02/24/07 10:00 AM ET
Vets to make the call on Harvey
Longtime umpire fell 12 votes shy in last attempt
By Lindsey Frazier / MLB.com
Harvey, who was among the last big-league umpires to never attend umpire school, called balls and strikes in the National League from 1962-92.
Harvey is one of 15 former Major League executives, umpires and managers on the 2007 Veterans Committee Composite Ballot. Candidates who receive 75 percent of the ballots cast will earn election and be honored in Cooperstown on June 9 during the Hall of Fame weekend. The results will be announced Feb. 27.
In the last composite ballot in 2003, Harvey received 48 votes (60.8 percent), the most votes amongst the candidates but 12 votes short of the 75 percent minimum.
Harvey -- who was known for meticulously adhering to the details of the rules and regarded as one of the most respected umpires of his time -- began his officiating career as a referee at local basketball games in high school and went on to do the same at softball and baseball games.
He attended San Diego State University, where he played both baseball and football. Upon graduating, Harvey umpired in the Minor Leagues, while also calling collegiate basketball and football games.
August Busch Jr.
He got his call to the Majors in April 1962, and credits umpires Al Barlick, Jocko Conlan and Shag Crawford for helping him hone his skills.
Harvey set a goal of umpiring until the age of 65, but knee problems forced his retirement in 1992 at the age of 62. Although he didn't call the game for as long as he may have liked, he was the first NL umpire since Bill Klem to work for more than 30 years, as he his professional tenure spanned 4,888 games and 31 years.
"Umpires are necessary evils," Harvey has been quoted as saying of his profession. "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."
Harvey has also been quoted as saying, "When I'm right, no one remembers. When I wrong, no one forgets."
Throughout his career, Harvey earned the honor of working five World Series, six All-Star Games and seven NL Championship Series.
In Aug. 1997, he was diagnosed with oral cancer due to his longtime usage of chewing tobacco. Since then, Harvey has been active in speaking to baseball players and young athletes on the dangerous of the substance. In 2001, he was the National Bill Tuttle Award Co-Winner, an award given for "leadership and dedication in raising awareness of the dangers of spit tobacco use."
Lindsey Frazieris an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.