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  #1  
Old 10-26-2018, 05:33 AM
Heffalump Heffalump is offline
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Default Al Lopez and Nellie Fox HOF election

I read on another board that Al Lopez openly worked to prevent Nellie Fox's election by the Veteran's Committee. Any old timers know if that is true and if so, the backstory?

I always hear the story about how Lopez would not let Pierce start in the '59 Series either, but no one really knows why and Pierce was too much of a gentleman to talk much about it.

I know Lopez is a HOF manager, but some of these stories make me wonder about how good he really was (and what a d*ck he may have been as a person).
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Old 10-26-2018, 06:41 AM
LITTLE NELL LITTLE NELL is offline
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First of all IMO he was the best manager in Sox history but it seems like he did have some kind of problem with Nellie and Billy. Lopez was very strict and benched players or had them sent back to the minors for lousy play and lack of hustle, he is probably rolling in his grave if he is watching modern day Baseball.

I've read many articles down through the years that Lopez tried to keep Fox out of the Hall of fame when he was on the Veterans committee, I do not know this for fact as you can't believe everything you read. Lip Man, who has interviewed many ex Sox players who played with Nellie might know for sure if Lopez actually kept Fox out of the Hall. A little tidbit, Jimmy Piersall was a good friend of mine when we played Tennis at the Wheaton Sport Center, Jimmy hated Nellie and thought he wasn't that good and was not a HOF player, obviously we had many arguments about that plus many other discussions about Baseball.

It's a shame Nellie wasn't voted into the Hall the conventional way. In his last year of eligibility, the vote on Nellie was IIRC 74.7% and a player needs 75% to get into the Hall. A lot of people thought that the 74.7% should have been rounded out to 75% like every stat in Baseball is rounded out.
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Last edited by LITTLE NELL; 10-26-2018 at 02:41 PM.
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  #3  
Old 10-26-2018, 09:36 AM
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There's actually a recent discussion of this exact thing here on the board. Lip wrote up a long post on it, but I can't find it at the moment. If anyone knows where it is please link to it.

Wouldn't surprise me if the information originated here and filtered out to that other board.
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Old 10-26-2018, 10:39 AM
Lip Man 1 Lip Man 1 is offline
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Here is that post:

Having personally known Bill and talked about this with him one of the factors was that he had hurt his hip in 1959 and missed about six weeks. It was in fact a down year for him and that probably influenced Lopez' decision. Also the fact that Bob Shaw played so well came into play.

No question Bill was hurt by the decision but it was out of his hands as he told me in his interview:

ML: Your career continued to roll along culminating with the pennant year of 1959. For the city and the team it was the pinnacle of success, but for you personally, it wasn’t your best season. You missed six weeks with a hip injury and when it came time for the World Series, Manager Al Lopez passed you over for a starting assignment. Older Sox fans still insist, if you start Game #2, instead of Bob Shaw, and win, the Sox take the Series. How difficult was that for you being relegated to only four innings of relief work?

BP: "It was very tough. It was a real hard thing. I appeared in three games and pitched well but it was a disappointment. I still wanted the Sox to win, after all, they were my teammates but I was very glad when it was over. Let’s put it this way, I left town pretty quickly to try to forget about it all."

ML: Did that affect your relationship with Lopez, and what did you think of him as a manager?

BP: "Al was a real good manager. His record shows that. He was a solid percentage baseball guy. I honestly think the controversy affected Al more than me. I wasn’t the culprit; all I could do was what he told me. He had to listen to the fans who wanted me to pitch but I couldn’t do anything about it."

From everything I've heard and been told Al respected Bill and there weren't any issues between them. He just felt that Bill's injury may have compromised his ability to win in the series. Looking back it was a mistake because in a limited role Bill pitched well but at the time, Al made the decision he thought best based on the information he had at the time.

Regarding Nellie; Al had one big difference with him. Nellie consistently fielded throws from the catcher in front of second base as I recall and that bugged Al to no end (him being a catcher for many years in baseball). He kept telling Nellie to catch the ball farther behind the base also to avoid getting beat up and run into by guys like the Yankees Hank Bauer who consistently took him out.
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Old 10-26-2018, 03:24 PM
Paulwny Paulwny is offline
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From the book-Little Nell by David Gough and Jim Bard

( Unable to overtake the New Yorkers, Lopez was feeling the pressure. Following a loss to Kansas City in late August, he blistered his team in a closed door meeting accusing them of playing "sloppy and stupid baseball".Emerging from the session, he singled out Fox as a key culprit. "We haven't been playing alert, heads-up baseball," Lopez told the press. "And one reason is that we don't seem to have a take charge guy out there. We seem to lack leadership on the field. Last season Nellie Fox was the key man. He was the key man out there. But Nellie is having a bad year and it seems to have affected his leadership." Those were the first words of public criticism Lopez cast in Fox's direction, perhaps a signal that the relationship between the pair was less than optimal.)
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  #6  
Old 10-26-2018, 04:37 PM
LITTLE NELL LITTLE NELL is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paulwny View Post
From the book-Little Nell by David Gough and Jim Bard

( Unable to overtake the New Yorkers, Lopez was feeling the pressure. Following a loss to Kansas City in late August, he blistered his team in a closed door meeting accusing them of playing "sloppy and stupid baseball".Emerging from the session, he singled out Fox as a key culprit. "We haven't been playing alert, heads-up baseball," Lopez told the press. "And one reason is that we don't seem to have a take charge guy out there. We seem to lack leadership on the field. Last season Nellie Fox was the key man. He was the key man out there. But Nellie is having a bad year and it seems to have affected his leadership." Those were the first words of public criticism Lopez cast in Fox's direction, perhaps a signal that the relationship between the pair was less than optimal.)
I'm guessing that this was the 1960 season? Nellie batted .289 in 1960, led the league in triples, had a .353 OBP and of course made the All-Star team.
Lopez should have jumped on the starting pitching. Wynn won 9 less games than in 1959, Shaw finished at .500 at 15-15. Pierce had a nice season and went 14-7. The 4th starter was Herb Score who the Sox were hoping would find the success he had before getting hit in the eye off the bat of Gil McDougald a few years earlier, Score finished at 5-10. Frank Baumann came out of the bullpen and became a starter and finished at 13-6. 1960 was the year that Veeck brought in a bunch of veterans after trading away a bunch of future all-stars, the vets all had good seasons as the Sox hit the most homers in their history up to that point.
It was a 3 team race up until September in 1960 with the Sox, Yankees and Orioles fighting it out. The Sox were tied for first as late as August 14 and were only 3 out starting September. The Yankees had a great September and pulled away winning their last 13 games beating out Baltimore by 8 games and the Sox by 10.
Most old time Sox fans remember that the Sox lost some mojo after a Kluszewskl home run in a crucial game against the Orioles in mid August was dis-allowed because umpire Ed Hurley claimed he had called time out before the Klu homer. Lopez was as furious as anyone had ever seen him in his beef with Hurley.

Last edited by LITTLE NELL; 10-26-2018 at 05:20 PM.
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Old 10-26-2018, 05:28 PM
Lip Man 1 Lip Man 1 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LITTLE NELL View Post
I'm guessing that this was the 1960 season? Nellie batted .289 in 1960, led the league in triples, had a .353 OBP and of course made the All-Star team.
Lopez should have jumped on the starting pitching. Wynn won 9 less games than in 1959, Shaw finished at .500 at 15-15. Pierce had a nice season and went 14-7. The 4th starter was Herb Score who the Sox were hoping would find the success he had before getting hit in the eye off the bat of Gil McDougald a few years earlier, Score finished at 5-10. Frank Baumann came out of the bullpen and became a starter and finished at 13-6. 1960 was the year that Veeck brought in a bunch of veterans after trading away a bunch of future all-stars, the vets all had good seasons as the Sox hit the most homers in their history up to that point.
It was a 3 team race up until September in 1960 with the Sox, Yankees and Orioles fighting it out. The Sox were tied for first as late as August 14 and were only 3 out starting September. The Yankees had a great September and pulled away winning their last 13 games beating out Baltimore by 8 games and the Sox by 10.
Most old time Sox fans remember that the Sox lost some mojo after a Kluszewskl home run in a crucial game against the Orioles in mid August was dis-allowed because umpire Ed Hurley claimed he had called time out before the Klu homer. Lopez was as furious as anyone had ever seen him in his beef with Hurley.
Ask and ye shall receive:

August 28, 1960 - Of all the crazy games and things that have happened when the Sox played at Baltimore, this one topped the list. The Sox started the day 2 ˝ games behind the Yankees and trailed the O’s 3-0 going into the eighth inning. With two out, Luis Aparicio, Nellie Fox and Roy Sievers ripped consecutive singles, scoring a run and putting the tying runs on base.

Manager Al Lopez called on Ted Kluszewski to pinch hit.

“Big Klu” drilled the pitch from Milt Pappas into the right field stands for an apparent three run homer except for one small thing…

Third base umpire Ed Hurley called time! Nobody remembered seeing him do it but he refused to change his call. Fox were ejected in the confrontation afterwards and Lopez played the game under protest.

The next day Hurley was quoted in the newspapers as saying "I wish to heck I hadn’t called it, I’d gladly take it back...” End result was the Sox lost, and were now three games behind the Yankees.

Kluszewski later recalled that this game was the one that broke the team’s spirit that season.

Hurler later said he called time because two Sox players who were going to enter the game the next inning as defensive replacements were warming up to close to fair territory down the baseline.

Seems stupid umpiring didn't start with Joe West, Angel Hernandez or C.V. Bucknor did it??????????????
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Old 10-31-2018, 07:23 AM
Heffalump Heffalump is offline
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Thanks everyone for the feedback. Much appreciated!
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Old 10-31-2018, 12:27 PM
Dick Allen Dick Allen is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lip Man 1 View Post
Ask and ye shall receive:

August 28, 1960 - Of all the crazy games and things that have happened when the Sox played at Baltimore, this one topped the list. The Sox started the day 2 ˝ games behind the Yankees and trailed the O’s 3-0 going into the eighth inning. With two out, Luis Aparicio, Nellie Fox and Roy Sievers ripped consecutive singles, scoring a run and putting the tying runs on base.

Manager Al Lopez called on Ted Kluszewski to pinch hit.

“Big Klu” drilled the pitch from Milt Pappas into the right field stands for an apparent three run homer except for one small thing…

Third base umpire Ed Hurley called time! Nobody remembered seeing him do it but he refused to change his call. Fox were ejected in the confrontation afterwards and Lopez played the game under protest.

The next day Hurley was quoted in the newspapers as saying "I wish to heck I hadn’t called it, I’d gladly take it back...” End result was the Sox lost, and were now three games behind the Yankees.

Kluszewski later recalled that this game was the one that broke the team’s spirit that season.

Hurler later said he called time because two Sox players who were going to enter the game the next inning as defensive replacements were warming up to close to fair territory down the baseline.

Seems stupid umpiring didn't start with Joe West, Angel Hernandez or C.V. Bucknor did it??????????????
I remember listening to that game on the radio. Almost broke the radio.
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Old 11-01-2018, 12:26 AM
RadioheadRocks RadioheadRocks is offline
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I also remember seeing something in a Jerome Holtzman column years ago regarding the Fox-Lopez saga (I'm pretty sure it was Holtzman, he campaigned pretty hard for Fox and wrote several columns regarding the 74.7% injustice of that final BBWAA ballot). Apparently Mike North of the Score had spoken to Lopez on air via phone after the Veterans Committee vote (for one particular year), and North asked him about the vote. Lopez responded, "I'm not going to tell you how I voted". North fired back, "I think you just did", prompting Lopez to chew North out then hang up angrily.
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Last edited by RadioheadRocks; 11-01-2018 at 04:57 AM.
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  #11  
Old 11-24-2018, 10:26 AM
Wsoxmike59 Wsoxmike59 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RadioheadRocks View Post
I also remember seeing something in a Jerome Holtzman column years ago regarding the Fox-Lopez saga (I'm pretty sure it was Holtzman, he campaigned pretty hard for Fox and wrote several columns regarding the 74.7% injustice of that final BBWAA ballot). Apparently Mike North of the Score had spoken to Lopez on air via phone after the Veterans Committee vote (for one particular year), and North asked him about the vote. Lopez responded, "I'm not going to tell you how I voted". North fired back, "I think you just did", prompting Lopez to chew North out then hang up angrily.
I remember that Mike North/Al Lopez exchange I was listening that day. I also remember the year Nellie Fox made the Hall of Fame, I was at a baseball card show at Brother Rice and one vendor booth I stopped at had a lot of Sox and Nellie Fox stuff, so I said to him, “It looks like Fox is finally going to get in the Hall.” And he responded , “ no he’ll fall short again.” And I replied, “ Nope, Al Lopez is off the Veteran’s Committee, and he was the vote that blocked Nellie last year, mark my words, Nellie’s gonna get in.”

I also remember hearing a story that at the HOF induction of Nellie Fox that Al Lopez ran in to Joanne Fox, Nellie’s wife and he congratulated her on Nellie’s induction but it was an awkward moment from the accounts from the eye witnesses that it seemed a little tense between the two of them.
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Old 11-27-2018, 11:58 PM
RadioheadRocks RadioheadRocks is offline
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Glad someone was able to corroborate this for me. All respect I had for Lopez flew out the window after this bull****.
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