Boss, Billy, Miller among nominees for Hall
Veterans Committee to vote on 12 candidates at Winter Meetings
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- The 16-man committee examining veterans from the Expansion era for induction into the National Baseball Hall of Fame will vote Monday on a slate of current candidates with the announcement of any new members coming at a 10 a.m. ET news conference to open the first day of the Winter Meetings.The news conference can be seen live on MLB.com.
The ballot of 12 includes eight players: Vida Blue, Dave Concepcion, Steve Garvey, Ron Guidry, Tommy John, Al Oliver, Ted Simmons and Rusty Staub; three executives: Pat Gillick, Marvin Miller and George Steinbrenner, and one manager: Billy Martin.The committee vote will occur on Monday after the group discusses the candidates on Sunday. Any living electee will be introduced at a noon news conference on Tuesday. Only Steinbrenner and Martin are deceased. Steinbrenner -- the longtime Yankees principal owner, who is on the ballot for the first time -- passed away earlier this year. "It's important to all of us," Hal Steinbrenner, his son and managing general partner, told MLB.com earlier this year about his late father, entering the hallowed Hall. "I don't get into the intricacies of how this works, but there's no doubt in my mind he belongs there and most of the people I talk to agree. It would be an unbelievable honor for him and the entire family." Like all votes for the Hall, candidates need 75 percent to be elected, which in this case is 12 of the 16 committee members. The Expansion era covers umpires, managers and executives who made their greatest contributions to the game from 1973 to the present. For the players, that term is 1973-89. Blue, Guidry and John made their marks as pitchers. Concepcion was the shortstop for the Big Red Machine, which has already placed stars Joe Morgan, Johnny Bench and Tony Perez in the Hall. Oliver was an All-Star outfielder/first baseman who played 18 seasons, his first 10 with the Pirates. Simmons played 21 seasons, mostly as an All-Star catcher. Garvey was an All-Star first baseman for the Dodgers and Padres who holds the National League record with 1,207 consecutive games played. "Getting in would be the ultimate honor for individual performance," Garvey told MLB.com when reached by phone at home in Palm Desert, Calif., last week. "But it would give me the opportunity to go out there and really promote the game, to take the recognition as a Hall of Famer to really use it and promote it. It's not that I don't do it now, but there's something about the HOF that puts you in another category." Martin, who died in an automotive accident in 1989, managed the Yankees five times during the Steinbrenner era, winning the 1976 American League pennant and '77 World Series title. A wiry second baseman during his playing days, he also managed the Twins, Tigers, Rangers and A's, finishing with a .553 winning percentage. Miller, the former executive director of the MLB Players Association, has been on various Veterans Committee ballots, but has never been elected. Gillick was one of this era's top general managers, building three World Series champions: the Blue Jays of 1992-93 and the 2008 Phillies. He still works with the Phillies as a consultant. Steinbrenner purchased the Yankees in 1973 and during his ownership the team won seven World Series titles and 11 American League pennants. He passed away on July 13 at the age of 80. Until Martin's death, the two were tied inexorably together. According to Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter, who has been with the club since late 1995 and opined on the matter during the season, there's no choice. "The Boss" belongs in. "Because of what he's meant to the game," said Jeter, who is now working his way through free agency to re-sign with the Yankees. "He was the best owner in all of sports. Where he took this team from and where it is now. He was a winner. When you think of the Yankees the first name that comes to mind is George Steinbrenner. When do you want me to stop?" The 16-member committee is comprised of seven Hall of Fame players and one manager: Bench, Whitey Herzog, Eddie Murray, Jim Palmer, Perez, Frank Robinson, Ryne Sandberg and Ozzie Smith; four current Major League executives: Bill Giles of the Phillies, David Glass of the Royals, Andy MacPhail of the Orioles and Jerry Reinsdorf of the White Sox, and four veteran media members: Bob Elliott of the Toronto Sun, Tim Kurkjian of ESPN, Ross Newhan, retired from the Los Angeles Times, and Tom Verducci of Sports Illustrated and MLB Network. A group of 11 veteran members of the Baseball Writers' Association of America devised the overall ballot from which this year's lucky dozen were selected. The Hall of Fame executive board changed the makeup of the Veterans Committees this year after recently only one player -- Yankees second baseman Joe Gordon -- had been elected. Gordon was inducted in 2009 along with Rickey Henderson and Jim Rice. Managers Dick Williams, Herzog and Billy Southworth, umpire Doug Harvey and Dodgers owner Walter O'Malley were elected by Veterans Committees in recent years. Herzog and Harvey were inducted along with Andre Dawson this past July 25 in the Class of 2010. There are now three distinct committees voting on players from different eras, one group each year on a revolving basis. The three groups are the Pre-Integration era from 1871-1946, the Golden era from 1947-1972, and the Expansion era. They revolve every three years with the Expansion era coming around again in 2013. The Golden era will be considered in 2011 and the Pre-Integration era in 2012. Committees for the latter two eras will consist of 10 members. All the committees will be reconfigured every year. The annual ballot considered by the BBWAA includes players who have been retired for five years. They can remain on that ballot for 15 years if they garner at least 5 percent of the vote each year. If a player hasn't been elected by the writers during that 15-year period, he immediately becomes eligible for consideration by the Expansion era committee. In the case of the Expansion era, any eligible player with 10 full seasons in the Majors whose career ended no later than 1989 was considered this time around. Managers and umpires with at least 10 full years' experience must be retired five years to be considered unless he is 65 or over. Then a six-month waiting period after retirement applies. Executives at 65 can be considered immediately, otherwise the same five-year period after retirement applies. The six-month waiting period is why recently retired managers Joe Torre, Bobby Cox, Lou Piniella and Cito Gaston were not considered for the 2010 ballot even though they are all 66 or older. They will be eligible in 2013, although any one of them can push eligibility further back if he decides to manage again.
Barry M. Bloom is national reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Boomskie on Baseball. Follow @boomskie on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.