Billy-Ball Daily: 2008-6-26

Billy-Ball Daily
Bill Chuck (Billy-Ball his own self)

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By Baseball Newstalgist, Bill Chuck

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The only spin here is on my screwball

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Top of the 1st
I was thinking about Jackie Robinson today.

The Hall of Fame introduced a new plaque that pays tribute to the cultural impact he had on the game and the country as the first black player in the major leagues. The new plaque adds “Jackie” under his full name, Jack Roosevelt Robinson, and the inscription reads:

“A player of extraordinary ability renowned for his electrifying style of play. Over 10 seasons hit .311, scored more than 100 runs six times, named to six All-Star teams and led Brooklyn to six pennants and its only World Series title, in 1955. The 1947 Rookie of the Year, and the 1949 N.L. MVP when he hit a league-best .342 with 37 steals. Led second basemen in double plays four times and stole home 19 times. Displayed tremendous courage and poise in 1947 when he integrated the modern major leagues in the face of intense adversity.”

The old plaque read:

“Jack Roosevelt Robinson
Brooklyn NL, 1947 to 1956
Leading N.L. batter in 1949. Holds fielding mark for second basemen playing in 150 or more games with .992. Led N.L. in stolen bases in 1947 and 1949. Most Valuable Player in 1949. Lifetime batting average .311. Joint record holder for most double plays by second baseman, 137 in 1951. Led second basemen in double plays 1949-50-51-52.”

“Jackie asked the writers to base his career on performance alone,” Hall of Fame Chairman Jane Forbes Clark said. “He told them that when considering his candidacy for the Hall of Fame, they should only consider his playing ability, what his impact was on the playing field and please not consider anything but that. When his plaque was written in 1962, it reflected his wishes. It only recounted his magnificent career.

Hall President Jeff Idelson said the idea of a revised plaque came from Hall of Fame second baseman Joe Morgan, who is also the Hall’s vice chairman. Morgan met with Rachel Robinson in January who agreed that the 35th anniversary of the Jackie Robinson Foundation, which Rachel Robinson established in 1973 to perpetuate her husband’s legacy was ideal timing for the new plaque.

I was thinking about Roberto Clemente today.

Clemente is a hero to the Yankees’ five-time All-Star catcher Jorge Posada. According to the New York Times, while in Pittsburgh to play the Pirates, Posada Tuesday visited a museum honoring Roberto Clemente. Posada grew up in Puerto Rico, as did Clemente, and he was a year old when Clemente died in a plane crash in 1972. Posada went with his teammate Jos