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Pat Hughes and José Cardenal will be inducted into the Chicago Cubs Hall of Fame. ‘It’s almost surreal,’ the radio broadcaster says.

Chicago Cubs radio announcer Pat Hughes’ eloquence on the microphone has made him synonymous with summer baseball on the North Side.

Hughes, 67, has been the radio voice for a generation of Cubs fans since taking over the role in 1996. The team will honor him for his contributions by inducting Hughes and former outfielder José Cardenal into the Cubs Hall of Fame.

The late Buck O’Neil — a longtime scout and coach for the Cubs — also earned a plaque through his election this year to the National Baseball Hall of Fame. The trio will be inducted Sept. 10.

President of business operations Crane Kenney revealed the news to Hughes during the third inning of Wednesday’s radio broadcast of the Cubs’ 7-1 win over the St. Louis Cardinals at Wrigley Field.

“I’m amazed, I really am. I don’t know what to say,” Hughes said afterward. “How did I get here? I can’t explain it. It’s almost surreal.”

Hughes said he wished his parents and former broadcast partner and Hall of Famer Ron Santo were alive for the honor. He also gave a shout-out to Ron Coomer, his partner the last nine seasons; Trish, his wife of nearly 35 years; and their two daughters.

“You always hope for things like that, but some things are almost so lofty that you don’t really dwell on it because you don’t want to be disappointed,” Hughes said. “So I did not sit around thinking about it a lot. I thought that’d be pretty cool if I could get there and make the Cubs Hall of Fame. I mean, who wouldn’t want to be part of a Hall of Fame of such a great organization like the Cubs?”

The voting committee consisted of five National Baseball Hall of Famers — Andre Dawson, Fergie Jenkins, Lee Smith, Ryne Sandberg and Billy Williams — and eight media members. To earn induction, a candidate must finish among the top two vote-getters or receive 75% of the votes. Team historian Ed Hartig helped compile the 14-person ballot.

Among the qualifications to be considered are playing at least five years for the Cubs, making a significant contribution to the organization and, for players, finishing their Cubs career by 2000 while in the franchise’s top 10 in their era in at least one major statistical category.

The Cubs Hall of Fame, located beneath the left-field bleachers, was unveiled last summer. It currently features 56 plaques, which includes members of the original Cubs Hall of Fame (1982-86), their Walk of Fame (1992-98), the team’s National Baseball Hall of Famers and last year’s honoree, Margaret Donahue.

Cardenal, 78, spent six seasons (1972-77) on the Cubs. The Cuban native hit .296 with a .363 on-base percentage and 114 OPS+ in 821 games.

Hughes becomes the third broadcaster to earn a spot in the Cubs Hall of Fame, joining Jack Brickhouse and Harry Caray.

“I love baseball history and I love Cubs history,” Hughes said. “And to think that I’m in there with only two other broadcasters — that I’m the third is very special.”


Source: Berkshire mont

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