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Thread: Sandberg, Boggs Inducted Into MLB Hall of Fame

  1. #1
    Can They Do It?? mrdobolina's Avatar
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    Dec 2002
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    Sandberg, Boggs Inducted Into MLB Hall of Fame


    Game's glory humbles Hall's newest

    By Barry M. Bloom / MLB.com

    COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. -- During a mild Sunday afternoon on a meadow just miles from the banks of Otsego Lake, where the sun played nip and tuck for hours with a moving bank of billowy clouds, Ryne Sandberg and Wade Boggs joined the elite of Major League Baseball and were inducted in the National Baseball Hall of Fame, taking their places alongside 258 players, managers, umpires and executives.
    A record 48 of the 60 living Hall of Famers were onstage with the pair behind the Clark Sports Center, including Billy Williams, Willie Mays, Willie McCovey, Steve Carlton, Kirby Puckett, Gaylord Perry, Don Sutton, Brooks Robinson, Yogi Berra, Duke Snider and Rod Carew, just to name a few.

    "As I look around me at the greatest players in the game, I am in awe," Sandberg said during his nearly 25-minute speech that ended the festivities.

    "Never in a million years did I ever think I'd be onstage with all these great Hall of Famers," said Boggs, who preceded Sandberg with a roughly 12-minute speech.

    The Padres' longtime play-by-play announcer Jerry Coleman won the Ford C. Frick Award, given annually to a broadcaster for "major contributions to baseball," and Peter Gammons of ESPN and formerly of The Boston Globe won the J.G. Taylor Spink Award for "meritorious contributions to baseball writing," rounding out the honorees on Sunday's program, an event that was filled with typically emotional speeches.

    During his brief seven-minute off-the-cuff remarks, Coleman called the day, "the highest point of my life."

    Gammons, who spoke for about 15 minutes, honored many of the Hall of Famers on the stage behind him, but he immediately made reference to his trademark penchant for reporting possible trades.

    "He's staying," Gammons said, referring to Red Sox left fielder Manny Ramirez, the source of trade rumors for days, before delving into the guts of his speech.

    Commissioner Bud Selig introduced the newest Hall of Famers by reading the inscriptions on the plaques that will honor Sandberg and Boggs forever in the Hall of Fame.

    "Like Keith Jackson said, 'Whoa, Nelly,'" Boggs told the crowd after Selig ticked off his stats, ending with the line: "Legendary for his many superstitions" -- a remark that referred to Boggs' signature diet of eating chicken every day before playing in a game.

    "What a beautiful day this is," said Sandberg, whose plaque includes a description of his nickname, "Ryno."

    Boggs, a veteran third baseman of 18 seasons who retired in 1999, went in with a Red Sox cap depicted on his plaque, although he also played five seasons for the Yankees and finished his career with two years in Tampa Bay, where he homered to record his 3,000th career hit.

    Boggs won his only World Series with the Yankees in 1996 and is remembered for riding around the Yankee Stadium turf on a horse with a mounted member of the New York Police Department after his team was victorious over the Braves in the climactic Game 6.

    "The horse is retired," Boggs said when asked about the incident during a press conference on Saturday.

    Boggs said on Sunday that he was "humbled and overwhelmed" about being inducted into the Hall, getting out his first words without crying, contrary to his Saturday prediction. It took Boggs about 11 minutes into his speech before he began choking up as he thanked members of his family and remembered his late mother.

    "My train ride began in 1976 in Elmira, N.Y., and has had many stops along the way," Boggs said. "Today, that train has pulled into Cooperstown, N.Y. I found a new family here in the Hall of Fame. And my wife and I believe this is the beginning of another baseball journey."


    "My train ride began in 1976 in Elmira, N.Y., and has had many stops along the way. Today, that train has pulled into Cooperstown, N.Y."
    -- Wade Boggs


    Devil Rays managing general partner Vince Naimoli, Red Sox owner John Henry, and Yankees vice president and special advisor Gene Michael were on hand as the 12-time American League All-Star, who finished with 3,010 hits, became only the 12th third baseman to be inducted in the Hall.

    A slew of former Cubs teammates were on hand as Sandberg became the 17th second baseman to be ushered into the red-bricked 66-year-old building, which stands on upper Main Street as a monument to the hallowed history of baseball.

    Current Cubs president Andy MacPhail was in attendance, joining former manager Jim Frey, former general manager Dallas Green, and Larry Bowa, Bob Dernier, Mark Grace and Andre Dawson, all of whom played with Sandberg during different eras of his 15-year career.

    "I'm one of the guys they call a crusty old veteran and I have to admit when I said something to him on [Sunday] morning when we talked briefly, I broke up," said Frey, Sandberg's manager on the 1984 Cubs team that lost to the Padres in the National League Championship Series.

    On the greens surrounding the Clark Sports Center were about 28,000 fans -- the third-largest turnout in Induction Weekend history behind 1995 and 1999 -- predominately clad in Cubbie blue. During the hour-long introductions of the living Hall of Famers, those fans saved their loudest cheers for former Cubs Ferguson Jenkins and Williams, who rose for a second time to acknowledge the cheers.

    "That's the first curtain call of the day," said Gary Thorne, the ESPN and Mets announcer, who came out of the bullpen to moderate the festivities in place of George Grande, the long-time regular who stayed home because of illnesses in his immediate family.

    Earlier, when Jenkins was greeted with a wonderful round of applause, Thorne joked: "Seems to be some Cub fans here today. I wonder why?"


    "I feel like every Cub fan in the world is with me today."
    -- Ryne Sandberg


    With Sandberg speaking from the heart, one Cubs fan told him loudly, "We love you."

    Sandberg stopped for a split second and said: "I love you, too."

    Later in the speech, Sandberg made a direct reference to his love affair with Cubs fans.

    "Seeing all these Cubs fans out there, it seems like a home game for me," he said. "I feel like every Cub fan in the world is with me today."

    But the theme of the oratory was that Sandberg played the sport "the way it's supposed to be played."

    "If there's a single reason I'm here, it's because of one word: respect," said Sandberg, whose voice never cracked. "I was taught to respect the game above everything else. I was in awe every time I walked on the field. That's respect. I was taught you never, ever disrespect your opponents or your teammates or your organization or your manager. And never, ever disrespect your uniform. "

    Sandberg came up in the Phillies organization, but he was traded to the Chicago Cubs before the 1982 season. He was the premier second baseman in the National League during his time, winning nine Gold Gloves. He was also a 10-time NL All-Star and took the league's MVP award in 1984.

    The lefty-swinging Boggs won five American League batting titles, all during his 11 seasons in Boston, and finished with a lifetime .328 batting average, plus a .415 on-base percentage. Boggs reached safely in 80 percent of the 2,432 games he played.

    Coleman, who played second base for the Yankees and was MVP of the 1950 World Series, has spent his last 33 years in San Diego describing great Padres plays by "hanging a star on that one" or punctuating a special moment with his signature, "Oh, doctor!"

    "I've finally come home," he said about Cooperstown as the exclamation point to his remarks.

    Gammons has been with ESPN since 1988, but he still called himself "an ink-stained wretch," in honor of his newspaper roots.

    "Because I am a human, I have the right to like people," he said, explaining the reason for his many strong relationships with baseball players and personnel. "But because I am a professional, I have no right to dislike anyone."

    ============================== =========================

    Of course, I am so happy for Ryne Sandberg. He was the quiet guy that played the game with respect and class. Congrats to both Ryne and Wade on a well deserved honor.

    May I recommend checking out mlb.com where you can hear their induction speeches? Both speeches were excellent.
    "You don't own a TV?!? What's all your furniture pointed at?" Joey Tribianni

    It's not who you are underneath, but what you do that defines you.

  2. #2
    Starbucks is your friend Bill's Avatar
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    Oct 2002
    Also congratz to Jerry Coleman, who I listened to for years as the voice of the (my) Padres. Well deserved inductee to the broadcaster side of the Hall.
    "George Oscar Bluth II, aka GOB, featured magician in the best selling videotape, "Girls With Low Self Esteem" invites you to enter his world.
    -- Arrested Development, Season III

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