01/07/2003 2:15 PM ET
Yanks come up short in Hall vote
Not enough support for Goose, TJ, Donnie Baseball
NEW YORK -- Closers continued to be ignored by Baseball Hall of Fame voters Tuesday, meaning that Rich "Goose" Gossage
will have to wait another year for another chance at Cooperstown induction.
By Mark Feinsand / MLB.com
Gossage, who compiled 124 wins and 310 saves in 1,002 games over 22 seasons, received 209 votes in the latest election,
earning 42.1 percent of the 496 votes cast. A player must receive votes on 75 percent of the ballots to be inducted into
the Hall of Fame. Eddie Murray and Gary Carter were elected Tuesday and will be enshrined on July 27.
This was Gossage's fourth year on the ballot, and his vote support held steady. He received 33 percent of the vote in 2000, 44
percent in 2001 and 43 percent last year. His save total ranks 13th on the all-time list, though only one of the top 12 relievers --
Rollie Fingers -- is enshrined in Cooperstown.
Of the other saves leaders, four are still active (John Franco, Trevor Hoffman, Roberto Hernandez and Robb Nen), while four
others (Dennis Eckersley, Randy Myers, John Wetteland, Rick Aguilera) have not been retired long enough to be eligible for the
Gossage was one of seven relievers on the ballot this year, joining Bruce Sutter and first-timers Lee Smith, Mark Davis, Todd
Worrell, Mitch Williams and Rick Honeycutt.
Sutter had the strongest showing among them, with 53.6 percent of the votes, while Smith, the all-time saves leader with 478,
virtually matched Gossage, receiving one more vote for a total of 210. The others did not receive the required 5 percent of the
votes and will be dropped from future ballots.
A nine-time All-Star, Gossage led his league in saves three times and won the 1978 AL Rolaids Relief award. He finished in
the top 10 of AL MVP voting in 1980 (third) and '81 (ninth), and finished in the top five in Cy Young voting four times. Gossage's
teams reached the postseason four times, as he played in three World Series and won his only championship ring with the
No left-handed pitcher outside of the Hall has more wins than Tommy John, but the southpaw missed out once again in his
ninth try on the ballot. John, who won 288 games, received just 116 votes (23.4 percent), falling well short of the required 75
There are 30 pitchers currently in the Hall of Fame with fewer wins than John, but the southpaw hasn't been named on more
than 28 percent of the ballots in the last five elections.
*Jim Kaat final year on ballot
John, 59, feels his credentials -- 288-231 record, 3.34 ERA, four All-Star appearances, five trips to the postseason -- make him
a solid candidate for the Hall, though most people likely will remember him more for the reconstructive elbow surgery he
underwent in 1974, now nicknamed "Tommy John surgery."
John finished second in Cy Young voting twice, was in the top five in his league's ERA race six times and led the league in
shutouts three times. John pitched eight seasons with the Yankees, seven with the Chicago White Sox and six with the Los
Angeles Dodgers over his 26-year career. He also spent time with the Cleveland Indians, California Angels and Oakland A's.
Don Mattingly, who spent his entire 13-year career with the Yankees, garnered just 68 votes (13.7 percent). Mattingly, the last
man to captain the Bronx Bombers, has been on the ballot for three years, earning 28 percent in 2001 and 20 percent last year.
Mattingly, whose career ended prematurely because of chronic back injuries, was a nine-time Gold Glove winner and a
six-time All-Star. He won the American League MVP award in 1985, batting .324 with 35 home runs and 145 RBIs, and finished
in the top five of MVP voting on two other occasions.
The six-time All-Star also won the batting title in 1984, hitting .343, and led the AL in doubles that season and in 1986. Despite
his .307 lifetime average, one strike against Mattingly was his lack of postseason play. He appeared in just one playoff series,
as his Yankees lost the 1995 AL Division Series to the Seattle Mariners in five games. In that series, Mattingly batted .417
(10-for-24) with one homer and six RBIs.
For his career, he hit 222 home runs and drove in 1,099 RBIs, but he missed 127 games over his final three seasons due to
Jim Kaat, currently a Yankees broadcaster who pitched parts of two seasons in the pinstripes, fell short of election in his 15th
and final year on the ballot. Kaat, who won 283 games and 16 Gold Gloves in a big-league career spanning 25 seasons, was
named on only 130 ballots, or 26.2 percent.
Kaat, whose only chance for election now rests with the Veterans Committee, never received more than 30 percent of the vote
in his 15 tries, that number coming just once in 1993. He also was named on 26.2 percent of ballots last year.
Danny Tartabull, who played in 14 Major League seasons, received one vote; 25 votes were the minimum required to remain
on the ballot next season.
Tartabull played five seasons with the Kansas City Royals and four with the Yankees. He hit 262 home runs and knocked in
925 RBIs. An All-Star in 1991, Tartabull recorded just four more hits in his career (1,366) than strikeouts (1,362).
Mark Feinsand is a reporter for MLB.com. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. This story was not subject to the approval of Major
League Baseball or its clubs.