COOPERSTOWN – Mariano Rivera, Class of 2019, honored as the only Hall of Fame inductee elected unanimously on the first ballot, is getting another honor today – at the White House.
At a reception today, President Trump plans to honor Rivera, the Yankees vaunted relief pitcher, with the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Here’s the complete citation.
“During his 19 seasons in Major League Baseball, Mariano Rivera established himself as the greatest relief pitcher of all time. Signed by the New York Yankees in 1990, Mr. Rivera went on to become a 13-time All-Star and 5-time World Series champion. He is the first player in the history of the sport to be elected unanimously into the National Baseball Hall of Fame.
By JENNIFER HILL & JIM KEVLIN • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com
COOPERSTOWN – Induction 2019 was notable for what didn’t happen as much as did.
One, the folks who didn’t collapse from the heat.
A violent storm late Saturday broke the humidity that created a steamy high of 88, making way for much drier Induction Day Sunday, July 21, with highs in the low 80s and a slight breeze keeping the Induction crowd feeling more comfortable than expected.
Two, the parade that didn’t happen.
Due to a pending thunderstorm that didn’t happen (until later), the Hall cancelled what’s become a weekend highlight: The Parade of Legends. Still, as most the Hall of Famer stayed enclosed in the cabs of pickup trucks as they rolled down Main Street past thousands of fans, Johnny Bench, 71, hopped out and walked the distance, and other stars followed suit as 25 Main neared.
Three, the attendance record that wasn’t broken.
While the crowd of 55,000, as reported by the Hall, was 3,000 more than last year’s class that included Chipper Jones and Vladimir Guerrero, it still fell significantly short of the 2007 Cal Ripkin Jr./Tony Gwynn 82,000 record.
COOPERSTOWN – Vincent Carfagno knows the importance of service with a smile.
“I had Mariano Rivera here for a signing and, when I drove him to the airport, I told him he was going to the Hall of Fame,” he said. “This year, when he was doing his walkthrough in January, I went over there and gave him a big smile – he came over, gave me a hug and said ‘It’s good to see you.’”
Carfagno, the owner of Seventh Inning Stretch, will have an exclusive signing with the Hall of Famer on Monday, July 22. “Mariano’s agent called me up and said that he said, ‘If I have to do a signing, I’ll only work with Vinnie,’” he said.
Mariano Rivera’s admirer opened the store in the former Smalley’s Theatre in 1995. “When I got here, I rented 550 square feet and sold baseball cards,” he said. “There was a bookstore in the back and a few other stores.”
Surrounded by a phalanx of TV cameras in the Hall of Plaques (and with Babe Ruth, inset, peeking over his shoulder), Edgar Martinez said he’s proud of the shared heritage he and Yankee superstar Mariano Rivera will bring to the Baseball Hall of Fame Induction ceremony on July 21. He diplomatically side-stepped one reporter’s observation that Martinez batted 572 when facing Rivera on the mound. Martinez, who played 17 years with the Seattle Mariners, is in Cooperstown today going through his pre-Induction orientation at 25 Main St. He was a seven-time MLB All-Star, five-time Silver Slugger, and two-time batting champion. (Jim Kevlin/www.AllOTSEGO.com)
Standing in front of Minnesota Twins infielder Rod Carew’s plaque, Yankees pitcher Mariano Rivera reflected on the legacy of the first Panamanian elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame. “I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for him,” he said. “He made it possible for me to follow him.” Rivera, the first player elected to the Hall of Fame with 100 percent of the votes on the ballot, toured the Hall this morning as part of his pre-induction initiation, signing the spot where his plaque will be hung during the July 21 induction and posing with a fan, at right. “If you told me when I got on a plane to the United States at age 20 to play baseball, that after playing 19 years I would be sitting here, I wouldn’t have believed you,” he said. “It’s freezing outside, but being here warms my heart.” (Patrick Wager, AllOTSEGO.com)
COOPERSTOWN – Baseball Hall of Fame President Jeff Idelson just announced Edgar Martinez, Roy Halladay, Mike Mussina and Mariano Rivera have been elected by the Baseball Writers Association of America as the Class of 2019 and will be inducted into the Hall at the end of July.
Rivera went in with 100 percent support, the first inductee ever to get a unanimous vote.
COOPERSTOWN – The Baseball Hall of Fame’s ballot for next year’s Induction is being mailed this week to the 400 voting members of the Baseball Writers Association of America. It includes pitcher Mariano Rivera among 20 new candidates.
Others include pitchers Roy Halladay and Andy Pettitte; infielders Todd Helton, Michael Young, Miguel Tejada and Plácido Polanco; and outfielder Juan Pierre will join 15 holdovers from the 2018 balloting
Candidates must be named on 75 percent of ballots cast by selected BBWAA members with 10 or more consecutive years of MLB coverage to gain election.
SCHENEVUS – Felicita Rivera, 81, passed away Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2016, at Albany Medical Center. She retired to Schenevus 15 years ago, near her daughter Dinah and son Barry.She was born on May 2, 1935 in Humacao, Puerto Rico; the daughter of Aureo and Petra (Sanchez) Jimenez.
In addition to her daughter and son, she is survived by many grandchildren and great-grandchildren, her brothers and sisters and her numerous nieces, nephews and friends.
ONEONTA – In 1973, as the first performance of the newly dubbed Catskill Symphony Orchestra
under conductor Charles Schneider ended, the room was silent.
“The audience was so stunned they didn’t applaud for about 20 seconds,” said Schneider’s friend Carlton Clay, SUNY Oneonta music professor and trumpet player with the CSO and other orchestras. “Then they jumped to their feet and clapped. It was quite a moment.”
Schneider, went on to conduct the CSO for 45 years.
He died Friday, Oct. 9, at age 84, at his Frankfort home.
A Minnesota native, Schneider was a graduate of Cornell College of Iowa, then studied piano at the Juilliard School of Music in New York City.
Initially, he made a name for himself on Broadway as a musicals man, conducting two tours of “West Side Story,” including one with a then-unknown Christopher Walken, and a six-month engagement of the show at Lincoln Center.
“He was one of Leonard Bernstein’s favorite conductors,” said Tom Morgan, Franklin, a longtime CSO board member and president.
Schneider went on to conduct “Mame” and “Your Own Thing” on Broadway, plus Jimmy Durante’s Christmas Special. And he had a stint with the Ice Capades.
In 1972, Clay and his wife, Julia, a French horn player, were at the Aspen Music Festival, and in addition to playing, had been tasked with looking for a conductor.
“It took about five minutes to realize that Chuck was at the top of the list,” he said. “We made him the offer, but he had just signed on for an eight-month tour of ‘Kiss Me Kate’ with Chita Rivera.”
The symphony hired another conductor, but 10 months later, Schneider called back and asked if
the job was still available. It was.
For the 1973 inaugural season’s debut, Schneider invited his old roommate, Dustin Hoffman, to narrate “The Young Person’s Guide to Orchestra.”
“Dustin brought his family up to stay with us, but they got lost in the Catskills driving up,” said Clay. “He made it just in time for their one rehearsal!”
Of the 600 tickets – $5 each – available to that first show, 200 were sold. “A lot of people didn’t think Dustin Hoffman would show,” said Clay. “But attendance was better than it usually was.”
Even with a small audience, the show was a smash hit, and critic Robert Moynihan, Town of Middlefield, the retired SUNY English professor, wrote a review of the show, calling it, “An Orchestra to Be Proud Of.”
Schneider and Clay went on to co-found the Catskill Conservatory, bringing young performers to the area to play and teach, and was the founding musical director of the Glimmerglass Festival.
In addition to the CSO, Schneider was the conductor for the Schenectady, Utica and Clinton symphonies.
He was a four-time recipient of the ASCAP Award for Creative Programming & Performance Excellence and received the Governor’s Award for Musical Excellence, as well as a Congressional Citation of Musical Excellence.
“Musicians and soloists loved him, but on the board, he was very practical,” said Morgan. “If our budgets were tight, he would put himself in as a soloist to save money. He was willing to drive the van, help set up chairs, he would do anything required to make sure the symphony could perform.”
Turning 80, Schneider retired from the symphony in 2018, but continued to attend the concerts,
including the conductor search series.
He is survived by his wife, Rayna, son Dana Schneider (partner Sarah Feliu), daughter Megan Schneider (Ahmad Ajakh), and stepson Paul Baker (Kristie); seven grandchildren; sister Marian Knutson (Ronald)
and many nieces and nephews.
“Chuck was the most hard-working, kind, loving, generous person I have ever known,” wrote his stepson, Paul Baker, in a tribute. “To have been shaped by his love and example is the single biggest privilege I have experienced.”
“Chuck was a wonderful man in so many ways. His humility in accepting accolades, his pride in his orchestra’s musicians, his caring about their families,” wrote his wife, Rayna. “But above all, his joy in his family was paramount. He was a loving, giving husband, father, brother, and grandfather. He was simply one of the best people who ever walked this earth.”
The Clays continued to see Schneider socially, including a few weeks before he died. “He was cracking jokes, he played piano for us,” he said. “He was his full, ebullient self.”
“He’s the best friend I ever had,” he continued. “Or expect to have in this life.”
BASEBALL – Noon. Virtual Voices of the Game to honor Hall of Fame 2020 inductee Derek Jeter. Learn more about how the Yankees 5 world series titles with Jeter as the shortstop in every season. Jeter will be joined by fellow Hall of Famers Mariano Rivera, Joe Torre reflecting on their teams and the moments that shaped a dynasty. Visit baseballhall.org/events/virtual-legends-of-the-game-Ted-Simmons?date=0 for details.
COOPERSTOWN – As big league baseball makes its season debut, the National Baseball Hall of Fame Class of 2020, including Derek Jeter this Sunday, will headline a slate of virtual events July 23-26 in honor of what would have been Hall of Fame Weekend 2020.
Class of 2020 members Derek Jeter, Marvin Miller, Ted Simmons and Larry Walker will each be spotlighted in hour-long Legends of the Game programs starting at 12 p.m. this Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday on the Museum’s Facebook page at facebook.com/baseballhall.
Editor’s Note: Here’s an excerpt from today’s report in the New York Daily News on the Baseball Hall of Fame delaying this year’s induction.
COOPERSTOWN – This was supposed to be the big one, the grand slam of a doubleheader. Five years ago, Tim Gould started planning for it. This winter, Tim Haney began buying up wood and supplies in preparation and Art Boden was wondering how much staff he would need to handle it.
A year after huge crowds had descended on Cooperstown to see Mariano Rivera inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame, they would have Derek Jeter, the last true crossover star that baseball has had, going into the Hall of Fame at the end of July.
“Five years ago, when Jeter retired after Mariano, we said 2020 is going to be it, it’s going to be two big years in a row,” said Gould, who has owned and operated Cooley’s Stone House Tavern on Pioneer Street in Cooperstown for almost 16 years. “This was going to be a year that was bigger than the record years, we were all looking forward to 2020.
COOPERSTOWN – It was the moment baseball fans have been waiting for – and expecting: Derek Jeter has been named to the 2020 Baseball Hall of Fame.
“Derek Jeter is one of the most respected ballplayers of his generation,” said Tim Mead, Hall of Fame president, on the MLB Network Tuesday evening, Jan. 21, in his first induction announcement since taking the helm last summer.
“He has defined consistency and leadership and joins a distinguished list of Yankee greats as he takes his rightful place in the Baseball Hall of Fame.”
Widely anticipated to be inducted in his first year of eligibility, Yankees shortstop Jeter received 396 of the 397 votes cast, just one vote shy of unanimous and second only to former Yankees teammate Mariano Rivera’s 100 percent in 2019.
Joining him in the Hall of Plaques is Colorado Rockies outfielder Larry Walker, the first Rockies player to enter the Hall of Fame and only the second Canadian player to do so. He received 304 votes (76.6 percent) on his tenth and final year on the ballot.
“Walker has always been respected for his instincts,” said Mead.
Both will be honored as part of the Hall’s Induction Weekend July 24-27 in Cooperstown, along with catcher Ted Simmons and the late Major League Players Association executive director Marvin Miller, who were elected in December by the Modern Baseball Era Committee.
Also being honored that weekend will be the Ford C. Frick Award winner for broadcasting, Ken Harrelson, and the J.G. Taylor Spink Award winner for writing, the late Nick Cafardo.
Jeter, 45, spent all 20 of his MLB seasons with the Yankees, 1995-2014, was a member of five World Series championship teams, captained the Yankees from 2003 through the end of his career and finished with 3,465 hits, the sixth highest total in history.
He was the American League Rookie of the Year in 1996, was the runner-up for the AL Most Valuable Player Award in 2006 and finished third in AL MVP voting twice, in 1998 and 2009, and won five Gold Glove Awards for fielding.
He also won the Hank Aaron Award for hitting in 2006 and ’09, the Roberto Clemente Award for community service in 2009 and the Lou Gehrig Memorial Award for philanthropy in 2011.
Born in Maple Ridge, British Columbia, Walker, 53, batted .313 with 383 home runs over 17 seasons with Montreal, Colorado and St. Louis. A five-time All-Star, Walker was the National League MVP in 1997, won seven Gold Glove Awards for fielding and three Silver Slugger Awards as an outfielder.
With 70 percent of the vote, pitcher Curt Schilling once again failed to meet the 75 percent criteria. Roger Clemens received 61 percent of the vote Barry Bonds received 60.7 and shortstop Omar Vizquel received 52.6.