Tuesday, January 8, 2008
To Rich "Goose" Gossage on being elected today to Baseball’s Hall of Fame. The intimidating reliever got his start with the White Sox, debuting in 1972 as he jumped from Class A Appleton to the big leagues. Gossage, a native of Colorado Springs, Colo., went 18-2 with 149 strikeouts and a 1.83 ERA at Appleton in 1971 and then opened his major-league career by going 7-1 as a 20-year-old rookie. He pitched with the Sox until 1976 as he began when became a 22-year-career.
Read more about his election at whitesox.com.
To assist media covering the announcement, Bob Beghtol from our media relations staff reached both Roland Hemond and Chuck Tanner for their comments. Here’s what the duo had to say:
Roland Hemond, former White Sox general manager:
“This is really a thrill for me. I think the world of Goose. I’ve been agonizing over this for the last four or five years, so it was very fulfilling to hear the good news. He is certainly worthy of the honor, and I can’t wait to see him in Cooperstown to congratulate him.”
“A lot of people forget that Goose went directly from “A” ball to the big leagues. He went 18-2 at Appleton in 1971 and at the end of the season he asked me what I thought. I said ‘I think you better get ready for the big leagues next year.’”
Chuck Tanner, who managed Gossage in Chicago from 1972-75 and with Pittsburgh in 1977:
“I was fortunate as a manager to have a lot of quality guys out of the bullpen. I had Rollie Fingers, Kent Tekulve and Bruce Sutter, and without question Goose was the best. He was always in such command, he could throw 100 miles per hour and he had that intimidating look with the Fu Manchu mustache. He looked like John Wayne coming out of the corral.
“And the thing about Goose was he never had an easy save. It wasn’t uncommon for him to throw 2 or 3 innings at a time to get a save. He should have been chosen the first year he was eligible. In my opinion there shouldn’t be a Hall of Fame if Goose is not in it.
“I was at a banquet several years ago in Colorado, and one of his former pitching coaches said that he always hated to go out to the mound to talk to Goose because he would tear his head off. My reaction was, ‘Why the heck would you ever want to take Goose out of the game.’ That’s the kind of pitcher he was.”
SoxFest ’08 Weekend Passes on sale at whitesox.com at 10 am Chicago time.