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Cyclone792
05-31-2006, 12:55 PM
When I heard yesterday that Joe Nuxhall had been hospitalized, I got to thinking about Joe and the Hall. I pondered two questions, one of which is "Well, does he belong?" and the other question being, "Well, how could he get in?"

As far as the second question of how Joe could get in, there's two distinct ways that seem plausible. First, he could be awarded the Ford C. Frick Award - the Broadcaster's Wing of the Hall - and be inducted as a Hall of Fame Honoree, the same award that Marty Brennamen won in 2000 for his role of broadcasting. It is an award that is handed out annually since 1978, and other than the original year of 1978 when Mel Allen and Red Barber won it jointly, there has been one Ford C. Frick Award each year.

Secondly, Joe could be inducted as an actual Hall of Famer as a baseball pioneer for his lifelong contributions to the game (also the same category as an executive). There have been 27 people inducted as an executive or pioneer, and the first inductees occurred way back in 1937. Currently, the format is set up so the Veteran's Committee votes on umpires, executives and pioneers every four years, with the next vote scheduled to occur in 2007 (the current screening list for the 2007 ballot for umpires/executives/pioneers has 60 people on it, and Joe is not among them).

Now as to whether or not Joe truly belongs, that's entirely subjective. As a Reds fan, and knowing Joe's contributions to the Reds, I would wholeheartedly support his induction to the Hall, and of the two ways for him to be inducted, winning the Ford C. Frick Award and going in as a broadcaster would likely be more realistic.

Of course, I'm a Reds fan so I'm heavily biased in the regard of supporting Joe for the Hall, and most other Reds fans likely sit alongside me in that regard. This isn't a situation like individual players where we can scan over a statistical record and aim to be as objective as possible. It's subjective and emotional; we know what Joe means to us, and scores of Reds fans have loved Joe for several decades.

Does he belong in Cooperstown in our minds? You bet. Does he belong when comparing him to other pioneers associated with other organizations? That's an extremely difficult question to answer, and possibly impossible to answer, since it's a much, much larger issue. Certainly in my mind, Joe Nuxhall in the Hall of Fame would raise the standards of the Hall collectively, but that's just my biased take as a lifelong Reds fan.

All that said, I do know one thing for certain: Joe's a Reds icon who has been a part of Reds baseball for roughly six decades, and except for brief periods during his player career when he struggled in a Reds uniform, he's been immortalized in our hearts. When you can accomplish what Joe's accomplished, you're certainly doing something right.

Get well soon, Joe, we can't wait to hear you back again on WLW.

37red
05-31-2006, 01:18 PM
Joe's a baseball icon and I'm surprised that he isn't already part of the hall. He was the youngest to ever play professional ball, isn't that enough? He has contirbuted for years and years, I'll bet a large number of people in other cities know of him, that is anyone over 40.

westofyou
05-31-2006, 01:24 PM
Ohio HOF, Reds HOF, Baseball HOF?

Sorry, can't see it. Almost every organization can boast of a longtime icon that might be more worthy. Guys like Bobby Mattick and Marvin Miller would have a hard time crossing the line to get in, I can't see Joes accomplishments worth national recognition.

Cyclone792
05-31-2006, 01:47 PM
Yep, woy, that's part of what I was trying to grasp too. Trying to gain a feel for a person's popularity and contributions to one franchise and then applying those contributions across the entire spectrum of baseball is, at best, difficult to do.

BTW, how popular was Hoyt during his Reds radio broadcasting days? Relative to his time, did he enjoy a similar amount of praise and popularity that today's well-known radio broadcasters enjoy?

37red
05-31-2006, 02:15 PM
I was really thinking the youngest to play pro ball would make him a special part of the game, the announcer and icon just icing on the cake. No, he wasn't a special pitcher or anything and the icon point is true. Oh well, he's always invited over to dinner at our house.

westofyou
05-31-2006, 02:40 PM
BTW, how popular was Hoyt during his Reds radio broadcasting days? Relative to his time, did he enjoy a similar amount of praise and popularity that today's well-known radio broadcasters enjoy?

Hoyt, Harry and Brickhouse were the voice of the NL midwest for the post war boom, so yes Hoyt might have been second fiddle to the other two, but it wasn't by much. He was more reserved and edurite than Harry, but Harry had their ears more.

There is a great chapter in "Creating the National Pastime" (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0691058857/103-1924217-0871048?v=glance&n=283155) by White about the rise of radio and the cult of personalities it created.

cumberlandreds
05-31-2006, 02:45 PM
I thought Marty and Joe should have received the Ford Frick Award together. I can't think of one without thinking of the other. But as a player he shouldn't be in the HOF just because he happened to be the youngest player ever. That was just a gimmick during WWII to have him pitch that young (15). His overall stats don't put him close to HOF level.

Roy Tucker
05-31-2006, 02:56 PM
Yeah, Joe certainly is a Cincinnati baseball icon.

I think he's been up for the Ford Frick award before. It's conceivable that he could get in that way. Not likely IMHO. Joe's likability and long-time connections to Cincinnati baseball are endearing qualities, but he isn't really all that great as an announcer.

He's been in the Reds HoF for a while now. If there was an Ohio baseball HoF I could see him making that. As a player, he isn't even close to being MLB HoF worthy. His record of pitching at 15 was mostly a fluke of wartime baseball. After that one game, he didn't make it back to the majors till the age of 23. I love Joe, but MLB HoF? I don't think so.

OldRightHander
05-31-2006, 08:11 PM
Joe made Marty, at least to some degree. He was always able to offset Marty's cynicism in a way that really worked. I know Marty is a talented announcer in his own right, but I wonder what he would have been on his own.

wolfboy
05-31-2006, 10:49 PM
Yeah, Joe certainly is a Cincinnati baseball icon.

I think he's been up for the Ford Frick award before. It's conceivable that he could get in that way. Not likely IMHO. Joe's likability and long-time connections to Cincinnati baseball are endearing qualities, but he isn't really all that great as an announcer.

He's been in the Reds HoF for a while now. If there was an Ohio baseball HoF I could see him making that. As a player, he isn't even close to being MLB HoF worthy. His record of pitching at 15 was mostly a fluke of wartime baseball. After that one game, he didn't make it back to the majors till the age of 23. I love Joe, but MLB HoF? I don't think so.

You are correct Roy. Joe was a finalist (one of ten) in 2004 for the Frick award. That year the award went to former Giants/A's announcer Lon Simmons.

The pioneer angle is a really interesting one Cyclone. I wasn't aware that option was available for HoF entrance. Unfortunately, woy is probably right. That isn't a likely option for Joe.