12/03/07 1:55 PM ET
Five elected to Hall by Vets Committee
Williams, Southworth, Kuhn, O'Malley, Dreyfuss get nods
By Barry M. Bloom / MLB.com
A maximum of four inductees could have been elected in each of those two categories. As is the case on all Hall elections, a candidate must receive 75 percent of the vote to be elected. Williams, 78, is the only living electee. Kuhn is the fourth Commissioner elected, following Kenesaw Mountain Landis, Happy Chandler and Ford Frick."I congratulate the Hall of Fame for electing five new members," Commissioner Bud Selig said in a statement. "I am particularly pleased that former Commissioner Bowie Kuhn is among those who have received this great honor. Bowie was a close friend and a respected leader who served as Commissioner during an important period in history, amid a time of change."
Former players who are no longer eligible for the annual Baseball Writers Association of America ballot won't come to a vote again until late next year. And that will be broken down into two ballots: One for those who played prior to 1943 and another for those who played from 1943 and afterward. From that point on, players whose careers ended in 1943 will be up for election every five years, while those who played after 1943 will be nominated every other year.The managers/umpires and executives/pioneers now will be voted on every other year. It should be noted that no player had been elected by any permutation of the Veterans Committee since Bill Mazeroski in 2001. Previous to Monday, the last manager to be elected was Sparky Anderson in 2000, and the last Major League executive was Lee MacPhail Jr. in 1998. During elections held by the reconstituted Veterans Committee in 2003, 2005 and earlier this year, no one was elected, prompting the changes in the committee setup. The committee assembled to elect managers/umpires included 16 people: 10 Hall of Fame players, three current and former Major League executives, and three veteran media members. The Hall of Famers were Hank Aaron, Jim Bunning, Bob Gibson, Fergie Jenkins, Al Kaline, Tommy Lasorda, Phil Niekro, Tony Perez, Earl Weaver and Billy Williams. Aaron could not attend and was replaced by veteran baseball writer Hal McCoy. Southworth and Williams each received 13 votes from the 16 members on that particular committee. "All I can say is that it's about time," Lasorda, a long-time Dodgers employee and Hall of Fame manager, said of O'Malley. "He deserves it. He's a pioneer. He made a tremendous change in the game, opening up the West Coast to Major League Baseball." The committee assembled to elect executives was made up of 12 members: Two Hall of Fame players, seven former or current Major League executives and three veteran media members. Monte Irvin and Harmon Killebrew were the Hall of Fame players. Dreyfuss and Kuhn each received 10 votes from the 12 members on that committee, while O'Malley got nine. Weaver, the former Orioles manager, called Williams almost immediately after the announcement. "He was ecstatic," said Weaver. "Now he's got to start worrying about his speech. I told him, 'Congratulations. It was well-deserved.' It's a shame it had to take this long."
Barry M. Bloom is a national reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.