added 9/2/2007 by James Anderson
While researching another subject, I came across a fact that practically stunned me. It was the fact that Mickey Herskowitz' name was not already in the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown. Like many long time Houston baseball fans, I assumed that Mickey's name had already been chosen for the J.G. Taylor Spink Award long ago since the award had been around since 1961.
Now I am finding out that many members of the BBWWA are arbitrarily defining requirements for the award based on either their own personal opinion or for reasons that are in fact completely wrong or for the latest name on the pops up on the baseball writing horizon.
One local Houston sports columnist mentioned to me that he thought the requirement for being considered for the Spink Award is one must be a baseball beat writer when I brought up the name Mickey Herskowitz as a nominee for the Spink Award. Is there actually an etched in stone set of requirements for being considered for the award? I don't think there is.
What I have been unable to find out is simply why Mickey Herskowitz' name should not already be in Cooperstown among his baseball writing peers.
It is certainly a fact that Mickey's name should have been considered for the award years ago.
It is also a fact that Mickey was among those responsible for helping George Kirksey and Craig Cullinan bring Major League baseball to Houston in the late 1950's. And it is also a fact that Mickey was among the first if not the very first major league baseball beat writer in Houston and probably in Texas. Not only that but Mickey also authored Mickey Mantle's autobiography among other sports related and baseball related books and subject over the years. Should Mickey's name now not be considered for the award because he is now retired or because he didn't spend his entire career as a baseball beat writer or because he is now simply too old for the younger generation of baseball beat writers to waste their time to consider for the award?
There are now sports columnist being honored in Cooperstown with the J.G. Taylor Spink award that were still in diapers when Mickey was covering the Houston Buffs minor league team before the Colt .45's/Astros ever came along.
I've been informed that the local Houston chairperson of the BBWWA will not lift a finger to help Mickey Herskowitz get his name on the ballot for the annual Spink Award and thus in Cooperstown. As a lifetime fan of baseball in Houston, Texas and a grandfather whose children were also raised as Astros fans since the inception of the team in 1962, I am literally outraged that a true legend as Mickey Herskowitz cannot even receive support from his own local peers in Houston for the Spink Award.
Having not received a single word of reply to two e-mails to the local Houston chairperson of the Baseball Writers Association of America, I am writing to ask local Houston fans - no, pleading with local Houston fans to lend their support however they can to help get Mickey's name on the ballot and hopefully finally see Mickey Herskowitz take his rightful place in Cooperstown. E-mail the Chronicle's opinion columns. E-mail all of the Houston local sports writers such as Jose de Jesus Ortiz, Richard Justice, Brian McTaggert, John McLain, etc. but especially Ortiz.
Let them all know that although most of our local sports writers are not interested in helping to get Mickey's name in Cooperstown, there are a lot of local long time Houston baseball fans who certainly believe Mickey Herskowitz should have his name etched in the hallowed Halls of Cooperstown.
I hope all Houston fans will consider lending their time and talent to this worthy effort. I cannot begin to express in words how much it would mean to myself and to every other lifetime baseball fan in Houston if we could finally see our own legendary Mickey Herskowitz in the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown being honored with the sports writers J.G. Taylor Spink Award.