Astros to honor Neil Hohlfeld

I was among those asked to vote on this year’s honoree for the Houston Baseball Media Wall of Honor, and the choice for me — and many others — was easy. Neil Hohlfeld, former Astros beat writer who died suddenly last year, is most deserving of a spot on the wall. And on Monday, the Astros announced that Hohlfeld will be this year’s inductee.

Hohlfeld will be honored posthumously in a pre-game ceremony Sept. 12 before the 6:05 p.m. Astros game against the Pittsburgh Pirates. An induction plaque will be presented to Hohlfeld’s wife, Lynne, and another plaque will be installed at the Houston Baseball Media Wall of Honor display on the broadcast level of the Minute Maid Park press box.

Hohlfeld is the third person to be inducted into the Wall of Honor, joining media pioneer Anita Martini, who was the inaugural inductee in 2007, and former Astros radio broadcaster Gene Elston, 2008. Hohlfeld covered the Astros as the beat writer for the Houston Chronicle from 1979 until 1995. He served as president of the Houston chapter of the Baseball Writers Association of America in 1993.

In 1996, Hohlfeld went on to cover other sports, including Texas A&M athletics and NASCAR, through 2006 before assuming an editing assignment for the Chronicle. In 2007, he returned to his first love as a baseball analyst for FS Houston’s pre- and post-game shows.

Hohlfeld graduated from the University of Missouri with a Bachelor of Journalism in 1973 and began his career in Hannibal, Mo. He worked for the Chicago Tribune from 1974-79 before joining the Chronicle in 1979.

Hohlfeld passed away on July 19, 2008 at the age of 56. He was honored by the Houston chapter of the BBWAA as the recipient of the 2008 Fred Hartman Long and Meritorious Service Award.

The Houston Baseball Media Wall of Honor each season inducts a current or former Houston media member who has made significant and lasting contributions to the landscape of Houston baseball through their work in journalism or broadcasting.

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