Edward Stack, 88, longtime Baseball Hall of Fame president, dies

Edward Stack, who as president of the National Baseball Hall of Fame developed the eligibility rule that continues to prevent the election of Pete Rose, a prolific hitter. banned from Major League Baseball due to gambling, died Sunday in Port Washington, New York, on Long Island. He was 88 years old.

His daughter Amy Stack said his death in the nursing home was due to complications from a January injury that led to the amputation of his left leg.

In 1991, Stack, who held various positions at the Hall from 1961 to 2000 and presided over its annual induction ceremony in Cooperstown, New York, was faced with the problem of what to do with Rose, a star player for three decades, whose career has 4,256 hits, the most in history. the history of baseball made him explicit worthy of perpetuation.

Two years earlier, the baseball commissioner, A. Bartlett Giamattipermanently banned Rose from sports after an investigation revealed that he had bet on baseball games, including those of his own team, as a player and manager of the Cincinnati Reds in the 1980s.

Despite the ban, Rose would have been the first choice for the Hall in the American Baseball Writers Association ballot announced in early 1992.

At the beginning of the same year, Mr. Stack said Faye Vincentwho was Mr. Giamatti’s deputy before succeeding him as commissioner after Mr. Giamatti’s death in 1989, Hall’s board of directors must strip any person on the baseball ineligible list from Hall candidates .

“Stack said, ‘We have to change the rule because there has to be a moral aspect to being elected to the Hall,'” Mr. Vincent said on the phone. “Stack was right and I didn’t need to encourage him.”

The rule change was unanimously approved by the Board of the Hall. It did not specifically mention Rose or the other most notorious player on the banned list, Barefoot Joe Jackson, who was suspended after being suspended for life along with seven other members of the 1919 Chicago White Sox team for conspiring to fix the games. in this club. World Series of the Year.

“We are clearing our election rules,” Stack said at a press conference after the vote. “It probably should have been done a few years ago. That’s how it should be.”

In 2022, Stack confirmed his opposition to Rose’s admission to the gym.

“Never,” he told Newsday. “He broke the rules of baseball.”

Edward William Stack was born on February 2nd. January 1, 1935 in Rockville Center, New York and grew up in nearby Sea Cliff. His father, also named Edward, was a carpenter and home builder, and his mother, Helen (Leitner) Stack, was a housewife.

At 14, Ed, as he was known, contracted polio. For a year he was treated in a children’s hospital, and the rest of his life he walked on weakened legs.

After graduating in accounting and graduating from Pace College (now Pace University) with a bachelor’s degree in business administration in 1956, he began working in Manhattan as an accountant for Clark Estates, a firm that handles financial management for organizations associated with the powerful Clark. the Cooperstown family, including the Baseball Hall of Fame.

“I finished Friday night” he told Pace“and reported work on Monday morning.”

Mister. Stack never stopped working for the Clark family in Cooperstown, although he worked part-time there while maintaining a permanent office in Manhattan.

He became Hall of Fame secretary in 1961, president in 1977, and chairman in 1979.

He also served on several other boards, including the Fenimore Art Museum, located in a mansion donated by the Clark family. He oversaw renovations there and at the Bassett Healthcare Network, which the Clark family funded from the start, and the construction of the Clark Sports Center, fitness center, and recreation center where Hall’s induction ceremony is held.

“I can honestly say that Ed had a deep understanding of my family’s vision for Cooperstown and the organizations associated with Clark.” Jane Forbes Clark, who became Chair of the Hall after Mr. Stack stepped down in 2000 and is president of the Clark Foundation, said in an interview. “Ed instinctively knew how to honor that vision and bring it to life.”

Mister. Stack also oversaw the Hall’s construction, including the addition of a three-story west wing in 1980, which created a new exhibition space and underground level to house extensive artefact collections, and a $7.5 million expansion in 1989 to coincide with the Hall’s 50th anniversary. anniversary, which replaced the former gymnasium with office space, additional space for exhibitions and a theater.

In addition to daughter Amy, Mr. Stack is survived by his wife Christina (Hunt) Stack, whom he met while she was a summer waitress at the Clark family’s Otesaga Resort in Cooperstown; two other daughters, Suzanne and Kimberly Ann Stack; three grandchildren; and sister Barbara Aasheim.

Mister. Stack figured in a dream Leon Day, the Negro National League star pitcher who, on the day he was elected to the Hall by the Veterans Committee in 1995, called his wife Geraldine from his Baltimore hospital room, where he was recovering from a heart attack.

“I dreamed that Ed Stack came into my hospital room with this box and told me to open it,” she recalls when she spoke at his Hall of Fame induction a few months later. “And when I did, baby, inside was the most beautiful ring I’ve ever seen,” symbolizing his election, “and I have to get out of here, get into the Hall of Fame and get my ring.”

He died six days later. He never received his ring.