While the BBWAA only votes for players, the many forms of the Veterans Committee tends to only consider players, managers, umpires, and executives. In doing so, it ignores the baseball people that did their best as a coach or instructor. It rules out two people associated with the St. Louis Cardinals for many years.
Dec 9, 2013; Orlando, FL, USA; Newly-inducted Baseball Hall of Fame managers Tony La Russa, Joe Torre and Bobby Cox (l-r) pose for a photo during the MLB Winter Meetings at Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin. Image Credit: David Manning-USA TODAY Sports
The first is longtime instructor George Kissell. Kissell was with the Cardinals for 68 years and is credited with creating The Cardinal Way, an idea that is still in use to this date.
Fox Sports Midwest writer Stan McNeal touched on the subject today and it’s one that I am very much in agreement with. After all, Kissell played a big influence on two Hall of Fame managers that will be inducted this summer: Tony LaRussa and Joe Torre.
Because the previously mentioned committee does not really consider those people had their best achievements as a coaches or scouts, the only way to be honored by the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown is by being named as a recipient of the Buck O’Neil Lifetime Achievement Award. The award has been given out in 2008, 2011, and once more in 2014. Unless the Hall changes it up, the next one is due out in 2017. From the Hall’s description of the award:
"The Buck O’Neil Lifetime Achievement Award is presented by the Hall of Fame’s Board of Directors not more than once every three years to honor an individual whose extraordinary efforts enhanced baseball’s positive impact on society, broadened the game’s appeal, and whose character, integrity and dignity are comparable to the qualities exhibited by O’Neil. The Award, named after the late Buck O’Neil, was first given in 2008, with O’Neil being the first recipient."
This means there is plenty of time for a letter-writing campaign to be organized in the same way as the Stand for Stan campaign.
According to the Hall:
"Nominations may be submitted by anyone, to the Hall of Fame, at any time, in writing. Nomination should detail how the proposed candidate carries O’Neil’s extraordinary traits. Nomination may be submitted to: Buck O’Neil Lifetime Achievement Award, National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, 25 Main Street, Cooperstown, NY 13326. Only submissions received by mail will be considered."
Kissell ought to be recognized by the Hall of Fame for everything that he did for the Cardinals organization until his passing in 2008.
The second person is Dave Duncan. LaRussa tells McNeal that the Hall is considering honoring coaches and scouts in the same way that they do broadcasters and writers. I like that idea very much because a Hall of Fame without the game’s greatest pitching coach is not complete.