When Charlie Manuel got word that he was up for election to baseball’s Hall of Fame, well …
“It knocked me out of my shoes,” the former Phillies manager and all-time baseball good guy said.
“Missy (his wife) saw it on the Internet and I thought someone was kidding around.”
No one was kidding.
The winningest manager in Phillies history is one of 10 candidates being considered for election to the Hall of Fame by the Today’s Game Era Committee.
The committee is meeting this weekend in Las Vegas, site of the winter meetings, which officially begin Monday, and results of the election will be announced on the MLB Network at 8 p.m. Sunday night.
Manuel is one of three former managers on the ballot, joining Davey Johnson and Lou Piniella.
“When you see those names, it’s quite an honor,” Manuel said. “It’s just nice to be recognized.”
In addition, the ballot features former players Harold Baines, Albert Belle, Joe Carter, Will Clark, Orel Hershiser and Lee Smith and former New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner.
The ballot was devised by the Baseball Writers Association of America’s Historial Overview Committee and it is focused on people who made contributions to the game from 1988 to the present. The voting body is made up of a 16-person committee that includes former Phillies general manager Pat Gillick and Andy MacPhail, the team’s current president.
Gillick was the Phillies’ general manager when Manuel led the club to the 2008 World Series title. He was also GM on postseason teams in Baltimore and Seattle that were managed by Johnson and Piniella, respectively. Candidates must receive 75 percent of the vote to be elected to the Hall of Fame. Official induction will take place in Cooperstown, New York, in July.
Manuel managed both the Phillies and Cleveland Indians. He led the Indians to an American League Central Division title in 2001 and won five National League East titles, two NL pennants and a World Series as Phillies skipper from 2007 to 2011.
Before becoming a big-league manager, Manuel was a home run king as a player in Japan and a highly regarded hitting coach on Cleveland teams that won five straight division titles and two American League pennants.
Manuel was known for his human touch in connecting with players, unlocking their potential and building their confidence. And he has steadfastly credited them for the successes he enjoyed in his career.
“People tell me about all the players I touched,” Manuel said. “But a lot of players touched me.”
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