Former major league umpire Doug Harvey called it like he saw it Friday at the National Baseball Hall of Fame.
``This is really something,’’ Harvey said. ``I am more than gratified. I am proud to be a part of it.’’
Harvey, 80, and his wife of almost 50 years, Joy, toured the Hall in preparation for his July 25 induction at the Clark Sports Center.
Harvey, fellow Veterans Committee pick Whitey Herzog and Baseball Writers’ Association of America selection Andre Dawson will be honored as the Class of 2010 during the ceremony, which is free and open to the public.
Herzog and Dawson took their orientation tours earlier this month. Umpiring 4,673 regularseason games during his career, Harvey also called five World Series, six All-Star Games and nine National League Championship Series.
He’s the ninth umpire to be inducted and the first living one since Al Barlick in 1989. Harvey seemed to get a kick out of umpiring equipment from the 1880s.
``I find it fascinating,’’ he said. ``I’ve always loved the history of the game.’’
As Harvey walked through the timeline, he recalled stories about Hall of Famers Ted Williams, Steve Carlton, Mike Schmidt, Tom Seaver and Sandy Koufax.
``Willie Mays was the best baseball player I ever saw,’’ Harvey said. ``He could do anything.’’
Known for his authoritative style and nicknamed ``God’’ by players, Harvey was one of the last major league umpires who didn’t attend umpiring school.
``It’s not about yelling,’’ he said, `It’s how you handle them, and I could handle anyone.’’
Harvey said he lived by the 20-second rule, giving managers that much time to say what they needed.
He learned from other Hall of Fame umpires, including Barlick and Jocko Conlan, serving with both on bigleague crews.
Harvey viewed artifacts he donated during his career, including the home plate from his final game.