By Bob Nightengale |
The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum welcomes a huge six-man class on Sunday: Chipper Jones, Vladimir Guerrero, Trevor Hoffman, Jim Thome, Alan Trammell and Jack Morris.
Here’s some of the best, brightest and most emotional moments from Sunday’s induction ceremony:
“Hated facing you, bro. Had the most devastating changeup I’ve ever seen in my life.” – on fellow inductee Trevor Hoffman.
“All I can hear is, ‘Don’t. Move.’ – on a Class AAA brawl at Richmond when fellow inductee and then-minor leaguer Jim Thome extricated him from the pile and pinned him to the backstop.
“Pitchers had to go through the Jones Boys to beat the Atlanta Braves, and we took pride in that. ‘Druw, I am so proud to call you my brother from another mother.” – on longtime teammate Andruw Jones.
“Smoltzie always pitched like his hair was on fire. Makes sense, when you look at him now.” – on Hall of Famer John Smoltz.
“We decided to name him Cooper, in honor of this occasion.” – on his due-any-minute son, his seventh child. Jones famously named one of his kids Shea, a nod to his dominance of the Mets at Shea Stadium and everywhere.
“I doubt that record will ever be broken. For years, it was Lou and Tram. My hope is that Sunday, you will be up here as well.” – on former double-play partner Lou Whitaker. Trammell and Whitaker played together for 1,918 games, a record for a shortstop and second baseman.
“I looked at Sparky much like an extension of my parents. I’m so happy our lives crossed.” – on Sparky Anderson, Trammell’s manager for 17 seasons in Detroit.
“When I was a player, I was always happy to let my bat to the talking. Now that I’m not talking, I’m very glad to be standing here and talking to you.” – via translator Jose Mota.
“I came from a small little town in the Dominican Republic, Nizao Bani. Even more special today is that today, we celebrate Father’s Day in the Dominican Republic. Happy Father’s Day to all the pops.” (Vladimir Guerrero Jr., a top Blue Jays prospect, was among the crowd.)
“Allow me to drop an, ‘Oh, Doctor!’ on you!” – a nod to the catchphrase of World War II veteran and longtime Padres announcer Jerry Coleman.
“I was their human remote control. But I didn’t care because all I wanted was to be around them.” – on older brothers Greg and Glenn Hoffman.
“Unprecedented that you’re here today, bud, and I appreciate that effort.” – on his former manager Bruce Bochy, the first active manager who’s not a Hall of Famer to miss a game for the induction ceremony.
“We miss you all. And lost you all too soon.” – on Tony Gwynn, Ken Caminiti and other deceased teammates.
“To go in with my friend and teammate, Alan Trammell, is a dream come true. We signed together in 1976. And now, 42 years later, Cooperstown.”
“Whether in Little League or the big leagues, I would encourage all players to learn about the history of this game. The players behind me. Only then will you understand who you are and where you fit in with its history.”
“Charlie took a scrappy young kid who was anxious to hit a million home runs and actually encouraged those crazy dreams. From day one of that dugout in Kissimmee, he always believed in me. Thank you for your loyalty.” – on former hitting coach and manager Charlie Manuel.
“If you try to conduct yourself with honesty and authenticity, the result is the most natural high a human being can have.”
This article was republished with permission from the original publisher, USA Today. Follow Bob Nightengale on Twitter and Facebook.