The New York chapter of the BBWAA hosts a big dinner every January to honor all the major award winners and others in baseball. The event was Saturday night.
Just as it started, Hall of Fame president Jeff Idelson came to the microphone and told the large crowd about the death of Hall of Famer Stan Musial. What a tough day for baseball, losing Musial and Earl Weaver.
If there is such a thing as an underrated Hall of Famer, it’s Musial. When you look at his statistics, it’s clear “The Man” was one of the 10 greatest players ever.
Here’s my Musial story:
In 2002, my first full year on the Mets beat, I was in Jupiter, Fla., to cover a Mets-Cardinals spring training game. The press box served lunch and you had to write your name on a clipboard before getting in line.
As I went to sign, I noticed the name above mine was Stan Musial. I introduced myself and he asked how long I had been covering baseball.
“Just a few months,” I said. “I used to cover college basketball.”
“Baseball is a great game, young man,” he said. “You’ll enjoy it.”
Baseball is a great game and people like Stan Musial helped make it so great.
The BBWAA dinner was a fun event. Miguel Cabrera, Buster Posey, David Price, R.A. Dickey, Mike Trout and Bryce Harper were all on hand to pick up their awards. So were Bob Melvin and Davey Johnson.
The New York writers also honored Jim Abbott, CC Sabathia, Nick Swisher and others. Phil Niekro was there and presented Dickey with the Cy Young Award.
But the highlight of the night came from Massachusetts native Jim Duquette and his daughter, Lindsey.
Jim, the former Mets and Orioles GM, donated a kidney to his daughter. Here’s their speech:
It was great to talk baseball for a night in January. Pitchers and catchers will be here before you know it.