02/26/2003 7:32 PM ET
Harvey comes close in HOF vote
By Tom Singer / MLB.com
For 31 years, Doug Harvey thumbed baseball players off the field.
Wednesday, many of those players nearly gave Harvey the thumbs-up for the Hall of Fame.
Harvey led all Composite Ballot candidates in the vote by the Hall's Veterans Committee announced Wednesday.
While other, more recognizable household names -- Marvin Miller, Walter O'Malley, Billy Martin, Dick Williams -- drew far more attention leading up to the vote, Harvey paced them all with 48 votes, or 60.8 percent of the total.
A 75 percent vote was required for election, a plurality not reached by any of the total 41 candidates on either ballot.
However, only Gil Hodges, the players' top vote-getter with 60, received more support than did Harvey.
Not bad for a gentleman who once noted of his profession, "Umpires are necessary evils. That's just the nature of the beast. For years, people have looked on umpiring as a job they could get any postman to do."
It's a job Harvey, distinguished by a rich head of white hair and a deliberate way of calling pitches, handled gallantly from 1962 through 1992.
In that interim, Harvey called 4,888 National League games, plus four All-Star games, eight League Championship Series and five World Series.
He might be best known to fans as the voice behind the popular television featurette, "You Make The Call."
Harvey hadn't contemplated a career in umpiring until, as a 26-year-old, he watched Don Larsen's perfect game in the 1956 World Series and was smitten. He embraced the new-found love and, six years later, broke into the Majors.
Harvey, 72, was diagnosed in August 1997 with throat cancer, from which he has made a complete recovery.
Tom Singer is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.