Managers praise new Hall of Fame class

Managers praise new Hall of Fame class

DETROIT -- Outfielder Andre Dawson, manager Whitey Herzog and umpire Doug Harvey will be enshrined in baseball's Hall of Fame on Sunday. The veteran managers of the Blue Jays and Tigers say it's about time.

"They're good people who deserve to be there," said Blue Jays manager Cito Gaston. "Whitey's been a good baseball man."

Gaston also said Harvey was one of the game's best umpires.

"It's a great honor," said Tigers manager Jim Leyland. "He's [Herzog] a great manager."

Dorrel Norman Elvert Herzog won three pennants and the 1982 World Series with the Cardinals. He also won three division titles with the Kansas City Royals from 1976-78. He was named the National League Manager of the Year in 1985.

Leyland said he got to know Dawson a bit from his time with the Florida Marlins. "The Hawk" spent his last two seasons with the Marlins. However, he ended his career there in 1996, one year before Leyland arrived as manager and led the Marlins to the franchise's first World Series title. Dawson played 21 seasons without winning a ring.

"Dawson was one of the most professional people I've ever been around," said Leyland.

The numbers aren't too shabby, either. Dawson, who will go into the Hall as a Montreal Expo, finished his career with 438 homers, 1,591 RBIs, 2,774 hits and 314 stolen bases. He was also known for his rifle arm, which helped him win eight Gold Gloves.

With numbers like those, it's hard to imagine why it took so long for Dawson to reach Hall of Fame status in the minds of the voters.

"I was wondering if he'd ever get in," said Gaston.