Class of 2004
Los Angeles Dodgers
Nominated by Ryan Jones
Tony Gwynn enters the Hall of Fame in its first year of existence. For many out there it is hard to imagine Gwynn playing for anyone other than the Padres, but in this league he made his name as a Dodger. Tony was traded in the early years of this league to the Los Angeles Dodgers for probably a sack of potatoes. He went on to anchor a team that would win 5 NBC Championships. Long time owners can remember Tony with a A rating in the field and a 9 steal on the base paths. That sure made him a force in this league, when you add the .340+ batting average.
As Tony's career was nearing the end, he was traded to the Indians. The Indians were owned by the biggest Padre fan on the planet. When the team moved to San Diego, Tony was there to play his final season as a Padre and bat a cool .371 with a .934 OPS.
Nominated by Bill Nyman
Ryne Sandberg was the back bone of the NBC Cubs for the first 9 years of this league. In 1989 , the first year, Ryne was the All Star Game MVP. The NBC has given a league MVP award out only a few times and Sandberg was the MVP in 1991. He played in 4 World Series and lead his team to the Championship in 1994. He was always right in the middle of the great Cub teams. His defense was top notch and he always could hit the cover off the ball.
In 1998 Sandberg was traded to the Cincinnati Reds, for one last run at a title. The Reds and Sandberg lost that World Series, and that was the last game the he would play in the NBC.
San Diego Padres
Nominated by Scott Eggen
NBC League Founder
Photo: Sam and Scott in Sarasota, Florida
In 1989 Samuel Chi decided he wanted to start a play by mail baseball league. He contacted Pursue the Pennant and they sent him a list of guys that wanted to join a league. Sam wasn't going to own a team. He was just going to be the commissioner. The league needed another owner, so he took the Padres. Sam is a big Dodger fan, so it was tough not having them.
The league continued to grow and Sam kept everyone informed through his great league newsletters, in a time before Internet. He arranged draft parties in other states like Michigan, Baltimore, New York, and Arizona. Sam was the league commissioner for the first 5 years of the league.
As an owner, Sam was a very competitive player. He loved to win and tried hard to put a good team out there. Though sometimes it back fired, like trading Gwynn, but usually he made good moves like getting Clemens and Cone to anchor the pitching staff.
We can't forget the time the police had to come to Sam's house and help with a NBC dispute. Yes, the police had to be called in. Sam once traveled to Phoenix on a Greyhound bus, just to play his playoff games face to face.
Sam left the league after the 1995 season to focus more on his work. He married his wife Jill and they have a beautiful daughter (Rachel) and moved to California. Sam passed away after a battle with cancer in 2017. We will always miss our founder and friend.