Grandchild contingent salutes Hanlon Bunning tells the owners 'get your house in order'

Hall of Fame

August 05, 1996|By Jason LaCanfora | Jason LaCanfora,Dallas Morning News Pub Date: 8/05/96 SUN STAFF

COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. SUN STAFF WRITER BUSTER OLNEY CONTRIBUTED TO THIS ARTICLE. — COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. -- Earl Weaver wasn't the only former Baltimore manager inducted to the Hall of Fame yesterday.

Ned Hanlon managed the Orioles from 1892 to 1898 and won three consecutive championships beginning in 1894. Hanlon was innovator, implementing the hit-and-run, bunt and stolen base long before they were popular.

Hanlon died in Baltimore in 1937 and all nine of his children also are deceased. However, 118 of his grandchildren and other descendants were at the induction ceremonies and at one point they all stood in unison.

Hanlon's grandson Ed spoke on his behalf and noted the love fans had for Hanlon in Baltimore. Ed said he began a door-to-door route around Memorial Stadium selling products from Rice's Bakery many years ago, and as soon as the residents discovered he was Hanlon's grandson his sales increased like never before.

"My route tripled in sales, but I never told [my boss] the real salesman was my grandfather," Ed Hanlon said.

Hanlon said his grandfather was responsible for choosing the orange and black colors that are still worn by the Orioles today, and he has seen buttons with "Ask Hanlon" on them that were commonly worn by fans during his managerial days in Baltimore.

Stats the way it was

Joe Durso, a veteran New York Times baseball writer, told a Weaver story during his acceptance speech for the J.G. Taylor Spink Award yesterday.

Durso said current Orioles manager Davey Johnson used to spend nights in the mathematics department of Johns Hopkins running statistical studies of the Orioles lineup. Johnson's project, titled "The Optimization of the Baltimore Orioles Lineup," was aimed at getting Weaver to change his thinking.

Durso said as soon as Johnson handed the detailed printouts to Weaver, the manager tossed them in the wastebasket.

"And for good reason," Durso said. "Earl Weaver had already optimized the Orioles lineup."

When Weaver went to the podium, he said, "The only reason I threw it away was because it had Johnson batting cleanup in every lineup and Frank Robinson leading off."

Bunning calls for change

Jim Bunning, who spent most of his career pitching for the Detroit Tigers and Philadelphia Phillies, was the only living former player inducted into the Hall of Fame yesterday.

Bunning, a congressman from Kentucky, spoke for nearly 30 minutes and spent the latter part of his speech addressing the state of baseball.

"To the owners, I would like to say, get your house in order," Bunning said. "Figure out how you want to share your revenue without going to the players and asking them to foot the bill. Get an agreement with the players -- a long-term agreement, a minimum of 10 years.

"To the fans today, I would like to say, you made baseball our national sport, please don't give up on it now. To the owners and players alike, I would say, get a commissioner, a real commissioner.

"To the players, I would say, realize your obligations and accept the fact that you also have an obligation and duty to the game and to yourselves to conduct yourselves as gentlemen at all times."

In 17 seasons, Bunning was 224-184 with a 3.27 ERA, struck out 1,000 batters and pitched a no-hitter in both leagues. Bunning was bypassed by the baseball writers and, like Weaver, was voted in by the veterans committee.

More Weaver stories

Weaver's induction prompted some more stories from Davey Johnson about Weaver's battles with the umpires. Johnson said that sometimes, when Weaver would argue vehemently, the players had a hard time keeping themselves from laughing.

"When he'd argue, he was usually the small guy, looking up at the umpire," Johnson said. "But usually, in the argument, he came out looking like the big guy, moving his hat around against the umpire."

Johnson doesn't think Weaver intimidated the umpires. "But what Earl did, and which was perfect about it," Johnson said, "was that he would argue so much about every little thing, we as players wouldn't have to say anything to the umpires. Our focus could be on the other team."


Longtime Minnesota Twins broadcaster Herb Carneal, who spent five years calling Orioles games, was presented with the Ford C. Frick Award for broadcasting excellence. . . . Of the six former Orioles introduced at yesterday's ceremony (Luis Aparicio, Hoyt Wilhelm, Jim Palmer, Brooks Robinson, Frank Robinson and Reggie Jackson), the loudest applause went to Brooks Robinson, who acknowledged the salute with a big smile and a few shakes of the water bottle he carried on stage with him. . . . The last six Orioles general managers -- Lee MacPhail, Harry Dalton, Frank Cashen, Hank Peters, Roland Hemond and current GM Pat Gillick -- were in attendance. Ernie Tyler, who has been employed by the Orioles in varying capacities since the team's start in 1954, also was at the ceremony. . . . Bridget Lamb, one of Bunning's nine children, sang the national anthem.

Awaiting the Hall

Some of the more prominent names who will be eligible for Hall of Fame consideration for the first time in the next five years:

1997: Dave Parker, Tom Lasorda.

1998: Bert Blyleven, Gary Carter, Jack Clark, Pedro Guerrero.

1999: George Brett, Carlton Fisk, Dale Murphy, Nolan Ryan, Dave Stieb, Robin Yount.

2000: Sparky Anderson, Kirk Gibson, Rich Gossage, Jack Morris, Jeff Reardon.

2001: Tom Henke, Don Mattingly, Kirby Puckett, Lou Whitaker, Dave Winfield.

Note: Lasorda becomes eligible next year because candidates older than 65 need only be retired six months instead of the five years required of others.

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