Ron Darling, Peter Gammons, Brian Kenny, Al Leiter, Ken Rosenthal and Tom Verducci to Appear on Special Hall of Fame Roundtable Show This Friday at 9:00 p.m. ET
December 29, 2014 – The results of the 2015 National Baseball Hall of Fame ballot will be announced exclusively on MLB Network and simulcast on MLB.com on Tuesday, January 6 live at 2:00 p.m. ET as part of a four-hour announcement show beginning at 11:00 a.m. ET.
Featuring National Baseball Hall of Fame President Jeff Idelson and the first interviews with electees, MLB Network’s coverage will be anchored by Greg Amsinger, Brian Kenny and Lauren Shehadi with commentary from Bob Costas, Ron Darling, Kevin Millar, Harold Reynolds, Christopher Russo, and Hall of Fame voters Jon Heyman, Peter Gammons, Ken Rosenthal, Joel Sherman and Tom Verducci, and include segments analyzing the ballot from a sabermetric perspective. Live coverage and analysis of the Hall of Fame announcement will be featured throughout the day on MLB Network beginning with Hot Stove at 9:00 a.m. ET and continuing on Intentional Talk, MLB Now and MLB Tonight starting at 3:00 p.m. ET.
This week MLB Network will air a special Hall of Fame Class of 2015 roundtable show on Friday, January 2 at 9:00 p.m. ET, featuring Darling, Kenny, Gammons, Al Leiter, Rosenthal and Verducci debating the first-year eligible nominees, including Cy Young Award winners Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez and MLB Network analyst John Smoltz; returning candidates from previous elections, including All-Stars Craig Biggio, Jeff Bagwell and Mike Piazza; the election process, and candidates who deserve more consideration. The show will re-air on Sunday, January 4 at 6:00 p.m. ET and again on Monday, January 5 at 10:00 p.m. ET. Quotes from the program are transcribed below.
The day after the announcement, MLB Network and MLB.com will air the National Baseball Hall of Fame press conference with the electees live from New York on Wednesday, January 7 at 11:00 a.m. ET, followed by in-studio interviews with the electees at MLB Network later that day.
The Baseball Writers’ Association of America (BBWAA) 2015 Hall of Fame ballot features 34 candidates, including 17 holdovers from previous elections. Dick Enberg, who has spent close to 20 years calling Major League Baseball games in Southern California and is the current television voice of the San Diego Padres, has been selected as the 2015 recipient of the Ford C. Frick Award presented annually for excellence in baseball broadcasting. Tom Gage, the Detroit News’ traveling beat writer on the Tigers for 36 years, has been named the 2015 winner of the J.G. Taylor Spink Award presented annually to a sportswriter for meritorious contributions to baseball writing.
The 2015 National Baseball Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will be held on Sunday, July 26 and air exclusively on MLB Network and MLB.com.
Highlights from Hall of Fame Roundtable Show on the Class of 2015:
Tom Verducci on this year’s Hall of Fame ballot:
“I think there are more than three Hall of Famers, but when you do the math on this, I’d be shocked if we get a fourth in.”
Al Leiter on Pedro Martinez:
“He was intimidating, no question. He had a little bit of Don Drysdale in him. He’ll knock you down, as we know. Historically, he’ll move guys and hit guys and not be afraid. Pedro was very, very awesome to watch.”
Peter Gammons on Martinez:
“[Hall of Famer] Bobby Cox once made the observation that he’s the only pitcher [he’s] ever seen that the home crowd never goes to concession [stands] when the opposing team is at the plate because they don’t want to miss anything.”
Ken Rosenthal on Randy Johnson:
“My favorite stat for Johnson [is] 75 wins in his 40’s, 64 in his 20’s. He got better and sustained it throughout his career. Once he found it, he really found it good.”
Ron Darling on Johnson:
“He’s the only guy in Spring Training in West Palm Beach [who], when they asked you to step in there in the nine-slot and bat against him, I said, ‘This is not happening.’”
Verducci on John Smoltz:
“His numbers are plenty good enough to be a Hall of Famer. Even as a starter, they’re that good, [and] especially with the Postseason component. He lost only four games in his Postseason career. His teams scored a total of four runs in those four games. He was almost unbeatable.”
Gammons on Gary Sheffield:
“Sheffield had almost 1,400 walks and 1,100 strikeouts. He’s one of the most unique hitters I ever watched. He swung the bat so hard and didn’t strike out. He had Ted Williams-kind of numbers with walks-to-strikeouts.”
Rosenthal on Craig Biggio:
“This guy was basically what you wanted in a leadoff-type guy. The 3,000 hits, the extra-base hits, the on-base percentage, hit by pitches, all of this combined with the defensive versatility. Is he [in the] inner-circle [of Hall of Famers]? No. Is he a Hall of Famer? Yes.”