Weekend update

Dawson, Harvey and Herzog anticipating their Hall of Fame enshrinement

July 16, 2010
The Class of 2010: Andre Dawson, Doug Harvey and Whitey Herzog (National Baseball Hall of Fame Library)

COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. – Soon, the day they worked and dreamed about will be upon the Baseball Hall of Fame Class of 2010.

Now, a week’s worth of anticipation is all that stands between Andre Dawson, Doug Harvey, Whitey Herzog and Cooperstown.

“It changes your life drastically,” said Dawson of being elected to the Hall of Fame. “I couldn’t have imagined it.”

Dawson, Harvey, and Herzog will be enshrined at 1:30 p.m. EDT Sunday, July 25, at the Clark Sports Center in Cooperstown – completing a journey that began last winter when they were elected to the Hall of Fame. Friends, family and thousands of fans will join them for the Induction Ceremony, which will be televised live by MLB Network.

Admission to the Induction Ceremony is free and open to the public.

For Dawson, the thought of the moment has been daunting.

“I’ve been trying to be sure I’m in control of my emotions, but there’s no way to really anticipate what’s going to happen,” said Dawson, whose 21-year big league career with the Expos, Cubs, Red Sox and Marlins featured eight All-Star Game selections, eight Gold Gloves and the 1987 National League Most Valuable Player Award. “It’s a once-in-a-lifetime event.

“I was in awe when I took my Orientation Tour in May, but this is going to be even more special. Now I fully understand why it’s so tough to get into the Hall of Fame. It’s very, very sacred.”

For Herzog, Hall of Fame election has meant a flurry of activity – and a chance to reflect on a career path that took him from an on-field career as a utility player to a manager recognized as one of the game’s best.

“I’m looking forward to being enshrined, because there’s a lot of people and things I’m thankful for,” said Herzog, who managed the Rangers, Angels, Royals and Cardinals – advancing to the postseason six times and winning the 1982 World Series title. “I’m alive, healthy and very grateful that I’m going to be a member of the Hall of Fame.”

For umpire Doug Harvey – just the ninth arbiter to be elected to the Hall of Fame – the reality of enshrinement has yet to sink in.

“I never set out to go to the Hall of Fame,” said Harvey, who was a crew chief in 18 of his 31 big league seasons. “But I guess that at some point I knew I wanted to get there. It’s just beyond a dream.”

Despite the enormity of the moment, however, each of the new Hall of Famers is expecting to have a little fun next weekend – especially with their new Hall of Fame teammates.

“I know the Hall of Famers do some hazing of the new members,” Dawson said. “But I’ve got some pretty thick skin. They’ll get me, but I’ll take my shots, too.”

Craig Muder is the director of communications for the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum