Carl Erskine was honored on Saturday with the Buck O’Neil lifetime achievement award at the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown. The award is given to folks “for extraordinary efforts to enhance baseball’s positive impact on society.”
Erskine, now 96, doesn’t travel much anymore, and didn’t make the trip to Cooperstown. His son Gary gave a speech on his behalf, with several family members present.
Carl did record a video that was played after Gary’s speech.
“It’s quite an honor to receive the Buck O’Neil Award,” Erskine said in the video. “I’m very, very grateful.
“I’m just a skinny kid from Anderson, Indiana. It’s been quite a journey for me. To be on the big stage, That’s a dream a kid has, to play on the same stage with the superstars of the game. Of course, my roommate was Duke Snider, one of the all-time greats. I played with Jackie Robinson and Roy Campanella, and all that team. They’re all Hall of Famers. I don’t know where I fit in there, but I’m sure glad to be there.”
In addition to pitching 12 years for the Dodgers in Brooklyn and Los Angeles, pitching in five World Series, and throwing two no-hitters. Erskine was also instrumental in working with the Special Olympics and was a charter member of both the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and the Baseball Assistance Team.
“As an athlete, It’s hard to do if you’ve accomplished very much, but I think there’s a lot of strength in having humility,” Erskine said in his video. “I think I’ve tried to do my best to do that. Servant leader, that resonates very strong with me.”