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Author Topic: Ben Webster - Hall of Fame  (Read 1650 times)
wilderness
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« on: July 23, 2008, 08:06:54 AM »

Just passing this on.


-----Original Message-----
From:
Sent: Tue, 22 Jul 2008 10:09 pm
Subject: Fwd: Ben Webster - Hall of Fame

It has come to my attention that a website has been created to petition for
my Dad to be inducted into the
Harness Racing Hall of Fame. I have included in this email many facts that I
have previously sent to the Harness Writer's Association many times. I would
be grateful if you would visit www.electbenwebster.com and enter your vote
and if you would then help spread the word.

In 1996 I began my mission to see my father inducted into the Hall of Fame
of the Trotter and I will not give up until it happens. Each year as I see
the latest inductees enter the Hall of Fame I wonder – What is the
determining or influencing factor to become a member? To be amongst the
chosen few of many distinguished members of the harness racing industry to
be honored? To have a place for other members and fans to remember, respect,
and smile in memory of the many great moments’ one has given to this
industry?

Over these years I‘ve learned the committee considers the following
criteria:

¨ Candidates shall be chosen on the basis of ability, integrity,
sportsmanship, character and their contributions to harness racing.

¨ To be eligible a candidate must be active in any phase of Harness Racing
at some time during the period after September 1940.

¨ Regardless of time in the sport a candidate may be considered if he or she
has shown extraordinary accomplishments in the sport over a reasonable
period of time.

In response, I confirm those criteria with the following:

Western New York is where my father began his life long commitment to
harness racing during the 1950’s. His accomplishment’s there granted him
invites to drive “in the big city.” In 1965 our family relocated to Long
Island so that dad could race at Yonkers and Roosevelt. His talented hands
guided him to victory nightly and his insight to simple changes in equipment
turned horses around on the spot.

My family followed the sire stakes each summer through the countryside’s of
New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware and Ohio – memories
include yearly trips to the New York State Fair; the Little Brown Jug
including the year he took a gelding by the name of Seatrain to the winner’s
circle; I recall Oil Burning winning the O.T.B. Classic in Monticello so
vividly that it still brings tears to my eyes; and the International racing
competitions in foreign lands representing OUR United States. He became
known as the “Master of the Half-Mile” and “Benny the Whip”.

When the Meadowlands opened in 1976 we moved to New Jersey where Dad’s
legacy continued. He won the Oliver Wendall Holmes opening week with Oil
Burner. He drove the great pacing mare Tarport Hap through her short career.
In 198 I was privileged to join him in Lexington as he won the Kentucky
Futurity with Flak Bait. And winning The Hambletonian with Historic Freight
seemed to make his life complete. There were countless years he was among
the leading drivers at the Meadowlands, Yonkers and Roosevelt, not to
mention the whole country, and broke records at every track he raced. He has
won nearly all of the Grand Circuit and state stake races at least once.

Oil Burner and Flak Bait are in his repertoire of horses he both owned and
trained from yearlings. Additionally, he owned and trained, as well as put
together the breeding for the premier sire, No Nukes. He has proven to do
more with a two-year-old than most people do in a horses’ career. He drove
numerous great horses for top owners and trainers in the industry, many of
which are already members of the Hall of Fame. He knows that each and every
individual involved in a horse’s life makes a difference in its performance.
Furthermore, his generosity to the industry never stopped at the top, grooms
of yesteryear continue to thank him.

Yes, he has had his ups and downs in this industry, but he was not alone in
them and those others involved are in the Hall of Fame. When Ray Remmen was
bestowed  this great honor in 1998, he commented to Dad that he should not
go in before Dad. I have discussed my cause with numerous individuals
involved in and around the industry, and some whom are just fans, and many
of them think he has already been inducted. As Mike Farrell put it so
eloquently in 1998 regarding Ray Remmen being “among the last of a vanishing
breed”, he is so right. This industry has changed so very much since my
childhood and yes, my father is probably the last of the vanishing breed of
yesteryear.

It is impossible to sum up my father’s career with one letter. The horses
(Four Leaf, Ferric Hanover, Seahawk Hanover, etc.) and races of my memories
are endless. It is time to give him the honor he is long overdue receiving.
Don’t put this off another year, do the right thing and induct him into the
Harness Racing Living Hall of Fame now!

I hope you enjoyed this little step back in time and I deeply thank you for
your efforts.

I would like to thank John, Trade and Larry for helping in this fight and
thank you all on behalf of my brothers, Mark and Daryl, and myself.

Laureen Webster Somers
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Regards Don
Dolfan
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« Reply #1 on: July 23, 2008, 08:16:54 AM »

Why do I get the feeling that something sinister was left out?
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We can produce more wealth, but we cannot produce more time.  When we give someone our time, we actually give a portion of our life that we will never get back.
wilderness
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« Reply #2 on: July 23, 2008, 08:26:26 AM »

Why do I get the feeling that something sinister was left out?

 Only thing I chopped off was the footnote that read!

 If you don't email this to at least 100 people?
 Your pecker will turn green and fall off!

 Which I believe was added by somebody whom had previously forwarded the email, rather than Mrs. Somer.
« Last Edit: July 23, 2008, 08:36:12 AM by wilderness » Report to moderator   Logged

Regards Don
Buffaloboy
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« Reply #3 on: July 23, 2008, 08:42:35 AM »

My only problem with a letter that suggests "problems" and doesnt address them directly is that is creates more suspicion. I wish Ben Webster's daughter would have just addressed whatever it was head on and gotten it out of the way.

I also wish she would have mentioned that he was presented with the 2007 USHWA Excelsior Award and that Ben Webster is the only driver to win the Hambo, the Jug and the Futurity who IS NOT in the Hall of Fame.

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wilderness
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« Reply #4 on: July 23, 2008, 08:53:13 AM »

BB and others,
                        There are many worthy people that have NOT been inducted into the HOF.
There are others that should NOT have been inducted.

 There are people on the HOF Board that have been including names for nomination for many years.

 Anybody interested in accumulating a list of those that SHOULD be inducted?

 Frank E. Best gave his every dollar and every moment to preserve "The Registrar" and the accumulation of Standardbred bloodlines at a time when everybody in the industry had abanadoned the record keeping process.
 And yet, Mr. Best is NOT and HOF inductee.
 
 John Wallace before him is!

 Most everybody associated with either "The Registrar" or the "organizational body" of the Registrar, AFTER Frank Best is inducted as well.

 Why not Frank E. Best?

There's some reading on Mr. Best in the last section (titled; The First Registrar Part II) of this page:
http://www.mi-harness.net/publct/wallacebks.html
« Last Edit: July 23, 2008, 08:58:52 AM by wilderness » Report to moderator   Logged

Regards Don
wilderness
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« Reply #5 on: July 23, 2008, 08:55:54 AM »

BTW, there's also a similar process of petition going on for Lew Williams.

I don't have that link, however here's a link for daughter Lavonda's longtime website:

http://members.tripod.com/~lavw/index.html
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Regards Don
Dolfan
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« Reply #6 on: July 23, 2008, 08:57:14 AM »

Only thing I chopped off was the footnote that read!

 If you don't email this to at least 100 people?
 Your pecker will turn green and fall off!

I knew it!  Well, that explains things.  Okay, I'm off to the doctor now.   maroon
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We can produce more wealth, but we cannot produce more time.  When we give someone our time, we actually give a portion of our life that we will never get back.
wilderness
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« Reply #7 on: July 23, 2008, 09:07:51 AM »

I knew it!  Well, that explains things.  Okay, I'm off to the doctor now.   maroon

 The only thing that will cure the dreaded green-pecker disease is 500 emails hawking Mr. Webster Wink
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Regards Don
njhorseman
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« Reply #8 on: July 23, 2008, 09:12:04 AM »

Who is being petitioned? Is anyone aware of the selection process? Here's how it works (minus no doubt a few details I've forgotten). The individual United States Harness Writers Association chapters (I am a member of the NJ chapter) make annual recommendations for who, if anyone, they would like nominated. Those chapter recommendations then go to a screening committee, which selects the year's nominees. USHWA members then vote on the nominees to determine who, if anyone, will be elected
« Last Edit: July 23, 2008, 09:14:40 AM by njhorseman » Report to moderator   Logged
wilderness
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« Reply #9 on: July 23, 2008, 09:22:21 AM »

Hey Paul,
                How goes it?

 The "Living HOF" is as you have explained.

 There are multiple HOF status/classes of different orgs.

The Harness Museum has their own categories of induction that are outside the USHWA.
In addition, the "Living HOF" inductee's are placed into a category at the Harness Museum when they leave this earth.

 There are even local chapters of the USHWA that have their own inductee's were are NOT part of the National Process.

  Here's a brief explanation of SOME of the status/classes:

                http://www.***/hof/catg.html

 I'm just not aware if the Harness Museum's category "Immortals of the Hall of Fame-Men and Women" requires the person to be deceased, although I'm sure that information is on the Harness Museum's website.
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Regards Don
Buffaloboy
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« Reply #10 on: July 23, 2008, 09:33:28 AM »

BB and others,
                        There are many worthy people that have NOT been inducted into the HOF.
There are others that should NOT have been inducted.

 There are people on the HOF Board that have been including names for nomination for many years.

 Anybody interested in accumulating a list of those that SHOULD be inducted?

 Frank E. Best gave his every dollar and every moment to preserve "The Registrar" and the accumulation of Standardbred bloodlines at a time when everybody in the industry had abanadoned the record keeping process.
 And yet, Mr. Best is NOT and HOF inductee.
 
 John Wallace before him is!

 Most everybody associated with either "The Registrar" or the "organizational body" of the Registrar, AFTER Frank Best is inducted as well.

 Why not Frank E. Best?

There's some reading on Mr. Best in the last section (titled; The First Registrar Part II) of this page:
http://www.mi-harness.net/publct/wallacebks.html

 I am not saying Ben Webster does not belong in the Hall of Fame. However when you read the letter from his daughter, as well intended as it was, the vagueness of "ups and downs" will generate the reaction from many people that Dolfan had.

I am just saying that it would have been better to address the issue, say how it has been resolved and get it over with. If anything, I am biased towards Roosevelt Raceway and its people. Webster many not have been the best at Roosevelt but for him to have the success there that he did at the time he did makes him far better then the best at other places.

I would go so far as to say that that core group who put Roosevelt on the map should be inducted as a group because they meant that much to the sport.

I must admit ignorance to Frank Best and other human non-drivers who would or would not be in the Hall but I have no problem with honoring those like him, Steve Philips (if not already in the hall) or announcers in a way similar to what baseball has.

I believe tracking historical records and the things you do here are important to this or any sport
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When will Barn To Wire finally do the right thing and ban Clockerterry & Edwarren for their continued lies, anti-American & anti-semetic statements and their general disrutpive stupidity? 

“The answer to a government that’s too big is to stop feeding its growth.” - President Ronald W. Reagan
njhorseman
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« Reply #11 on: July 23, 2008, 09:56:55 AM »

Hey Paul,
                How goes it?

 The "Living HOF" is as you have explained.

 There are multiple HOF status/classes of different orgs.

The Harness Museum has their own categories of induction that are outside the USHWA.
In addition, the "Living HOF" inductee's are placed into a category at the Harness Museum when they leave this earth.

 There are even local chapters of the USHWA that have their own inductee's were are NOT part of the National Process.

  Here's a brief explanation of SOME of the status/classes:

                http://www.***/hof/catg.html

 I'm just not aware if the Harness Museum's category "Immortals of the Hall of Fame-Men and Women" requires the person to be deceased, although I'm sure that information is on the Harness Museum's website.

Don:
 I was talking about the process for electing (living) people, not horses or the deceased.
« Last Edit: July 23, 2008, 09:59:29 AM by njhorseman » Report to moderator   Logged
wilderness
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« Reply #12 on: July 23, 2008, 10:06:28 AM »

Don:
 I was talking about the process for electing people, not horses. Horses are elected by the museum's members.

 Hey Paul,
                   With all due resprect, "people" are also inducted by the Museum into the Museum's own categories.

I've been corresponding for sometime with a board-member that has submitted the "same name each and every year" for nearly 15 years (I have no clue if the Museum's board members are allowed multiple or single choices each year).



BTW, a new category?
"Living Hall of Fame Senior Veterans"



How  does a person or horse become an Immortal?

http://www.harnessmuseum.com/hofelections.htm

A Museum member can nominate a person or a trotter or pacer to be an Immortal. Nominations must be accompanied by biographical information outlining the nominee's contributions to the Standardbred sport and must be received by the Museum Director no later than March 1st of any given year. These nominations are reviewed by an Immortals Committee; recommendations are made to the Hall of Fame's full board of trustees and the board elects Immortals at its annual meeting on Hall of Fame Day, the first Sunday in July.

Person Immortals (Many of which died long before the USHWA's "Living Hall of Fame" came in to existence:
http://www.harnessmuseum.com/pages/hall-of-fame/Immortals/immortals1.htm
http://www.harnessmuseum.com/pages/hall-of-fame/Immortals/immortals2.htm
http://www.harnessmuseum.com/pages/hall-of-fame/Immortals/immortals_3.htm
http://www.harnessmuseum.com/pages/hall-of-fame/Immortals/immortals4.htm
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wilderness
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« Reply #13 on: July 23, 2008, 10:09:59 AM »

I am not saying Ben Webster does not belong in the Hall of Fame. However when you read the letter from his daughter, as well intended as it was, the vagueness of "ups and downs" will generate the reaction from many people that Dolfan had.

I am just saying that it would have been better to address the issue, say how it has been resolved and get it over with. If anything, I am biased towards Roosevelt Raceway and its people. Webster many not have been the best at Roosevelt but for him to have the success there that he did at the time he did makes him far better then the best at other places.


 BB,
        I realized your intention and my misunderstanding of same, after I had submited my reply.

 My Apologies.
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Regards Don
wilderness
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« Reply #14 on: July 23, 2008, 10:24:15 AM »

Don:
 I was talking about the process for electing (living) people, not horses or the deceased.

 Paul,
          I wonder if Mrs. Somers understanding of the distinction between the categories and orgs is not as confused,  as "yours and my attempts" to help the other, understand exactly what we are attempting to express Wink
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Regards Don
njhorseman
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« Reply #15 on: July 23, 2008, 11:31:24 AM »

Hey Paul,
                   With all due resprect, "people" are also inducted by the Museum into the Museum's own categories.

I've been corresponding for sometime with a board-member that has submitted the "same name each and every year" for nearly 15 years (I have no clue if the Museum's board members are allowed multiple or single choices each year).



BTW, a new category?
"Living Hall of Fame Senior Veterans"



How  does a person or horse become an Immortal?

http://www.harnessmuseum.com/hofelections.htm

A Museum member can nominate a person or a trotter or pacer to be an Immortal. Nominations must be accompanied by biographical information outlining the nominee's contributions to the Standardbred sport and must be received by the Museum Director no later than March 1st of any given year. These nominations are reviewed by an Immortals Committee; recommendations are made to the Hall of Fame's full board of trustees and the board elects Immortals at its annual meeting on Hall of Fame Day, the first Sunday in July.

Person Immortals (Many of which died long before the USHWA's "Living Hall of Fame" came in to existence:
http://www.harnessmuseum.com/pages/hall-of-fame/Immortals/immortals1.htm
http://www.harnessmuseum.com/pages/hall-of-fame/Immortals/immortals2.htm
http://www.harnessmuseum.com/pages/hall-of-fame/Immortals/immortals_3.htm
http://www.harnessmuseum.com/pages/hall-of-fame/Immortals/immortals4.htm

Don, my response said (living) people. I'm not sure why you quoted me without the word "living"...as I had added it a good seven minutes before your reply quoted above.

The USHWA election process also has a category for (living) Seniors. Each chapter is limited to a single recommended nominee, as opposed to two nominees in the regular category.
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momo
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« Reply #16 on: July 24, 2008, 07:34:28 AM »

is this the race fixing hall of fame?  might as well elect oj simpson for husband hall of fame, hitler for a humantarian hall of fame and mcdonalds for the culinary hall of fame.
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bret hart
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« Reply #17 on: July 27, 2008, 11:02:53 AM »

http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9504E6DC123BF93AA25755C0A965948260

not sure this link will work, but it will answer all the questions many of you have. IMO he was a great horseman but I don't believe he accomplished enough to overcome the huge blemish. JMO. I wouldnt freak out if he got in, but if he gets into this hall then we need to get into our hall.

Regards,

Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire.
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Tsunami
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« Reply #18 on: July 27, 2008, 10:31:39 PM »

Yeah you're right
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