Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
February 27, 2007
BASEBALL: The Veterans Pick Nobody

Ron Santo and umpire Doug Harvey led the balloting. I generally think Santo is a solid candidate, and Harvey was so respected by the players he was nicknamed "the Lord".

The new Veterans Commitee seems designed not to work, which isn't the worst result but it would be nice to see guys like Santo, Minnie Minoso and Dick Allen get a fair shake. The balloting:

Results of the 2007 Player Ballot (62 needed for election): Santo (57 votes, 69.5%), Jim Kaat (52, 63.4%), Gil Hodges (50, 61%), Tony Oliva (47, 57.3%), Maury Wills (33, 40.2%), Joe Torre (26, 31.7%), Don Newcombe (17, 20.7%), Vada Pinson (16, 19.5%), Roger Maris (15, 18.3%), Lefty O'Doul (15, 18.3%), Luis Tiant (15, 18.3%), Curt Flood (14, 17.1%), Al Oliver (14, 17.1%), Mickey Vernon (14, 17.1%), Minnie Minoso (12, 14.6%), Cecil Travis (12, 14.6%), Dick Allen (11, 13.4%), Marty Marion (11, 13.4%), Joe Gordon (10, 12.2%), Ken Boyer (9, 11%), Mickey Lolich (8, 9.8%), Wes Ferrell (7, 8.5%), Sparky Lyle (6, 7.3%), Carl Mays (6, 7.3%), Thurman Munson (6, 7.3%), Rocky Colavito (5, 6.1%) and Bobby Bonds (1, 1.2%).

Results of the 2007 Composite Ballot (61 needed for election): Harvey (52 votes, 64.2%), Marvin Miller (51, 63%), Walter O'Malley (36, 44.4%), Buzzie Bavasi (30, 37%), Dick Williams (30, 37%), Whitey Herzog (29, 35.8%), Bill White (24, 29.6%), Bowie Kuhn (14, 17.3%), August Busch Jr. (13, 16%), Billy Martin (12, 14.8%), Charley O. Finley (10, 12.3%), Gabe Paul (10, 12.3%), Paul Richards (10, 12.3%), Phil Wrigley (9, 11.1%) and Harry Dalton (8, 9.9%).

Posted by Baseball Crank at 2:00 PM | Baseball 2007 | Comments (10) | TrackBack (0)

I agree with you about Harvey. He was a great ump. I only feel strongly about three of the candidates on the list. Hodges, Torre and Curt Flood. Hodges and Torre, if you look at all of their contributions to baseball should be hands down inductees. Both had solid careers and then followed with successful managing. Flood is another story. Without Curt Flood the face of baseball today wold be completely different. Flood was a good player, but not Hall owrthy. His contributions lie in his willingness to make a stand. He essentially gave up his career to challenge the reserve clause. There is no doubt he had several productive years left. The players today owe most of what they have to Curt Flood.

Posted by: maddirishman at February 27, 2007 2:26 PM

There will probably be a push to overhaul the system, since the current way has never elected anyone. But that's not a bad thing at all - it means that only players who have been egregiously overlooked can get in. Santo is close enough for me to think he may get in eventually. But it's not like the writers ballot in terms of building momentum - they vote every two years, and since the eligible are mostly old guys, there's an unfortunate likelihood of the guys who voted for you this time not voting next time.

Posted by: Jerry at February 27, 2007 2:29 PM

How is failing to be voted in 'not getting a fair shake?" they were weighed in the balance and found wanting, for whatever reason. Still they had a chance, botrh with the regular writers and now the vets.

I like (and agree) with the thinking that nobody was elected because nobody earned it. More and more as the Hall becomes an economic powerhouse, I fear we will never again be treated to the spectacle of a summer with no inductees; which is a shame. The honor in my mind is all the more valuable if, every once in a while, the gatekeepers say "none this year are worthy.'

Posted by: Bensdad00 at February 27, 2007 4:39 PM

I would've voted for Santo-the best 3B of the Sixties-but I can see why no other player won-none of them are deserving.

The case for Kaat is that his career was about more than longevity-one of the best lefties in the AL in the mid 60's, then he bounced back after his career looked like it might be over and won 20 games twice for the White Sox in the 70's. I wouldn't have voted for Kaat, but he's not a BAD choice.

Newcombe's an interesting case-not for the Hall, but just to think about. He had half of a HOF career-first half he was as good or better than Robin Roberts, his contemporary...second half he was Sidney Ponson. I wonder how many guys have had that kind of career path? Booze, of course, was responsible.

Posted by: John Salmon at February 27, 2007 8:47 PM

Flood and Marvin Miller have basically similar cases. I'm not sure the Hall is really for honoring victories in the longstanding war between players and management over money (although John Ward and Charlie Comiskey are in there).

Newcombe was a great pitcher at his best, and would probably be a deserving inductee if he hadn't missed two crucial years to military service, but even in his best years he was 60-80 innings a year short of being comparable to Robin Roberts. Roberts was one of the all-time workhorses.

Posted by: The Crank at February 27, 2007 10:15 PM

The currently constituted VC isn't really a good way of dealing with the managers, executives, owners, and umpires. I guess it's arguable that those guys don't really belong in the HOF anyway unless they rise to the John McGraw or Joe McCarthy level, but the current system will certainly prevent all but the super-qualified of those categories from getting in. I don't mind that at all with the players, but for people who don't have any other route in, it's pretty harsh.

Posted by: Jerry at February 27, 2007 10:20 PM

"...second half he was Sidney Ponson"

ouch - I think even Ponson would be insulted if you ascribed that to him.

Posted by: Maryland Conservatarian at February 28, 2007 7:38 AM

Crank-Newcombe only had 149 wins, so the two years of military service didn't really stop him from being a good Hall candidate. He had his best year in '56 (27-7, 130 ERA+) three years after getting back from the service, so he didn't lose his effectiveness while he was away.

You're right about the IP, though. Newk maxed out at 272 (in 1951) while Roberts had up 300 innings six times, in six straight years, 1950-55.

Posted by: John Salmon at February 28, 2007 9:19 AM

As a non-Yankee fan, I think I can support Roger Maris without bias or interest. Sure, his overall career stats weren't HOF-quality, but how many others who have held a revered record for such a long period of time aren't in the Hall?

Posted by: Attila (Pillage Idiot) at February 28, 2007 3:29 PM

Sorry, I don't think it's a good idea to put such a one dimensional player in the Hall who was only good for a few seasons.

When I look at that list, I don't see anyone who is truly Hall-worthy, so I'm not surprised that the Veterans Committee didn't select anyone.

Posted by: Adam Herman at March 5, 2007 9:09 AM
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