Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Veterans are cold 

The Veterans Committee for the National Baseball Hall of Fame failed to elect anyone to join Gwynn and Ripken. Ron Santo came up five votes short.

The former Cubs third baseman received the most votes on the players ballot with 57 (69.5 percent), followed by former pitcher Jim Kaat with 52 (63.4), former Dodgers first baseman Gil Hodges with 50 (61.0) and former Twins outfielder Tony Oliva with 47 (57.3), the only players to be named on at least half of the 82 of 84 ballots cast with 62 votes needed for 75 percent.

The committee, which is comprised of living Hall of Famers, Ford C. Frick Award winners for broadcasting and J.G. Taylor Spink Award winners for writing to total 84 voters, has not elected anyone since the current process went into effect in 2003. This was the third players ballot, which is voted on every other year, and the second composite ballot of executives, managers and umpires, which is voted on every four years.

Though some speculated that this would be the year Marvin Miller, who was instrumental in forming the players union, would be elected, he came up short as well. For those guys, it's four years before another election occurs. Miller and Santo belong in, as does Joe Torre for his playing days as a catcher (a .297 lifetime hitter with 252 HRs) more than his managing. I think it's more a screwed up system -- nobody's been elected by the VC since they changed the rules in 2003 -- than any attempt to hold up these players and Miller.

For my many Twins fan readers -- yeah, Oliva probably should be in, but not before Santo and Torre.