Ten Named To Golden Era Ballot for Baseball Hall of Fame Election

Eight Players, Two Executives from 1947-’72 Era to Be Considered at Winter Meetings

November 03, 2011

COOPERSTOWN, NY – Eight former major league players and two former executives comprise the 10-name Golden Era ballot to be reviewed and voted upon Dec. 5 at the Baseball Winter Meetings, the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum announced today.

Buzzie Bavasi, Ken Boyer, Charlie Finley, Gil Hodges, Jim Kaat, Minnie Minoso, Tony Oliva, Allie Reynolds, Ron Santo and Luis Tiant are the candidates for Golden Era Committee consideration for Hall of Fame election for the class of 2012. Bavasi and Finley are included for their contributions as executives, while the other eight are inclusions for their on-field careers. Kaat, Minoso, Oliva and Tiant are living; all other candidates are deceased.

Any candidate to receive votes on 75 percent of the ballots cast by the 16-member Golden Era Committee will earn election to the National Baseball Hall of Fame and will be inducted in Cooperstown on July 22, 2012, along with any electees who emerge from the 2012 Baseball Writers’ Association of America election, to be announced on Jan. 9.

The 10 Golden Era finalists were selected by the BBWAA-appointed Historical Overview Committee from all eligible candidates among Managers, Umpires, Executives and Long-Retired Players whose most significant career impact was realized during the 1947-72 time period. Eligible candidates include: Players who played in at least 10 major league seasons, who are not on Major League Baseball’s ineligible list, and have been retired for 21 or more seasons; and Managers, Umpires and Executives with 10 or more years in baseball.

The Golden Era ballot was determined this fall by the Historical Overview Committee, comprised of 11 veteran historians: Dave Van Dyck (Chicago Tribune); Bob Elliott (Toronto Sun); Rick Hummel (St. Louis Post-Dispatch); Steve Hirdt (Elias Sports Bureau); Bill Madden (New York Daily News); Ken Nigro, (formerly Baltimore Sun); Jack O’Connell (BBWAA secretary/treasurer); Tracy Ringolsby (FSN Rocky Mountain); Glenn Schwarz (formerly San Francisco Chronicle); Claire Smith (ESPN); and Mark Whicker (Orange County Register)

The 16-member Hall of Fame Board-appointed electorate charged with the review of the Golden Era ballot features Hall of Fame members Hank Aaron, Al Kaline, Ralph Kiner, Tommy Lasorda, Juan Marichal, Brooks Robinson, Don Sutton and Billy Williams; major league executives Paul Beeston (Blue Jays), Bill DeWitt (Cardinals), Roland Hemond (Diamondbacks), Gene Michael (Yankees), and Al Rosen (retired); along with veteran media members Dick Kaegel, Jack O’Connell and Dave Van Dyck.

The Golden Era electorate will meet to discuss and review the candidacies of the 10 finalists as part of baseball’s Winter Meetings, December 4-5 in Dallas.

The 10 candidates for Golden Era consideration for the class of 2012:

  • Buzzie Bavasi spent 17 seasons as the Dodgers general manager from 1951-67, leading his team to four World Series titles and eight National League pennants. He then served in similar capacities for the Padres (1968-77) and Angels 1978-84). 
  • Ken Boyer played 15 seasons as a third baseman with the Cardinals, Mets, White Sox and Dodgers, earning seven All-Star Game selections and winning the 1964 National League Most Valuable Player Award en route to leading the Cardinals to a World Series championship.
  • Charlie Finley owned the Kansas City/Oakland A’s from 1960 through 1980, building an Athletics team that won five American League West titles, three AL pennants and three World Series titles between 1971 and 1975.
  • Gil Hodges was named to eight All-Star Games in an 18-year big league career as a first baseman with the Dodgers and Mets, winning three Gold Glove Awards and leading the Dodgers to seven National League pennants and two World Series titles. As a manager, Hodges led the 1969 Miracle Mets to the World Series title.  
  • Jim Kaat pitched 25 seasons with the Senators, Twins, White Sox, Phillies, Yankees and Cardinals, winning 283 games over the course of four different decades. Kaat was named to three All-Star Games and helped the Cardinals win the 1982 World Series.
  • Minnie Minoso played 17 seasons with the Indians, White Sox, Cardinals and Senators, earning seven All-Star Game selections and three Gold Glove Awards as an outfielder. A native of Cuba, he blazed a trail for Latin American players in the big leagues starting in the 1950s.  
  • Tony Oliva played 15 seasons for the Twins, winning three batting titles and leading the American League in hits five times. He was named to eight All-Star Games and won the 1964 AL Rookie of the Year Award.
  • Allie Reynolds pitched in 13 seasons with the Indians and Yankees, winning 182 games while earning five All-Star Game berths. He pitched in six World Series, leading the Yankees to six Fall Classic titles in seven years while posting a 7-2 record with four saves and a 2.79 ERA in 15 World Series games.
  • Ron Santo played 15 seasons at third base for the Cubs and White Sox, earning nine All-Star Game selections and winning five Gold Glove Awards. He hit 342 home runs and drove in 1,331 runs while leading the National League in walks four times.
  • Luis Tiant won at least 20 games in four of his 19 big league seasons with the Indians, Twins, Red Sox, Yankees, Pirates and Angels, finishing his career with 229 wins and a 3.30 ERA while earning three All-Star Game selections. He won two American League ERA titles and led the league in shutouts three times.

More information on each candidate is available by visiting www.baseballhall.org.

About the Era Committees

The Golden Era Committee is the second of a three-year cycle of consideration for Managers, Umpires, Executives and Long-Retired Players by Era, as opposed to the previous consideration by classification, with changes approved and announced by the Hall of Fame’s Board of Directors in 2010.

The Era Committees maintain the high standards for earning election to the National Baseball Hall of Fame, with focus on three time periods: Expansion (1973-present); Golden (1947-1972) and Pre-Integration (1871-1946), as opposed to the previous four Committees on Baseball Veterans, which considered the four categories of candidates. Three separate electorates consider by eras a single composite ballot of managers, umpires, executives and long-retired players on an annual basis, with Pre-Integration Era Committee candidates to be considered at the 2012 Winter Meetings for Induction in 2013 and the Expansion Era Committee candidates to be considered again at the 2013 Winter Meetings for Induction in 2014 following the Expansion Era Committee’s initial vote last year. The Golden Era Committee will next meet at the 2014 Winter Meetings for Induction in 2015.

Candidates remain eligible in perpetuity through the Era Committee process, with new ballots constructed by the Historical Overview Committee the fall prior to each election.

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