Schechter: My Proudest Moment at the Hall of Fame

From SABR member Gabriel Schechter at on June 27:

Maybe it’s fitting that my proudest moment at the Hall of Fame did not occur at the museum or even in my office in the library, but outdoors at the Clark Sports Center. Though I enjoyed every day I spent at the library (except for the last one), we’re coming up on the fifth anniversary of the one moment which, for me, crystallized the Hall of Fame’s threefold mission to “preserve history, honor excellence, and connect generations.” That all happened on July 30, 2006, at the annual induction ceremony.

That was the year when the Hall of Fame went back in time and inducted 17 significant figures from the old Negro Leagues.


Traditionally, the plaque text has been written by the Hall’s head of public relations. … The exception to this practice was 2006, when [Jeff] Idelson understandably felt that the workload of composing 18 plaques (the 17 Negro Leaguers plus BBWAA electee Bruce Sutter) was too much. Instead, the assignment was delegated to three members of the library’s research staff: Tim Wiles, Bill Francis, and me. We actually held a draft to decide who would write which plaques; Bill [Francis] and I chose six apiece, and Tim [Wiles] did five. I don’t remember the order of my first five picks, but they were Sol White, J.L. Wilkinson, Biz Mackey, Cum Posey, and Jud Wilson. My last pick was a guy I knew nothing about, Andy Cooper. Little did I know that just a few months later, his plaque would result in my proudest Hall of Fame moment.

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Originally published: June 27, 2011. Last Updated: June 27, 2011.