8 to be Inducted Into Hall of Fame
2017 Ambassador is Bonnie Fear
By TOM GIFFEN
Roy Hobbs Baseball
The Roy Hobbs Hall of Fame will induct 8 members with its Class of 2017.
The 11 were elected by the 43 current members of the Hall of Fame and the 12-member Board of Trustees in process that covered the summer months.
Additionally, the Trustees selected Bonnie Fear to receive the Hall’s Brian Mullen Ambassador of Baseball award, which recognizes their Meritorious Service as an Ambassador of Amateur Baseball.
The eight honorees for 2017 bring total membership in the Hall of Fame to 51, all of whom are pictured on the Hall of Fame wall in Roy Hobbs Player Development Complex office reception area.
The Class of 2017
Jim Ahlborn, Pittsburgh Baseball Club, Pennsylvania
George Blackwell, Minnesota Saints
Willie Boyd, Border City Brewers, Michigan
Dominick Catinella, OakLawn Pirates, Illinois
Ellen Giffen, Roy Hobbs Baseball, Florida
Mark Rienerth, Tidewater Drillers, Virginia
Fernando Roman, Puerto Rico LBBA
Bart Waldman, Washington Titans
The Class of 2017 and the Ambassador honorees will be presented and honored at an induction ceremony and dinner at the Dolphin Room of The Shell Factory in North Fort Myers on Sunday, November 11, during the 2017 Roy Hobbs World Series.
For more information on the honorees and the Hall of Fame, please check out the 2017 Roy Hobbs Hall of Fame Yearbook.
The Roy Hobbs Hall of Fame was developed in 2011-12 to honor outstanding baseball service and accomplishments on and off the field of amateur baseball players in the Roy Hobbs ranks.
The Roy Hobbs Foundation, which oversees the Hall of Fame, recruited a volunteer Board of Trustees in 2012 and tasked that group with developing a set of criteria and a mission statement. That group of 7 developed basic criteria and selection process as well as a Mission Statement, the second generation of which reads:
“The Roy Hobbs Baseball Hall of Fame is established to recognize and honor individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the game of baseball through their involvement with Roy Hobbs Baseball for at least 10 years, the Roy Hobbs World Series and their local leagues and teams. Individuals shall have made contributions as players, coaches, managers, umpires and administrators. Contributions should have been made on and off the field of play, all impacting the dugout; a prime consideration for induction is the individual’s contributions to the game, their teammates and baseball colleagues.”
While the Mission Statement places emphasis on contributions off the field, excellence on the field remains important. The Trustees have attempted to make it clear that character in the Dugout is an important part of any nomination for excellence on the field.
The Mission Statement was updated in 2015, while at the same time, the now-12-member Board of Trustees decided to establish the Ambassador of Baseball Award and named it after the first recipient, Brian Mullen.
The Hall of Fame selection process starts with nominations, which can come from anyone, and a nomination form is available at royhobbs.com/halloffame. Complete data on the nominee is important, and references are very helpful to the process.
The nominations are turned over to a vetting committee whose members interview the nominator and any references listed on the nomination. The nominators and references are asked a series of questions via email, and their answers go into the packet of material the screening committee compiles on each nominee.
The nominations and supporting materials are then sent to the Hall of Fame members with a ballot … anyone receiving a vote on 70% of the ballots returned by the Hall of Fame members is elected. In 2016, there are 43 members of the Hall, and 32 voted, meaning nominees needed 22 votes for election.
The Trustees validate the members’ vote and then review the nominations of anyone receiving at least 50% of members’ vote for possible inclusion. The Trustees then vote to see if anyone will be added to the current class. It takes a 70% vote of the Trustees as well.
There is no target number to elect to the HoF or as Ambassadors each year.
The Ambassador of Baseball Award is selected by the Board of Trustees each year. Nominations may come from anyone with an interest, and the number of individuals so honored each year will be at the discretion of the Trustees.
– Tom Giffen