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NYPL creates Hall of Fame08/14/2012 1:58 PM ET
New York-Penn League
The New York-Penn League (Class A Short-Season) announces the formation of New York-Penn League Hall of Fame.
The purpose of the New York-Penn League Hall of Fame is to recognize individuals for their overall accomplishments or contributions to the league on the field of play or in an administrative role.
"As the oldest, continuously operated Class A league in professional baseball, the list of players, coaches, field managers, general managers and owners reads like a Who's Who of Baseball," says Ben Hayes, president of the New York-Penn League.
Yearly Hall of Fame inductions will occur at the site of the league's annual All-Star Game.
The implementation of the New York-Penn League Hall of Fame will occur in three phases. The first phase (2012) will elect all current Baseball Hall of Fame members who played in the League. The second phase (2013) will elect league personnel and team officials. The third phase (2014 and beyond) will elect individuals as nominated and voted on by New York-Penn League member teams.
The following individuals comprise the New York-Penn League's Inaugural Hall of Fame Class:
Wade Boggs - Boggs hit .263 for the Elmira Pioneers in 1976. He would not hit below .300 again until 1992, his final season with the Red Sox. With the Red Sox, Boggs won five American League batting titles, including four consecutive titles from 1985-88. He remains the only baseball player in Major League history to collect 200 hits and score 100 runs in seven consecutive seasons. He was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 2005. He was elected to the NY-P League's All-Time Team in 2010.
Nellie Fox - Fox hit .304 for the Jamestown Falcons in 1944. Fox was a 12-time All-Star during his 19-year Major League career. He spent 14 of those years with the Chicago White Sox. The highlight of Fox's career came in 1959 when he helped lead the White Sox to their first pennant in 40 years and he was named the American League Most Valuable Player. He was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1997.
Phil Niekro - Niekro was 2-1 with a 7.76 ERA for the Wellsville Braves in 1959. Nicknamed "Knucksie" because of his usage and skill level with the knuckleball, Niekro went on to win 318 games in the Majors and was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1997.
Tony Perez - Perez played two full seasons for the Geneva Redlegs, hitting .279 in 1960 and .348 with 27 home runs in 1961. Perez was one of the premier RBI men of his generation, driving in 100 or more runs seven times in his 23-year Major League career. He was a seven-time All-Star and played on three World Series Champions with the Cincinnati Reds. He was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 2000 and was named a member of the NY-P All-Time Team in 2010.
Jim Rice - Rice hit .256 for the Williamsport Red Sox in 1971. One of the most feared right-handed hitters of his era, Rice clubbed at least 20 homers in 11 of his first 12 Major League seasons and led the American League in total bases four times, homers three times and RBIs and slugging percentage twice each. Rice was an eight-time All-Star and was named the AL MVP in 1978. He was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 2009 and was named a member of the NY-P All-Time Team in 2010.
Warren Spahn - Spahn was 5-4 with a 2.73 ERA for the Bradford Bees in 1940. He would go on to become the fifth-winningest pitcher of all time (363 wins) over parts of 21 years in the Majors from 1942 to 1965. He was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1973.
Robin Yount - Yount hit .285 for the Newark Co-Pilots in 1973, his only season in the Minor Leagues. Playing his entire 20-year Major League career with the Milwaukee Brewers, he collected more hits in the 1980's than any other player and finished with an impressive career total of 3,142. Yount earned MVP Awards at two positions. He was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1999 and was named a member of the NY-P All-Time Team in 2010.
Induction ceremonies are scheduled to take place during pregame ceremonies for the 2012 New York-Penn League All-Star Game in Niles, Ohio, home of the Mahoning Valley Scrappers, on Aug. 14.