Tracy Ringolsby, Hall of Famer.
Could there ever be a more fitting and accurate statement?
This past weekend in Cooperstown, the National Baseball Hall of Fame simply made official what peers, friends and family have always known: the gentleman from Wyoming is a consummate baseball reporter and writer.
Tracy was honored as the 2005 J.G. Taylor Spink award winner during the Hall's annual induction ceremonies in Cooperstown, N.Y., Sunday.
The award which leads to entry into the writers' wing of the Hall of Fame, is not tossed around lightly. The Baseball Writers Association of America votes it into the hands of only a select few based on their "meritorious contributions to baseball writing."
There was no better candidate than Tracy to take his place alongside such past Spink recipients as Murray Chass, Peter Gammons, Ross Newhan, Phil Collier and Jerome Holtzman.
Tracy's contributions to his profession have been many as his distinguished resume suggests. Yet the readers of the Long Beach Press Telegram, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Kansas City Star, Dallas Morning News and now the Rocky Mountain News were not the only beneficiaries of Tracy's skill, dedication and passion for his craft.
We fellow writers gained immeasurably, as well. Working alongside Tracy is like going to school. If you're smart you listen, watch and learn - about journalism, ethics, fairness and humanity.
Last but not least, Tracy teaches you about friendship and loyalty.
Topped off by a big stetson and an even bigger heart, Tracy Ringolsby is the complete package and, as most every veteran baseball writer has long suspected, also a bona fide Hall of Famer.
Want to read Tracy Ringolsby's Hall of Fame acceptance speech? Click on this link.
"In closing, I'd like to say there's an announcer over at the National Western Stock Show Rodeo, Brad Paulhomaus, he closes the evening by saying God's gift to us is that we are here today and our gift to God is what we do while we are here." - Tracy Ringolsby