Baseball Hall of Fame Capsules
ADVANCE FOR WEEKEND EDITIONS, JULY 27-28 - FILE - In this March 17, 1938 file photo, Col. Jacob Ruppert, second from left, owner of the world champion New York Yankees, sits with pitcher Paul Andrews, left, outfielder Ernie Koy and pitcher Bump Hadley, right, during spring training baseball in St. Petersburg, Fla. Ruppert, longtime umpire Hank O'Day and barehanded catcher Deacon White will be inducted in the National Baseball Hall of Fame this weekend. (AP Photo/File)
ADVANCE FOR WEEKEND EDITIONS, JULY 27-28 - FILE - This 1935 file photo shows umpire Hank O'Day in Chicago. Former New York Yankees owner Jacob Ruppert, O'Day and barehanded catcher Deacon White will be inducted in the National Baseball Hall of Fame this weekend. (AP Photo/File)
Cooperstown, n.y. — A look at the honorees to be inducted this weekend into the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum:
Honorees to be feted today:
JACOB RUPPERT JR.: born in New York City on Aug. 5, 1867 and died Jan. 13, 1939. ... became a National Guard colonel and served four terms in Congress from 1899-1907. ... started in the family brewing business and became president of the Jacob Ruppert Brewing Co. with the death of his father in 1915. ... teamed with Tillinghast Huston to purchase the New York Yankees prior to the 1915 season. ... brought in future Hall of Famers Miller Huggins as manager and Ed Barrow as general manager and purchased the contract of Babe Ruth from the Red Sox prior to the 1920 season to quickly turn an also-ran team into the game’s most prominent franchise. ... built Yankee Stadium, which opened in 1923. ... while he was the Yankees owner, the Bronx Bombers won 10 American League pennants and seven World Series. ... became the 33rd executive elected to the Hall of Fame, receiving 15 of 16 votes (93.8 percent) from the Pre-Integration Era Committee.
JAMES LAURIE “DEACON” WHITE: Born Dec. 7, 1847 in Caton, N.Y. and died July 7, 1939 in Aurora, Ill. ... was a brilliant bare-handed catcher during the earliest days of professional baseball. ... played in the first professional league, the National Association, which debuted in 1871, and was the first batter in the first professional game on May 4, 1871 and hit a double. ... also played for Chicago in the National League’s inaugural year of 1876 ... regarded as the best catcher in baseball before switching to third base late in his nearly 20-year career. ... played for the Cleveland Forest Citys, Chicago White Stockings, Cincinnati Reds, Buffalo Bisons, Detroit Wolverines and Pittsburgh Alleghenys. ... despite league schedules that often were limited to 70 or 80 games, batted .312 for his career, accumulating 2,067 hits, 270 doubles, 98 triples, 24 home runs and 988 RBIs before retiring in 1890. ... won two batting titles and three RBI crowns. ... didn’t drink, smoke or gamble, earning the nickname “Deacon.” ... was dubbed “the most admirable superstar of the 1870s” by Bill James in his “Historical Baseball Extract.” ... received 14 of 16 votes (87.5 percent) from the Pre-Integration Era Committee.
HENRY “HANK” O’DAY: Born July 8, 1859, in Chicago and died July 2, 1935, in Chicago. ... played ball as a kid with his older brothers and pitched for several local teams while apprenticing as a steamfitter. ... turned pro in 1884 and fashioned a 73-100 record in seven years, also playing the outfield. ... led the New York Giants to the National League pennant in 1889 and pitched a complete game to clinch the 19th century precursor to the modern World Series. ... was hired as an umpire in 1895 and joined the NL staff two years later. .. umpired more than 4,000 games, including 10 World Series. ... called the first modern World Series in 1903. ... was the ruling umpire in the famous Cubs vs. Giants game on Sept. 23, 1908 when Chicago’s Johnny Evers tagged out New York’s Fred Merkle following what appeared to be the game-winning hit by the Giants. O’Day ruled that because Merkle had not touched second base that the force out ended the game, which was ruled a tie when the fans overran the field. The Cubs later won a replayed version of the game and captured the National League pennant. ... convinced everyone associated with the game to treat umpires with dignity. ... managed the Reds in 1912 and the Cubs in 1914 and returned to umpiring after he was replaced in both cities. ... retired in 1927 and became the NL’s special scout of umpires and players. ... the 10th umpire to be elected to the Hall of Fame.
Honorees feted Saturday:
PAUL HAGEN: Born in East Aurora, N.Y. ... to be given the J.G. Taylor Spink Award presented by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America for meritorious contributions to baseball writing. ... attended Ohio University and began his writing career in 1974 working in San Bernardino, Calif., where he covered the Los Angeles Dodgers for three years. ... also worked in the Dallas-Fort Worth area for a decade covering the Texas Rangers for the Dallas Times-Herald and Fort Worth Star-Telegram. ... worked for 25 years in Philadelphia covering the Phillies for the Philadelphia Daily News. ... currently works for MLB.com, as a national reporter focusing on the Phillies.
TOM CHEEK: Born June 13, 1939 in Pensacola, Fla. and died Oct. 9, 2005 in Oldsmar, Fla. after battling brain cancer. ... to be honored with the 2013 Ford C. Frick Award presented annually by the Baseball Hall of Fame for excellence in baseball broadcasting. ... Toronto Blue Jays radio play-by-play man who called the team’s first 4,306 regular-season and 41 playoff games from 1977-2004 before missing a game due to illness and the death of his father. ... on Aug. 29, 2004 was honored by the Blue Jays with his induction into the Level of Excellence, the club’s highest award for individual achievement. Cheek became just the seventh inductee and only the second member of non-uniformed personnel so honored. ... served in the U.S. Air Force and after his discharge attended the Cambridge School of Broadcasting in Boston for two years. ... began his radio career in Plattsburgh, N.Y. as disc jockey for WEAV in 1962. ... moved to Burlington, Vt. and began calling baseball, basketball, football, and hockey for the University of Vermont. ... served as a guest announcer for the Montreal Expos from 1974-76. ... best known for his call of the Joe Carter home run in Game 6 that clinched the 1993 World Series: “Touch ‘em all Joe, you’ll never hit a bigger home run in your life.”
— The Associated Press