and Idelson finally left the clubhouse at about 2 a.m. But their work was far from done. From Comerica Park, they went back to their hotel to change and start work on publicizing some of the artifacts they had acquired, followed by a 5 a.m. cab ride to Detroit’s airport for a 7:30 a.m. non-stop flight to Albany, where they arrived at 9:07 a.m. on Oct. 29.

Hurrying to avoid Hurricane Sandy, they drove straight to Cooperstown, where – still without sleep – they did a 1 p.m. program for museum visitors to show off the new treasures they had acquired less than 12 hours earlier.

Now on display
The Giants’ World Series articles went on display in the Hall of Fame’s “Autumn Glory” exhibit in mid-November and will stay there through the 2013 World Series. “Autumn Glory” is dedicated to postseason baseball and will feature things collected after Game 4, along with World Series photos, press pins, tickets and similar items.

Horn and Idelson made several major acquisitions from Giants players. They are:

  • The bat used by Pablo Sandoval to hit two of his three home runs in Game 1, which made Sandoval just the fourth player to have a three-home run game in World Series competition.
  • The jersey worn by Ryan Vogelsong in Game 3, when he tossed 52/3 shutout innings en route to the victory. Vogelsong also wore this jersey during other postseason appearances. For the 2012 postseason, Vogelsong was 3-0 with a 1.09 ERA.
  • The warm-up jacket worn by manager Bruce Bochy throughout the World Series.
  • The fielder’s glove used by Gregor Blanco throughout the 2012 regular season and postseason.
  • A bat used throughout the World Series by Hunter Pence, used for his RBI sacrifice fly in Game 2.
  • The spikes worn by NLCS Most Valuable Player Marco Scutaro throughout the postseason.
  • The cap worn by Brandon Crawford during the postseason.
  • The spikes worn by Matt Cain during the World Series.

Looking ahead
For the past two years, the Hall of Fame has hosted special weekends in May dedicated to the previous year’s World Champions, the 2010 Giants and 2011 Cardinals. Two years ago, Cooperstown looked like “San Francisco East,” as hundreds of Giants fans descended on the small upstate New York community to celebrate their favorite team. The weekend included a visit by the World Series trophy, a special Giants-themed Hall of Fame & Museum tour, a live virtual tour of AT&T Park, along with fun contests for the whole family to enjoy.

“Soon, we’ll begin planning our 2013 programming calendar, and we’ll look at events and programs that salute all of our initiatives in the new year,” Horn said.

Horn and Idelson had separate and distinct responsibilities during the World Series. “My role was in working with MLB to assist in their public relations operations,” Horn said. “We both had access to the field and clubhouse to be there at key historic moments during the Series, particularly in clinching situations.”

The Giants made two great comebacks during the postseason before sweeping the Tigers in the World Series, thanks to a combination of stellar pitching, sparkling defense and timely hitting.

In the Division Series, San Francisco lost its first two games at home, but rebounded on the road by winning three straight in Cincinnati to advance to the NLCS.

Against St. Louis, the Giants again found themselves down, this time three games to one, but fought back once more to win three straight for the National League pennant.
The Giants then turned in one of the most dominant performances in World Series play by winning four in a row, including shutouts of the powerful Tigers in Games 2 and 3.
Craig Muder, the Hall of Fame’s director of communications, assisted Major League Baseball during the American League Championship Series.

“We realize the historic importance of the World Series, which is why we attend, to be in position to preserve history as it happens,” Horn said. “While we’d like to be able to attend every postseason game for that reason, it is not a reality for us to do so. And postseason moments that have the greatest impact occur in the World Series. As we do during the regular season, with feats and historic events happening without notice, we work closely with the clubs and players to document those moments as they unfold when we cannot be in attendance,” Horn said.

The Hall of Fame & Museum’s collections contain many artifacts documenting the entire history of World Series and postseason play, including Don Larsen’s cap and Yogi Berra’s mitt from Larsen’s 1956 perfect game; Bill Mazeroski’s (1960) and Joe Carter’s (1993) bats from their Series-ending blasts; and World Series rings from the last century of Fall Classic competition.

The “Autumn Glory” exhibit is included in the price of admission. Hall of Fame winter hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily except for Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day when the facility is closed.From Memorial Day Weekend through the day before Labor Day, the Hall of Fame & Museum are open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Ticket prices are $19.50 for adults (13 and over), $12 for seniors (65 and over) and for those holding current memberships in the VFW, Disabled American Veterans, American Legion and AMVets organizations, and $7 for juniors (ages 7-12). There is no charge for children 6 years of age or younger. For more information, visit www.baseballhall.org or call (888) 425-5633) or (607) 547-7200.

HOF NEWS: Pre-Integration Era ballot debuts with a 10-candidate list that will add members to the 2013 induction class
Six former major league players, three executives and one umpire comprise the 10-candidate Pre-Integration Era ballot to be reviewed and voted upon at Baseball’s Winter Meetings for consideration for the Hall of Fame Class of 2013, the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum announced.

Samuel Breadon, Bill Dahlen, Wes Ferrell, Marty Marion, Tony Mullane, Hank O’Day, Alfred Reach, Jacob Ruppert, Bucky Walters and Deacon White are the candidates for Pre-Integration Era Committee consideration for election for the Hall of Fame Class of 2013.

Candidates who receive votes on 75 percent of the ballots cast by the 16-member Pre-Integration Era Committee will earn election to the National Baseball Hall of Fame and will be inducted in Cooperstown on July 28, 2013, along with any electees who emerge from the 2013 Baseball Writers’ Association of America election, to be announced on Jan. 9.

The 10 Pre-Integration Era finalists were selected by the BBWAA-appointed Historical Overview Committee from all eligible candidates among managers, umpires, executives and long-retired players whose most significant career impact was realized from the origins of the game through 1946. Eligible candidates include players who appeared 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; and managers, umpires and executives with 10 or more years in baseball.

The Pre-Integration Era ballot was determined this fall by the Historical Overview Committee, comprised of 11 veteran historians: Dave Van Dyck (Chicago Tribune), Bob Elliott (Toronto Sun), Rick Hummel (St. Louis Post-Dispatch), Steve Hirdt (Elias Sports Bureau), Bill Madden (New York Daily News), Ken Nigro (formerly Baltimore Sun), Jack O’Connell (BBWAA secretary/treasurer), Tracy Ringolsby (FSN Rocky Mountain), Glenn Schwarz (formerly San Francisco Chronicle), Claire Smith (ESPN) and Mark Whicker (Orange County Register).

The 16-member Hall of Fame board-appointed electorate charged with the review of the Pre-Integration Era ballot includes Hall of Fame members Bert Blyleven, Pat Gillick, Phil Niekro and Don Sutton; major league executives Bill DeWitt, Roland Hemond, Gary Hughes, and Bob Watson; along with eight historians and veteran media members Jim Henneman, Steve Hirdt, Peter Morris, Phil Pepe, Tom Simon, Claire Smith, T.R. Sullivan and Mark Whicker.

The Pre-Integration Era electorate will meet to discuss and review the candidacies of the 10 finalists as part of baseball’s Winter Meetings, December 2-3 in Nashville.
The 10 candidates for Pre-Integration Era consideration for the class of 2013:

  • Samuel Breadon purchased interest in the St. Louis Cardinals in 1917 and took control of the club in 1920. Breadon hired Branch Rickey and created the blueprint for the modern farm system with minor league clubs owned or controlled by the parent club. Presided over nine pennant winners and six World Series championships, including the Gashouse Gang teams of the 1930s and the dynasty teams of the 1940s. During his tenure as principal owner, the Cardinals posted a 2,470-1,830 record, good for a .574 winning percentage.
  • Bill Dahlen spent 21 seasons in the majors from 1891-1911, playing almost 90 percent of his games at shortstop, compiling a .272 batting average with 84 home runs and 1,234 RBI. He scored 100 or more runs in each of his first six seasons and recorded 120 hits or more 15 times. He retired in 1911 as the active home run leader with 84 and as the all-time leader in games played (2,444).
  • Wes Ferrell pitched for 15 seasons from 1927-41, compiling a 193-128 record with a 4.04 career ERA. Six times he won 20 games and is the only pitcher from the 20th century to win at least 20 games in each of the first four full big league seasons. Led the league in complete games four times and was runner-up for the A.L. MVP in 1935.
  • Marty Marion spent 13 seasons in the majors, 1940-50, 1952-53, batting .263 with 36 home runs and 624 RBI at shortstop. Was named the 1944 N.L. MVP Award winner, twice also finishing in the top 10. Considered one of the best fielding shortstops of his era.
  • Tony Mullane won 284 games in 13 major league seasons from 1881-94, hurling complete games in 468 of his 504 career starts. Won 30 or more games in each of his first five full seasons. Posted a career 284-220 record, with a 3.05 lifetime era.
  • Hank O’Day spent 30 years as a major league umpire during a period from 1888-1927, officiating 10 World Series, tied for second most in history. Was selected to umpire the first World Series in 1903. Also played and managed in the majors, as a pitcher from 1884-90. Managed the 1912 Reds and the 1914 Cubs.
  • Al Reach served as an executive with the Philadelphia club of the National League from 1883-1903, following a five-year playing career from 1871-75 with the Athletics. Established the A.J. Reach Company to produce baseball and other sporting equipment, producing the official baseball of the American League. Published Reach’s Official Base Ball Guide.
  • Jacob Ruppert owned the New York Yankees from 1915-39, with his teams winning six World Series titles and nine American League pennants during his ownership. During his tenure, more than a dozen future Hall of Famers donned pinstripes, including Babe Ruth, whose contract Ruppert purchased from the Red Sox for $125,000. In 1923, Ruppert led the construction of Yankee Stadium, the same year the club captured their first World Series title.
  • Bucky Walters pitched 19 seasons in the major leagues, from 1934-50, compiling a 198-160 lifetime record, with a 3.30 ERA in 428 games/398 starts. Named 1939 NL MVP, posting a 27-11 record, with a 2.29 ERA, winning the pitching Triple Crown with 137 strikeouts. Named to five All-Star teams. Converted from infielder following his first four seasons in the majors from 1931-34.
  • Deacon White played for 20 major league seasons from 1871-90, compiling a .312 batting average, while playing all nine positions on the field. Best remembered as one of the finest barehanded catchers of his time.

About the Era Committees
The Pre-Integration Era Committee is the third 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 in 2010.

The Era Committees focus on three time periods: Expansion (1973-present), Golden (1947-72) and Pre-Integration (through 1946), as opposed to the previous four Committees on Baseball Veterans, which considered the four categories of candidates. Three separate electorates consider by eras a single composite ballot of managers, umpires, executives and long-retired players on an annual basis. The Expansion Era Committee candidates will next be considered again at the 2013 Winter Meetings for Induction in 2014. The Golden Era Committee will next meet at the 2014 Winter Meetings for Induction in 2015.

Candidates remain eligible in perpetuity through the Era Committee process, with new ballots constructed by the Historical Overview Committee the fall prior to each election.

Paul Post is a freelance contributor to SCD. He can be reached at paulpost@nycap.rr.com.

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