The Pretender HOF Ballot for 2015 is ready. Are you?
- By Terje Hoaas, January 7th 2016
The Oslo Pretenders Baseball Club proudly presents its HOF Ballot for the class of 2015. The Hall of Fame is the home for the best of the best and only the greatest will enter the exclusive club of eternal glory. Only 9 members have been voted in since 2005. In the class of 2015 the Pretenders presents three great stars from the past. One of them is a first-timer while the other two are up for the second time on the Ballot, but only one of them will enter this year.
And the candidates are (in alphabetic order by surname)…..
Håkon Jåtun (159 games, 2000-2010)
Håkon - aka Hawk or the Budda - was one of the main forces behind the second great era of the Pretenders' impressive history. Hawk was a feared power-hitter in the new millennium and he had his glory seasons between 2001 and 2006. He probably had the best right-center-gap-power as a right-handed hitter in the Norwegian baseball history which resulted in 49 doubles (5th all-time) and 13 triples (2nd all-time), in addition to his impressive 15 bombs (4th all-time). Hawks’ 2004 season stands out as one of the best single-season ever by a Pretender – going .439 with 5 homers (tied single-season-record with Mainardi), 45 RBIs (best ever) and 60 total bases (best ever). In addition Hawk also holds the record for most triples (5 – tied with Wood) from his 2001 season.
On the mound his stats are as equally impressive. Hawk holds the second lowest lifetime ERA on 3.19 in the club and is tied at first place on 9 wins in a single season with Haavik and Wells. In 2005 and 2006 Hawk went back-to-back seasons with Era under 1.00 and Oba. (Opponents Batting Average ) below .100. No one else has ever done this in the Norwegian baseball history (and probably not in the whole world). His absolute dominance was a major factor behind the club’s 56-game-winning-streak between Sept. 2004 and Aug. 2007.
As a core member of the club in the new millennium, Hawk was also a vital part of the clubs e-cup era. His best performance at the plate came in 2003 as he went .566 (2nd all-time). On the mound Hawks best single-game-performance probably came in 2005 vs Deby Osielsko (Poland). Although the team lost 1-3 in the game, Hawk pitched a strong complete game vs a very good team, and the outcome could’ve easily been different if the HP umpire had had his eyes open and rightfully called the interference at 3rd late in the game. Hawk incredibly pitched in two other games in that 5-game tournament and got his and the club’s only win of the tournament vs. Vikingas Vilnius (Lithuania).
Jostein Sameien (98 games, 1997-2007)
Jostein – aka Jo-Jo – started his Pretender career in the late 90’s when the club was in deep need of new blood. He became an important asset to the struggling outfield and played a vital part of the renewal process that started the second golden age of the club back in 2000. Jo-Jo had an MVP-worthy season in 2002 (finished 2nd in the voting), going .435 with two bombs and 16 RBIs. He broke the single season record for most singles in a season that year. But more importantly than the Norwegian League, Jostein was a core member of the e-cup squad from 2001-2007 and played an important role in the outfield as one of many great Norwegians on the team.
On a side note, Jostein will forever be remembered for his Valgjerd Svarstad Haugland T-shirt he wore as an undershirt In the e-cup games in Antwerp in 2003. It was a hilarious moment.
Matthew Soria (66 games, 2002-2006)
Matt – the Iron Bat – was another great 1B-man in Pretender history and took over the position after Big Bob and HOF member Ron Whitehead. Matt was a solid player at the left corner of the infield in the new millennium and played a vital part in the new great Pretender era that started in 2000. Once a feared opponent playing for Bekkestua, Matt came over to the Pretenders as a free agent and became a core member of the club both on and off the field.
Matt won the MVP in 2003 for his club, going .435 with two dingers and 15 RBIs.
Who can vote and how?
Voting: Voting will be based upon the individual's record, ability, integrity, sportsmanship, character and contribution to the Pretender Organization. One of these three former players will be voted in to the Pretenders Hall of Fame.
Eligible candidates for voting: Every member of the Pretenders Board (8) will get one vote each. The members of the Oslo Pretenders Hall of Fame (8) will get one vote each. The rest of the active players in the club will all together have one vote. 17 voters in total.
Everyone needs to send in their votes by Friday the 15th to the Mullah by email.
The winning candidate will be announce on Monday January 18th.