Van Horne, Conlin and Hemond will be honored during Saturday’s Awards Presentation
COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. – Hall of Fame Award winners excel at being able to communicate insight on the game of baseball.
Dave Van Horne did it over the radio for fans with play-by-play, Bill Conlin did it with a pen and paper for the readers of the afternoon newspaper and Roland Hemond did it for baseball franchises as an executive and general manager.
On Saturday, each man will be honored for their unique contributions to the game of baseball during the first-ever Hall of Fame Awards Presentation during Hall of Fame Weekend.
The one-hour program will begin at 4:30 p.m. at Cooperstown's Doubleday Field and feature the presentation of the Ford C. Frick Award for broadcast excellence to longtime Expos and Marlins announcer Van Horne, the J.G. Taylor Spink Award for meritorious contributions to baseball writing to Conlin of the Philadelphia Daily News and the Buck O'Neil Lifetime Achievement Award to veteran baseball executive Hemond. Also as part of the Awards Presentation, singer/songwriter Terry Cashman will perform his classic hit "Talkin' Baseball (Willie, Mickey and The Duke)" in recognition of the 30-year anniversary of this legendary tune.
Van Horne, Conlin and Hemond all participated in conference calls on Tuesday in advance of the big weekend. Conlin spoke to his fellow reporters about his previous Hall of Fame Weekend experiences. He has been to Cooperstown before as a member of the media to cover Induction.
"I covered two or three Inductions in Cooperstown. I think the first one was for Joe Morgan (1990) – one of the wettest in history."
But this year, Conlin will be on the other side of the stage when he is honored for his contributions. Joining him will be Van Horne, who is more familiar with a microphone.
"As a result of this award from the Hall of Fame, I've probably done more radio and TV interviews than I've done before in any given season," said Van Horne. "I'm overwhelmed by the thought of sharing the stage with the people that will be up there. To stand up there with all of those baseball greats – all those Hall of Famers that will be there – I'm really humbled by it."
Hemond felt similarly the day he received the call that he would be the second winner of the Buck O'Neil Lifetime Achievement Award.
"I was quite emotionally broken up when I got the news from (Hall of Fame Chairman of the Board) Jane Forbes Clark," he said. "This one tops it all."
All three award winners have dedicated their lives to baseball and will be recognized for their contributions in Cooperstown. Even after the announcement of these distinguished awards honoring their long careers, each man continues to share the game with others and is still actively practicing his respective craft.
"I haven't lost any of my enthusiasm or love for the game," said Hemond. "I still arrive early and leave late and enjoy the progress being made."
Samantha Carr is the manager of web and digital media for the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum