Cooperstown just added three new Hall of Famers, as umpire Hank O’Day, executive Jacob Ruppert, and catcher/third baseman Deacon White have been elected by the veteran’s committee that this year was tasked with evaluating candidates from the “pre-integration” era of 1876-1946.
O’Day had a 40-year umpiring career that began in 1888, also playing and managing during that time.
Ruppert owned the Yankees from 1915-1939, during which time they made 11 trips to the World Series and won eight championships. Oh, and he’s the guy who got Babe Ruth from the Red Sox.
White played from 1871-1890 and his 20-year career is made even more remarkable by the fact that he was one of the first bare-handed catchers. He hit .312, winning two batting titles, and as you can see in the picture to the right he also had a helluva mustache.
Candidates the veteran’s committee did not elect this year: Marty Marion, Bucky Walters, Bill Dahlen, Wes Ferrell, Tony Mullane, Samuel Breadon, Alfred Reach.
No surprise here: The Astros are headed back to the postseason to defend their title following a landslide 11-3 win over the Angels on Friday. This figures to be their third playoff run since 2015, though they have yet to wrap up the AL West with a division title.
First baseman Yuli Gurriel led the charge on Friday, smashing a grand slam in the first inning and tacking on a two-run homer in the second and RBI single in the fifth to help the Astros to a seven-run lead. The Angels eventually returned fire, first with Mike Trout‘s 418-foot homer in the sixth, then with an RBI hit from Francisco Arcia in the seventh, but they couldn’t close the gap in time to overtake the Astros.
On the mound, right-hander Gerrit Cole clinched his 15th win of the year after holding the Angels to seven innings of three-run, 12-strikeout ball. His sixth strikeout of the night — delivered on an 83.1-MPH knuckle curveball to Kaleb Cowart — also marked the 1,000th strikeout of his career to date. He was backed by flawless performances by lefty reliever Tony Sipp and rookie right-hander Dean Deetz, both of whom turned in scoreless innings as the offense barreled toward an 11-3 finish with Jake Marisnick‘s sac bunt and George Springer‘s three-run shot in the eighth.
Despite having qualified for the playoffs, the Astros still carry a magic number of 6 as they look to clinch a third straight division title. They’re currently up against the Athletics, who entered Friday’s contest against the Twins just four games back of first place in the AL West.