Today I am being inducted into the Chattanooga Baseball Hall of Fame. Any time you are inducted it is an honor, and this induction will mark my 17th Hall of Fame. I am especially honored to be inducted tonight with Cal Ermer. Cal was an infielder, and later became the manager of the Washington Senators. When they moved ot Minnesota he moved with them and managed there for many years.
Cal and I are the first people to be inducted here in Chattanooga, which is a special distinction as well. I was also the first person to be inducted into the Albuquerque Baseball Hall of Fame. Here is a list of all 17 Halls:
National Baseball Hall of Fame (1997)
Pacific Coast League Hall of Fame (2006)
Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame (2006)
Italian American Sports Hall of Fame (1989)
California Sports Hall of Fame (2006)
Montgomery County Coaches Hall of Fame (2002)
South Atlantic League Hall of Fame (2001)
Albuquerque Baseball Hall of Fame (2007)
Louisiana Italian American Hall of Fame (1985)
Cleveland Italian American Hall of Fame
Rhode Island Italian American Hall of Fame
Philadelphia Sports Hall of Fame (2009)
Inland Empire 66ers Hall of Fame (2009)
Cuban Baseball Hall of Fame (2010)
Brooklyn Professional Baseball Hall of Fame (2009)
Ogden Professional Baseball Hall of Fame (2009)
My travels have taken me to Chattanooga, home of our double-A team, the Chattanooga Lookouts. It is an outstanding town, as the people here are courteous and hospitable. In fact, if you are ever here, amke sure you eat at the Blue Plate. It is right around the corner from AT&T Stadium where the Lookouts play, bt more importanly, the food is delicious.
When you go in, ask for Rob Gentry, and tell him Tommy sent you.
And make sure you have the pancake!
On this date, in 1997, I was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame. It was something that I never thought possible. Baseball has been played for well over 100 years, and back in ’97 there were only 13 managers in the Hall of Fame. Ted Williams called me to let me know that I was being inducted, and I will never forget what he said, “I thouht I was the only guy here who loved you, but I was wrong, everybody here loves you.”
Since being inducted I have tried my best to represent the Hall of Fame to the highest degree of class, dignity and character. Many of my heroes are enshrined there, and I love making the annual trip. If you are a baseball lover you really owe it to yourself to go to the museum. Believe me, it’s worth it.