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Owner, umpire, catcher

enter Hall of Fame

NASHVILLE -- Former New York Yankees owner Jacob Ruppert, longtime umpire Hank O'Day and barehanded catcher Deacon White were elected to the Hall of Fame on Monday for their excellence through the first half of the 20th century.

The trio was picked by the Hall's pre-integration panel -- part of what once was known as the Veterans Committee -- and gave the shrine exactly 300 members.

The announcement was made at baseball's winter meetings. Induction ceremonies will be held July 28 in Cooperstown, N.Y. They will be honoured along with anyone chosen in January in voting by the Baseball Writers' Association of America.

Ruppert bought the Yankees in 1915 and soon transformed them into baseball's most dominant team. He acquired Babe Ruth from the Boston Red Sox, built Yankee Stadium and presided over the club's first six World Series championships.

"A lot of us thought he was already in for all he'd done," said panel member Phil Niekro, the Hall of Fame pitcher. "We were surprised he wasn't."

O'Day umpired in 10 World Series, including the first one in 1903. He worked 35 years and made one of the most famous calls in the game's history, ruling Fred Merkle out in a 1908 play that long lived in baseball lore. He was the 10th umpire to go into the Hall.

White played from 1871-1890, starting out as a catcher without a glove and later moving to third base. He was a three-time RBIs leader, once topping the league with 49 RBIs when baseball hardly resembled the game it is today.

Ruppert, O'Day and White all died in the 1930s -- the first Hall class was selected in 1936.

Jays pick up catcher

TORONTO -- The Toronto Blue Jays have claimed catcher Eli Whiteside off waivers from the New York Yankees.

Whiteside, 33, appeared in 12 games for the San Francisco Giants last season, posting a .091 average in 11 at-bats.

In 60 games with triple-A Fresno he batted .224 with one home run and 20 RBIs.

Dykstra off to jail

LOS ANGELES -- Former All-Star outfielder Lenny Dykstra was sentenced Monday to 6 1/2 months in prison for hiding baseball gloves and other heirlooms from his playing days that were supposed to be part of his bankruptcy filing, capping a tumultuous year of legal woes.

U.S. District Judge Dean Pregerson weighed Dykstra's battle with drugs and alcohol versus the crimes he committed and opted to give the ex-big leaguer a lenient prison term but saddled him with 500 hours of community service. He also ordered Dykstra to pay $200,000 in restitution.

Dykstra, 49, apologized for his actions and promised to turn his life around.

"I don't think I'm a bad person," said Dykstra. "I made some bad decisions."

Johnny Football favoured

NEW YORK -- Johnny Manziel and Manti Te'o are in position to make Heisman Trophy history.

Manziel, the redshirt freshman quarterback from Texas A&M, and Te'o, Notre Dame's star linebacker, along with Kansas State quarterback Collin Klein, were invited Monday to attend the Heisman presentation ceremony.

Manziel is the favourite to win college football's most famous player of the year award on Saturday night in Manhattan. He would be the first freshman to win the Heisman and the first Texas A&M player since halfback John David Crow won in 1957.

-- from the news services

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition December 4, 2012 D4

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