Category Archives: Awards
The HOF website’s anodyne summary of the Selig Era reads like the inscription for his plaque: “Allan H. ‘Bud’ Selig was Baseball’s ninth commissioner, serving as acting commissioner starting in 1992 before being named commissioner in 1998. Selig oversaw two rounds of expansion, the creation of Wild Card playoff teams and interleague play as well as the creation of the World Baseball Classic.”
It’s an incomplete summation of the man and his tenure. Selig not only oversaw the game’s greatest geographic expansion, he led the game’s greatest sustained economic expansion (per Graham Womack at the Sporting News, annual revenues went from $2 billion to $9 billion under his watch, a compound annual growth rate of about 8%). He negotiated and approved landmark television and merchandising deals, and led baseball’s “early adopter” efforts with regard to streaming technology (it was reported earlier this year that the Walt Disney Company took a stake in MLB Advanced Media; while details weren’t made public, it was estimated that the deal values the company at $3.5 billion).
Of course, Selig was acting commissioner when the most calamitous work-stoppage (1994-1995) in the history of the game took place (he was firmly in the corner of ownership). He is the only commissioner to preside over an October without a World Series; and it is under his leadership that the use of performance-enhancing drugs proliferated throughout the game…
Hugh Chalmers (b. 1873) was that most authentic American construct: The brazen, huckster industrialist. Part Henry Ford, part P.T. Barnum, the self-made Chalmers began his career at the age of 14 as an office boy at the National Cash Register Company; by the time he was 35, he owned an eponymous automobile manufacturer, the Chalmers Motor Company, renowned for building “medium-priced” cars aimed at a burgeoning and aspirant middle class.
The charismatic Chalmers was a born salesman who saturated newspapers with ads for his cars (“Not How Large but How Good” was a tagline). He sponsored road races and exhibitions to showcase his merchandise, and became something of an authority on marketing and promotion. He was a popular speaker on the Chamber of Commerce circuit, giving countless talks on the art of selling, which he described as “simply influencing the human mind.” His speeches were reprinted in newspapers, advertising books, and educational pamphlets.
Which is to say, Chalmers gave a lot of thought – a lot of thought – to how he might sell his cars to people who might not have known they wanted one.
The automobile man was also a baseball fan, and keenly aware of the sport’s immense and growing popularity in the early years of the 20th century (he was fond of peppering his speeches with baseball metaphors and imagery). In 1910, he hatched a marketing campaign that would dominate the summer headlines and become the progenitor of the modern MVP award:
“Fans all over the country are turning their attention to the battle which is being waged between the leading batters of the big leagues for a motor car, which has been offered for the batting championship this season.”–Milwaukee Journal, August 25, 1910
The motor car on offer was a Chalmers-Detroit Model 30. The man doing the offering was Hugh Chalmers.
Read the full story at Plate Coverage
If there ever were criteria for an award that matched up with Marcus Semien it would be the Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association’s (MLBPAA) “Heart and Hustle Award.” The award is given to one player on each team that,
“Demonstrates a passion for the game of baseball and best embody the values, spirit and traditions of the game. One player from each Major League team is chosen by the committees based on their passion, desire and work ethic demonstrated both on and off the field.”
Thankfully the members of the MLBPAA noticed this close comparison and named Semien the winner of the award for the Oakland Athletics. Of course there is a bigger, overall award that is voted on by former MLB players. It is the only award of its kind as only former players may vote for the winner.
The MLB winner will be announced on Nov. 15, 2016 at the 17th annual Legends for Youth Dinner in New York. The award is only about a decade old and the past overall winners include David Eckstein (2005), Craig Biggio (2006, 2007), Grady Sizemore (2008), Albert Pujols(2009), Roy Halladay (2010), Torii Hunter (2011), Mike Trout (2012), Dustin Pedroia (2013), Josh Harrison (2014) and Anthony Rizzo (2015).
It would be great to see Semien as the overall winner. As I highlighted above the award is mainly based on “passion, desire and work ethic.” I do not believe there is a better candidate out there than Marcus Semien.
By Chuck Booth (BBBA President)
This distinction goes to an outstanding individual in the MLB that reflects both a great leader in the game – but also off the field.
Here was a response from one of our members (A’s Chapter President – Jen Rainwater – and what she wrote about Doolittle, and his girlfriend Eireann Dolan.)
I had a tough time with this because I really like Jeff Francouer, he’s been a friend to the Oakland fans for years – he even tailgated with us on a day inspired by his friendship – Bacon Day – when he played in the AL we had Bacon Day three or four years in a row – so much so that the organization got in on it and had “Bacon Facts” etc up on the big screen during the game. He’s a great person!
However, Sean Doolittle and Eireann Dolan are two of the most amazing people on earth. They made national news helping the Syrian refugees but they do so much more just around the community striving for equality, helped the families of fallen police officers and helped to spread the word about drunk driving when a man named Diego was struck and killed by a drunk driver – getting his brother the chance to throw out the first pitch at a game and dedicated it to Diego. The hashtag #FirstPitchFoDiego got Doolittle’s attention and he helped the family, not to mention the million things that Eireann Dolan has done for LGBTQ rights – they are truly selfless and amazing people.
If you are interested here is a link to a piece I wrote on Doolittle and Dolan for FanRag Sports Network’s TodaysKnuckleball.com … it details many of their good works and is worth a read if you are having trouble with your decision. I’m not telling you who to vote for at all, just providing more information. I know Eireann Dolan and have insight about what she and Doolittle have done for the community that you may not find elsewhere! Thanks for reading this and I hope you will check out my post! Thank you!
Read Jen’s piece on Doolittle here.
I am not surprised Doolittle won here either. A lot of the BBBA members have had the ability to meet the man before, and all have come back raving about him.
By Chuck Booth (BBBA President)
Thanks to all who voted for this. We had a decent turnout. In a few cases, players were tied, and in that instance, I picked a player so that all 30 clubs were represented, or initiated a tweak to the AL and NL Lineups based on real player injuries.
Kershaw is injured, and will be replaced by the Braves Julio Teheran to give the Braves a player on the NL squad.
Rich Hill was the lone A’s player. Voted in for a tie, but put to the front of the line for that case.
Wil Myers is the lone representative for the hometown San Diego Padres.
Chuck Booth (BBBA President) Follow @chuckbooth3024
Follow The BBBA On Twitter Follow @baseballblogs
2016 “Joe Posnanski Award” Winner: Ken Rosenthal
***Given to a baseball writer who, along with quality writing, has a strong internet presence.***
- Ken Rosenthal: Rosenthal has been the lead field reporter for Major League Baseball on Fox for over a decade. He is also an insider on MLB Network. His blog can be found on FoxSports. In 2015, he won the Sports Emmy Award for Outstanding Sports Personality – Sports Reporter. You can follow him on Twitter at Follow @Ken_Rosenthal
Going against previous winners of the Award in Craig Calcaterra and Jonah Keri, Ken Rosenthal ran away with the voting late to pull down the BBBA’s 2016 “Joe Posnanski Award”.
Thanks to all that voted and participated in the poll. Over 40% of the members voted, with several of our enrollment having multiple websites listed.
The next Award we will be addressing this year will be a vote for the MLB ALL – Star Ballots in June, then we also have the Tony Gwynn Leadership Award in July.
As a member of the BBBA, you only have to cast your votes on 1 of the 5 Awards processes for the year, although you are welcome to partake in all of them.
***The views and opinions expressed in this report are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of bbba.work and their other members***
Chuck Booth – BBBA President
It is fantastic to be president of such an awesome collection of Baseball Bloggers. I hope we grow our membership to great heights in the coming years.
Each one of us has a passion for the game of baseball, and have many things we can teach one another.
Hunter Stokes (BBBA Featured Writer) Follow @stokes_hunter21
Follow The BBBA On Twitter Follow @baseballblogs
There is no doubt in the world that Mike Trout is the best overall player in the American League, and he is still the best player in the Majors (at least for now – until Bryce Harper has a better 2016 than him again in 2015), but his team is going to make it tough for him to win the MVP over the next few years.
The 2014 winner, and 3 time runner-up in 2012, 2013 and 2015 has to be wondering what his franchise is doing wasting his talent – by surrounding a mediocre supporting cast?
Having said this, the +175 odd is still about where it should be. If the Angels are in the race down the stretch, and he has better number than the field, Trout will take his 2nd trophy this season.
Honestly the odd that surprised me the most was the Manny Machado odd at +500. I am not questioning his talent, or the fact he should be a top 5 player for years in the AL; I am questioning the website for having the O’s ranked 14th out of 15 AL Clubs! Read the rest of this entry