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12/08/08 3:47 PM EST
Kaat, Oliva denied in Hall of Fame vote
Pitcher finishes second, capturing 59-percent approval
By Kelly Thesier / MLB.com
LAS VEGAS -- Results of the post-1942 balloting by the Veterans Committee were announced Monday, and despite earning votes, no former Twins players were selected for induction into the Hall of Fame. Jim Kaat finished second in the voting with 38 votes (59.4 percent of the vote) and Tony Oliva was third was 33 votes (51.6). Any player receiving at least 75 percent of the vote from the Veterans Committee, which is comprised of the 64 living Hall of Famers, will be enshrined in Cooperstown. None of the 10 players on the ballot this year's post-1942 Veterans Committee vote was elected to the Hall of Fame. Former Cubs third baseman Ron Santo led all candidates, receiving 39 votes (60.9 percent). The other members of the post-1942 Veterans Committee final ballot were Dick Allen, Gil Hodges, Al Oliver, Vada Pinson, Luis Tiant, Joe Torre and Maury Wills. One player from the pre-1943 Veterans Committee ballot was elected -- former Yankees and Indians second baseman Joe Gordon. Kaat holds a lifetime record of 283-237 with a 3.45 ERA. Over that span, he had three 20-win seasons, including a career-high 25 victories for Minnesota in 1966. That was the season Kaat threw 19 complete games, three shutouts and posted a 2.75 ERA and just 55 walks in more than 300 innings. The pitcher also won 16 consecutive Gold Glove Awards from 1962-77. Only Greg Maddux, with 18, owns more Gold Gloves. Oliva was considered by many to have been one of the game's great outfielders of his era, spending his entire 15-year career in Minnesota. From 1962-76, a period that included 11 full seasons, he batted .304 with 220 home runs, 947 RBIs and 870 runs scored. He is the owner of the 1964 American League Rookie of the Year Award and earned three batting titles over his career. But Oliva's career was truncated by a right knee injury that he suffered in 1971 and afterward, his production was never truly the same. That knee injury which has appeared to hamper Oliva's chances to gaining entry into the Hall of Fame as well.
Kelly Thesier is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.