Womack: Hall of Fame should do more to honor baseball’s legendary writers

From SABR member Graham Womack at The Sporting News on March 2, 2016:

Let’s be clear. There isn’t really a writers’ wing at the Baseball Hall of Fame, even if that’s one of the most enduring myths about the place. Writers aren’t inducted into the Hall of Fame, even if other writers and fans seem to repeat this myth every summer.

What Cooperstown has is a “Scribes and Mikemen” exhibit that honors writers who win the J.G. Taylor Spink Award for “meritorious contributions to baseball writing” and broadcasters who win the Ford C. Frick Award . Each year, these award winners get to speak during induction weekend which is maybe part of the reason they’re seen as Hall of Famers. Or maybe the phrase “writers’ wing” just sounds more marketable than “media exhibit.”

The confusion over the name and role of the media exhibit at Cooperstown isn’t what bothers me most about it. My primary irk is that save for Roger Angell, who won the Spink award in 2014, the only writers in the exhibit are members of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America, traditionally newspaper beat writers and columnists.

This isn’t meant as a dig at Jim Murray, Red Smith or Shirley Povich, all writers who’ve influenced me. This also isn’t meant as a dig at the media exhibit, which I know I’ll check out the next time I’m in Cooperstown. I’d just like to see the exhibit expanded to include some of my favorite baseball writers who did work that placed them outside the BBWAA: Lawrence Ritter, Robert Creamer, Roger Kahn, John Thorn and Bill James to name five of the most deserving writers not in the exhibit, though there are many others.

Read the full article here: http://www.sportingnews.com/mlb-news/4696802-the-writers-wing-of-the-baseball-hall-of-fame-could-be-much-better

Originally published: March 2, 2016. Last Updated: March 2, 2016.