COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. (AP) — Jayson Stark accepted the J.G. Taylor Spink Award for meritorious contributions to baseball writing on Saturday afternoon at Cooperstown’s Doubleday Field, and he was moved by the moment.
“I am literally living the dream. It feels like it is happening to somebody else,” said Stark, a Phillies beat writer and national columnist for The Philadelphia Inquirer from 1979-2000. “This would be the honor of a lifetime even if it wasn’t voted on by the baseball writers, but that makes it more special because all I ever wanted, from the time I was a kid, was to be one of you (baseball writers).”
Stark, acclaimed for mixing humor with impeccable knowledge during more than four decades, also wrote for and appeared on ESPN and now writes for The Athletic and appears on MLB Network.
The late broadcaster Al Helfer was honored with the Ford C. Frick Award for excellence in broadcasting. Helfer, who died in 1975, broadcast his first game at age 16 in 1933 for Pittsburgh and also worked games for the Cincinnati Reds, New York Yankees, and Brooklyn Dodgers and later called games on radio for the Mutual Game of the Day in the 1950s. Helfer called 14 no-hitters and such memorable moments as Gabby Hartnett’s Homer in the Gloamin’ in 1938 and Bobby Thomson’s NL pennant-winning home run for the Giants in 1951.
The Hall of Fame inductions ceremony is Sunday. Relievers Mariano Rivera and Lee Smith, designated hitters Edgar Martinez and Harold Baines, and starters Mike Mussina and the late Roy Halladay will be honored.