Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Biscuits Hall Of Fame

THE NOMINEES
Even as the SL releases its list of HOF nominees, I had been working to put together a post about Montgomery and its greats. 
Hopefully this will spark a deeper convo about Montgomery's baseball history, what it takes to be a Hall Of Famer and who may have met those nebulous criteria.




The Montgomery Baseball Hall of Fame

Trivia Question: Who was the first person inducted into the Montgomery Baseball Hall of Fame?

If you don't know the answer, it isn't surprising. Fans are barely aware that there is a Hall for our baseball greats, but thats exactly the case.  Here, let me explain...

When the Southern League began its Hall last summer, it asked teams to handle their own inductees. Rules were loose, according to an article on Milb.com "We left it up to each team. We don't care how you do it, whoever you want as the first inductee is going to get in".

The sum is that the front office from each Southern League team submits a name from that city's past baseball notables and regardless of any reality that name went into the Hall. The inclusion requirements must be defined or it will be abused. How long before teams put their Mascots in? Mayors or politicians? Sponsors? Without regulation or oversight, its just a matter of time.

The Southern League Hall of Fame announced its inductees last summer - sadly whoever put the page together repeatedly misspelled our Hall of Famer's name.


Trivia Answer: Alan Trammell

A no-doubter, Trammell played on two pennant winners as a Montgomery Rebel in 1976 and 1977. He then went on to a pretty good career as a player, coach and manager, a possible Cooperstown candidate.



 KEEPING AN EYE ON
This is a topic that fans will pay attention to as we move into the season - the AllStar Game is the best opportunity for the Montgomery Biscuits to show the world how it honors baseball history. We probably won't get a another chance until 2025.

1948 Rebels All Star Ring


MONTGOMERY BASEBALL HOF BALLOT

Alan Trammell - check spelling, but he is already in.

Lou Whitaker - likely going in this year, how can he not be alongside Tram?



For further consideration, some of the standouts in our local history, not a complete list but just the first ones that came to mind...

MODERN ERA PLAYERS
1960-current

Steve Grilli - starting pitcher with spectacular 23w-10L over two seasons 1972-73

Barry Morgan - slugger hit 178 RBI over two great seasons 1967-68



Evan Longoria - on two championship teams in 2006-07, hit dramatic homer to put Montgomery into the playoffs.



VETERANS ERA PLAYERS
1945-1960

Dick Egan
Dick Egan - Montgomery's only pitcher with 200K in one season - led league in strikeouts 1959
Dick Greco



Dick Greco - hit 55 hr over two seasons, 1951-52, single season HR leader w/31. Only man to appear twice on our Top Ten Single Season HR list.



Davis
Handy
Johnny Davis/George Handy - first black players played for Montgomery in 1954, these two Negro league veterans endured perhaps the toughest southern city to integrate.



Lynwood Jones - pitcher won 18 games, 2.99 era for MGM in 1957

Joseph Chuka - Montgomery's last 20 game winner, 2.04 ERA in 1949

Dusty Rhodes - Alabama native starred in the 1954 World Series with the NY Giants.
Dusty Rhodes given car during hero's welcome


VINTAGE ERA PLAYERS
 1900-1945

Sam Streeter
Thomas Royal "Goat" Walker - winning-est hurler in city history, won over 100 games and won 20 games TWICE with Montgomery 1920s-40s.

Sam Streeter - negro league great, starred with MGM in 1920s
George Whiteman

George Whiteman - 1909-10 Mgm player, one of three men to lead MGM in Hr in back-to-back seasons. Was star player in 1918 World Series with Red Sox as Babe Ruth's platoon partner. All Time Minor League Leader with 3067 hits and Games Played with 2993. Already in the Texas league HOF.


19th CENTURY ERA
A.T.Pearsall - 1850's player brought the game to Montgomery in the 1860s.
Pearsall

Joe "Iron Man" McGinnity - can you put a 20 game loser in the HOF? The future MLB Hall of Famer won 15 and lost 20 for Montgomery in 1893, it was the first stop on the long career that ended in cooperstown.

King Bailey - 19 wins 1.76 era in 1896 for Montgomery


NON PLAYERS
Hoke Vandigriff - Owned Rebels, integrated Montgomery team in 1954.

Charlie Metro - won 298 games as Mgm player-manager 1950-'53, also Chicago Cubs manager. Longest tenured manager and most wins for Montgomery during the 20th century.

Billy Gardner Jr - Led Montgomery team longer than any other manager.
Joe Marcus

Joe Marcus - stadium PA announcer for Montgomery Rebels in the 1970s, avid Biscuits and Wings fan

Richard Chamberlain - Biscuits superfan has iron man status, missing just two games since Biscuits opened in 2004.



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