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Indiana native to be honored during baseball’s Hall of Fame Weekend

Carl Erskine of the Brooklyn Dodgers is pictured here on the field. (Photo by Bettmann / Contributor)

COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. (WISH) — The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum’s Board of Directors announced on Wednesday that Carl Erskine is the 2023 recipient of the John Jordan “Buck” O’Neil Lifetime Achievement Award.

The award is “presented to an individual for extraordinary efforts to enhance baseball’s positive impact on society,” according to a news release.

Erskine, 96, will be recognized with the award on July 22 during 2023’s Hall of Fame Weekend.

“I’m a little overwhelmed and this is very special to me,” Erskine said in a statement. “What an honor this is and it is really unexpected. At this point in my life, this is as big a boost as you can possibly give me.”

Erskine is the sixth winner of the Buck O’Neil Award, which was established in 2007 in honor of Buck O’Neil, who passed away in 2006.

Previous winners of the award include:

  • Buck O’Neil (2008).
  • Roland Hemond (2011).
  • Joe Garagiola (2014).
  • Rachel Robinson (2017).
  • David Montgomery (2020).

“The National Baseball Hall of Fame is honored to present Carl Erskine with the Buck O’Neil Lifetime Achievement Award,” said Jane Forbes Clark, chairman of the Board of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.

Clark adds that the award “For millions of fans, he was a Brooklyn Dodgers hero. But for his family and thousands of Special Olympians, Carl Erskine was someone who always believed everything was possible. His legacy is one of deep compassion and encouragement of the human spirit.”

Erskine was a pitcher with the Brooklyn and Los Angeles Dodgers from 1948-1959. During that time, he finished his career with a record of 122-78. He also won two World Series championships and threw two no-hitters.

Erskine was also an activist for athletes with special needs.

In 2010, he received the Sachem Award, the State of Indiana’s highest honor, in recognition of his lifetime of excellence and moral virtue.