Gillick thrilled to be the first member of Class of 2011
Pat Gillick was noticeably emotional on Monday at the press conference announcing his election to the Baseball Hall of Fame by the Expansion Era Committee.
"I'm an emotional guy," Gillick said while fighting tears. "I can't tell you how excited I was, very honored and excited. It's a thrill for me."
Gillick has spent 50 years in baseball as an executive with the Blue Jays, Orioles, Mariners and Phillies, building three World Series championship teams. In 27 seasons as a general manager, Gillick's teams earned 11 postseason berths and had 20 winning seasons.
"This is an honor that I share with the people I work with. You can't win championships or make it to the playoffs alone," he said. "It recognizes a lot of people who don't get recognized all the time.
"That's who I feel this honor is for; the owners, the scouts, the managers, the players, they all share in this award."
He thanked his colleagues, the media and fans for all their support over his career. The only candidate to receive the necessary 75 percent of votes cast by the 16-member Expansion Era Committee, Gillick will be inducted into the Hall of Fame on July 24, 2011 along with any candidates elected by the Baseball Writers' Association of America. Results of that election will be announced on Jan. 6.
Over half a century in baseball, Gillick has learned what it takes to be a successful executive.
"The keys to being a good general manager are to be a good listener and be flexible," he said.
Gillick has proven to be both. Now begins eight months of recollection on his career in baseball for Gillick -- who still serves as a Senior Adviser for the Phillies -- as he prepares his speech and gets ready to be presented with his bronze plaque in Cooperstown.
"I never felt I had a job," said Gillick. "I love going to work every day, it's a great job, great camaraderie, great people, and I just am so honored and thankful."
Samantha Carr is the manager of web and digital media for the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum