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HANCOCK NY CELEBRATES AMERICAN BASEBALL LEGEND HONEST EDDIE MURPHY WITH FIELD OF DREAMS SPORTS AWARDS & SCHOLARSHIP

WHAT: FIELD OF DREAMS: Awards Ceremony & Sports Scholarship Fund

WHO: Sponsored by Hancock Partners Inc. (501c3), which is a New York State Not-for-profit Charitable Corporation operating in Hancock New York to support local businesses with support from state and municipal leaders. Hancock Partners seeks economic growth and new opportunities for the community, along with town beautification. Hancock Partners, Inc. is a New York State not for profit  Corporation with a 501c3 IRS designation, dedicated to fostering and promoting the economic and social growth of the Greater Hancock, New York area which is proudly celebrating twenty years of service to the Hancock community and surrounding area.

WHERE: Hancock Town Square – 20 E Main Street Hancock, NY 13783

WHEN: Saturday July 30th, at 3PM

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – JULY 21ST 2022

Hancock, NY – On July 30th, the Hancock Partners are proud to announce the launch of a new community development initiative, as part of its Hancock Economic Development Initiative. The program will soon begin working to fund a new annual sporting activities and scholarship fund  to celebrate local hero and American Baseball Legend: Honest Eddie Murphy. This event entitled “Field of Dreams,” will honor Honest Eddie Murphy annually in Hancock, New York. This new development is intended to be a true family friendly activity and centrally located to the heart of the community. To achieve this highly anticipated and requested community activity Hancock Partners needs your support by donating to this event and volunteering time to help set it up. Bring a chair, spouses, teens and children of any age, who might be interested in learning more about the Baseball Hall of Fame, and sports legends like Honest Eddie Murphy. 

Many may recall that the right fielder for the 1919 Chicago BlackSox was a native of Hancock NY named John Edward Murphy born on October 2, 1891  and who died February 21, 1969. Murphy was famously nicknamed “Honest Eddie”, while he was an American professional baseball right fielder. He played in Major League Baseball for the Philadelphia Athletics, Chicago White Sox and Pittsburgh Pirates. He appeared in three World Series. His first two were with the Athletics in 1913 and 1914 World Series. Murphy appeared in the 1919 World Series as a member of the Chicago White Sox, a series best known for the Black Sox Scandal. Eddie Murphy was born on October 2, 1891, the youngest child of Charles and Theresa Murphy. Charles Murphy was a college educated man which afforded him the ability to stay out of the coal mines of Pennsylvania, which was considered dangerous work. Instead, he worked as a hotel manager which was located near a rail line. The education of his father also helped provide a future for young Eddie that kept him out of the coal mines.

Murphy began his professional baseball career with the Baltimore Orioles of the Eastern League, later named the International League. On August 24, 1912, the Orioles traded Murphy and Jimmy Walsh to the Philadelphia Athletics for Bris Lord, Claud Derrick, and cash. Murphy made his professional debut at the age of nineteen for the Scranton Miners of the New York State League in 1911. The team was managed by former MLB star Monte Cross.  After getting 97 hits with a .300 batting average, Murphy moved on to the Baltimore Orioles. Before he made his pro debut, Murphy played as a ringer, more or less, for the Honsdale of the semi-pro Anthracite League. Murphy played in his first major league game on August 26, 1912. During his first season, he posted a batting average of .317 over 33 games. During the 1913 season, he became a “regular” in the outfield and participated in the A’s World Series contest against the New York Giants.

In 1915, the Chicago White Sox purchased his contract. Murphy played the remainder of 1915 and the next six seasons for the White Sox. Murphy was a base stealing threat in the early part of his career, finishing eighth in the American league in 1914 with 36 steals and ninth the following season with 33 stolen bases. He would go on to steal 111 bases throughout his career in the majors. Murphy had played for an A’s team that was one of the best in the American League. However, after the underdog Boston Braves upset and swept the A’s in the 1914 World Series, an angry Connie Mack sold off or outright released his best players. Murphy was one of the few hold overs on a depleted A’s squad. However, his fortunes would change when Philadelphia went to Chicago to face the White Sox, and Murphy was informed by Mack that his contract had just been sold….to the White Sox. 

Murphy was mainly a pinch hitter for most of his time in Chicago. In 1917, Murphy was on his third pennant winning team in five seasons, but did not appear in the World Series, as White Sox manager Clarence Rowland left Murphy off the play off roster in favor of Shano Collins. With “Shoeless” Joe Jackson and Happy Felsch called up by the military to build ships in the shipyard, Murphy regained a starting role. The depleted White Sox fell to sixth place and Rowland was fired and replaced by Kid Gleason. In 1919, Murphy appeared in 30 games and hit for a .486 batting average. That year, the White Sox made the World Series. It was an infamous series, and as a result of the Black Sox Scandal, six members of the White Sox were banned from Major League Baseball; Murphy was not one of those players. Consequently, he was given the nickname “Honest Eddie.”[7] Unlike before, Murphy was on the roster and made a few pinch hit appearances.

As the 1920 season rolled along, the White Sox were fighting with the Cleveland Indians and New York Yankees for the pennant. Rumors swirled around that the fix was in for that season just as it had been in the World Series. After seven players were implicated in the fix, Murphy replaced the now suspended Buck Weaver at third base. The suspension took its toll on the White Sox, who quickly fell out of contention. White Sox owner Charles Comiskey issued checks in the amount of $1,500 to the players like Murphy who did not partake in the fix, telling the players they were wronged out of money that should have been theirs under no fault of their own. The saga of the Black Sox scandal didn’t end there for Murphy. 

In 1926, Murphy was called to testify before the baseball Commissioner Landis. Swede Risberg and Chick Gandil claimed that in 1917, the Detroit Tigers threw a series and that the members of the White Sox paid them to do so. Eddie Collins admitted that a collection was taken up among the players of the White Sox, but it wasn’t for the Tigers to throw the series, but it was as a “reward” for the Tigers beating the Red Sox. Murphy testified that he never gave money to the collection and that he had no clue of the reward money being collected. After a brief investigation, Landis cleared Murphy and the other white Sox players and dismissed the claims of Risberg and Gandil.

On June 1, 1921 the Cleveland Indians placed a waiver claim on Murphy and purchased his contract from the White Sox.[8] From 1921 until 1925, Murphy played for the Columbus Senators of the International league. Through his stint with Columbus, Murphy continued to be an excellent hitter, hitting .397 in 1925 at the age of 33, which won him the league’s batting title. In 1927, he played for the Rochester Tribe (who would later go on to be called the Rochester Red Wings ), playing for manager George Stallings and alongside former MLB star Rabbit Maranville

At the age of 35, Murphy appeared in 83 games for the Tribe, again batting over three hundred, batting .341 for the season. Murphy ended his MLB career with the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1926. In 11 years, he had 680 hits, scored 411 runs with 111 stolen bases, and a .287 lifetime batting average with 4 home runs and 195 RBI. In his final major league game, Murphy only had one at bat. Giants pitcher Jimmy Ring got Murphy to hit into a double play in the Pirates 9-5 loss to New York. After his brief return to the majors, Murphy split the 1927 season between the Montreal Royals and Jersey City Skeeters before he retired for good. 

This year, nearly 100 years from when Honest Eddie Murphy retired, Hancock was again pleasantly surprised when their Hancock-Deposit Eagle ball teams both became state champions and are taking the opportunity to make their sporting achievements part of the celebration.  In addition to the normal awards handed out at this event,  Hancock Partners will be establishing an “Honest Eddie Murphy” Scholarship Fund and inviting the youth athletics to be part of this ground-breaking and exciting program. A special Sports Award Plaque will be presented to each school in both categories, and these athletes will all be eligible for the first Scholarship which will likely take place in 2023-2024 after funding requirements have been met. The Hancock Partners, the entire Town and Village of Hancock, and the Hancock Fire Department and Rescue Squad welcome you to please join us on the Hancock Town Square to enjoy the celebration and the Field of Dreams Parade, activities, and Live Music courtesy of French Woods! Special thanks to the Hancock Fire Department for coordinating the Heroes Parade, arranging volunteers and food vending to help raise funds for the scholarship fund for the students..

ABOUT HANCOCK PARTNERS

Hancock Partners is leading the front lines on economic and social growth development. Therefore, the Hancock Partners are proud to present HEDI, the Hancock Economic Development Initiative. HEDI was born out of the direct facilitation and collaboration with local governments and key community stakeholders. A financial contribution by the George A. and Margaret Mee Charitable Foundation as well as the Hancock Town and Village  secured a regional and economic development director to implement the HEDI plan. 

To date HEDI has secured more than 100k+ of local grants, spend, and in 2022 alone  has accrued more than $40k in matching grants from Delaware County, with over $430k in outstanding grant applications, pending approval for FY 2022-2023. You can seek support and help from the Hancock Partners in applying for grant funding, planning future endeavors and supporting the community by emailing us at:  director@thehancockpartners.org

JULY 30TH, 2022 – FIELD OF DREAMS  SPORTS AWARDS & SCHOLARSHIP FUN EVENT

(Press & Event Schedule)

INTRODUCTIONS

  • SPEECHES (STAGE 1 – TOWN SQUARE GAZEBO)
    • 3:00 – 3:10PM  –  Opening Remarks
    • 3:10 – 3:20PM  –  Murphy Family Introductions
    • 3:20 – 3:35PM  –  Eddie Murphy History by Noted Author John Heeg  
    • 3:35 – 3:45PM –  Scholarship Announcement by Murphy Family
    • 3:45 – 4:00PM –  Introduction of HOF Guest Speaker
  • HEROES PARADE:  JOINT HANCOCK-DEPSOIT FIRE TRUCK SPORTS PARADE 

(Teams to Meet at 3:30PM at Hancock Central School Bus Garage)

  • Parade 4:00 – 4:25 PM Celebrating the recent Teams Accomplishments the route will flow east on Main Street Round the Square and unload Athletes through the Main Gate of the Town Square coordinated by Police & Fire Department.

  • SPEECHES (STAGE 2 – FIELD OF DREAMS BACKDROP)
    • 4:30 – 4:40PM  –  Coach/Leadership Introductions
    • 4:40 – 4:55PM  –  Coaches Present Shirts to Athletes
    • 5:00 – 5:10PM  –  Presentation of Plaques to Coaches/Schools  
    • 5:10 – 5:20PM –  Supt Dougherty Speech
    • 5:20 – 5:40PM –  Introduction of Local Officials & Lt.Gov
    • 5:40 – 5:55PM –  Lt.Gov Delgado (or Local Official) Commendation
  • LIVE MUSIC 
    •  5:55-7 PM LIve Music from the talented youth of French Woods. Celebrating the Musical Stylings during the Lifespan of Murphy.
  • FIELD OF DREAMS OUTDOOR MOVIE – HANCOCK TOWN SQUARE
  • Production/Movie: Field of Dreams – Outdoor Movie 20 Ft Screen in the Park
  • Tent of Trailblazers: Immersive experience of Eddie Murphy and teammates throughout the decades of this lifetime in the Pavillion. Hancock Fire Department to sell iconic classics: BBQ Chicken, Hot dogs, soft drinks, with proceeds to benefit the Scholarship.
  • FAME GAME
  • Hall of fame trivia table for Murphy family and any other relatives of local historic players to share fun facts about their loved ones and educate America’s youth of the greats from the Baseball Hall of Fame.
  • Large display of historic photos, and items from the local museum. This will also be the opportunity for family or residents to donate to the Scholarship and learn more about it. Sign up table for Honest Eddie Society for $25 per year to fund the Scholarship annuity.
  • KIDS CORNER (Children’s Activities)
  • Children’s Sporting Activities available in the Town Square with inflatable sports activities, and fun family giveaways to make the most of the evening and help parents with younger siblings of awardees.

PRODUCTION SETUP:

     FIELD OF DREAMS SETUP:  THREE MAIN CENTERS OF FOCUS  

  1  STAGE  #1    GAZEBO/BANDSHELL (Pre-Set Music Setup for 6-7PM)

(Audio/Mics/Mic Stands/Hay Bale Seats)

2  STAGE  #2    FIELD OF DREAMS SET 

(Audio/Mics/Mic Stands/Backdrop/Cornstalks)

             3  STAGE  #3    IMAGES & MEMORABILIA & GAMES 

(Fire Dept BBQ Chicken/Hot Dogs/Drinks)

MEDIA ALREADY INVITED AND CONFIRMED

FOX NEWS & Bold Gold Radio accessing this event for live broadcasting

Merchandise, Food & Refreshments will be available to the public for purchase to help fund the scholarship and activities fund.