Today’s Game Era Committee Ballot to Be Considered Dec. 4 at Baseball’s Winter Meetings
Results Announced Live on Sunday, Dec. 4 During ‘MLB Tonight’ at 6 p.m. ET on MLB Network
(COOPERSTOWN, NY) – With 2017 just around the corner, Cooperstown is preparing for another historic summer. And the latest Hall of Fame candidates will soon learn if they are headed to the Hall of Fame.
Five former big league players, three executives and two former managers comprise the 10-name Today’s Game Era ballot to be reviewed and voted upon Dec. 4 at the Baseball Winter Meetings in National Harbor, Md. The 16-member Today’s Game Era Committee will consider only candidates on the ballot, and any candidate receiving votes on at least 75 percent of all ballots cast will earn induction into the Hall of Fame.
Results of the voting will be announced live on MLB Network on Sunday, Dec. 4 during MLB Tonight at 6 p.m. ET. Any living electees will be available to media shortly after the announcement via individual conference calls.
Harold Baines, Albert Belle, Will Clark, Orel Hershiser, Davey Johnson, Mark McGwire, Lou Piniella, John Schuerholz, Allan H. “Bud” Selig and George Steinbrenner were named on Oct. 3 as the candidates for Today’s Game Era Committee consideration for the Class of 2017. Baines, Belle, Clark, Hershiser and McGwire are included for their contributions as players, with Piniella and Johnson included for their work as managers and Schuerholz, Selig and Steinbrenner included for their off-field careers. All candidates except for Steinbrenner are living.
Any candidates elected will be inducted in Cooperstown on July 30, 2017, along with any electees who emerge from the 2017 Baseball Writers’ Association of America election, to be announced on Jan. 18, 2017 on MLB Network.
The 16-member Hall of Fame Board-appointed electorate charged with the review of the Today’s Game era features Hall of Fame members Roberto Alomar, Bobby Cox, Andre Dawson, Dennis Eckersley, Pat Gillick, Ozzie Smith, Don Sutton and Frank Thomas; major league executives Paul Beeston (Blue Jays), Bill DeWitt (Cardinals), David Glass (Royals), Andy MacPhail (Phillies) and Kevin Towers (Reds); and veteran media members/historians Bill Center, Steve Hirdt and Tim Kurkjian.
The 10 Today’s Game Era finalists were selected by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America-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 time period from 1988 through the present. Eligible candidates include: Players who played in at least 10 major league seasons; Managers, Umpires and Executives with 10 or more years in baseball – all of whom must not be on Major League Baseball’s ineligible list.
The Historical Overview Committee is comprised of 11 veteran historians: Bob Elliott (Canadian Baseball Network); Jim Henneman (formerly Baltimore Sun); Steve Hirdt (Elias Sports Bureau); Rick Hummel (St. Louis Post-Dispatch); Bill Madden (formerly New York Daily News); Jack O’Connell (BBWAA); Jim Reeves (formerly Fort Worth Star-Telegram); Tracy Ringolsby (MLB.com); Glenn Schwarz (formerly San Francisco Chronicle); Dave Van Dyck (formerly Chicago Tribune); and Mark Whicker (Southern California News Group).
The 10 candidates for Today’s Game Era consideration for the Class of 2017:
• Harold Baines played 22 seasons for the White Sox, Rangers, Athletics, Orioles and Indians, totaling 2,866 hits and 1,628 RBI, an RBI total exceeded by only 31 players in history. A six-time All-Star as an outfielder and DH, Baines was the No. 1 overall pick in the 1977 MLB Draft and was a two-time winner of the Designated Hitter of the Year Award, now named the Edgar Martinez Award.
• Albert Belle was a five-time All-Star outfielder and five-time Silver Slugger Award-winner in his 12 MLB seasons for the Indians, White Sox and Orioles in a career cut short by a hip injury. He drove in 100-or-more runs nine times, including three seasons when he led the AL, and led the league in total bases three times. In 1995, Belle became the only player in MLB history to post at least 50 doubles and 50 home runs in the same season.
• Will Clark played 15 years for the Giants, Rangers, Orioles and Cardinals, winning two Silver Slugger Awards and a Gold Glove Award at first base. A six-time All-Star, Clark compiled a .303 batting average while driving in 100-or-more runs four times and finishing in the Top 10 of his league’s MVP voting four times. He was named the 1989 NLCS MVP after hitting .650 with two homers and eight RBI for the Giants against the Cubs.
• Orel Hershiser pitched 18 seasons for the Dodgers, Indians, Giants and Mets. A three-time All-Star, Hershiser won the 1988 National League Cy Young Award and pitched the Dodgers to the World Series title that fall. The owner of 204 regular season wins, Hershiser was 8-3 with a 2.59 ERA in 22 Postseason games, winning series MVP honors in the 1988 NLCS and World Series as well as in the 1995 ALCS.
• Davey Johnson managed 17 seasons for the Mets, Reds, Orioles, Dodgers and Nationals, posting 1,372 wins. His winning percentage ranks 12th all-time among managers with at least 10 years of service. A 13-year veteran player whose 42 home runs as a second baseman in 1973 still stands as the big league record, Johnson led the 1986 Mets to the World Series title and led his teams to the playoffs in five other seasons. He was named his league’s Manager of the Year in both 1997 and 2012.
• Mark McGwire played 16 seasons for the Athletics and Cardinals, electrifying the baseball world in 1998 when he hit 70 home runs to break the single-season record of 61 set in 1961 by Roger Maris. McGwire set a rookie record with 49 home runs during his AL Rookie of the Year season in 1987 and was named to 12 All-Star Games at first base. His career mark of one home run per 10.61 at-bats is the best in MLB history.
• Lou Piniella managed 23 seasons for the Yankees, Reds, Mariners, Rays and Cubs, winning 1,835 games – good for 14th on the all-time list. Piniella skippered the Reds to the 1990 World Series title and led the 2001 Mariners to an American League record 116 victories. Piniella guided his clubs to seven Postseason appearances and was named Manager of the Year in his league three times (1995, 2001, 2008) following an 18-year playing career that saw him hit .291 and take home World Series rings with the 1977-78 Yankees.
• John Schuerholz laid the groundwork for the Royals 1985 World Series championship team as farm director and general manager, then moved to the Braves, where as general manager and later president he built a club that qualified for the Postseason in 14 straight years, advanced to five World Series and won the title in 1995. He was the first general manager to lead teams to World Series titles in both the American and National Leagues.
• Allan H. “Bud” Seligwas Baseball’s ninth commissioner, serving as acting commissioner starting in 1992 before being named commissioner in 1998. Selig oversaw two rounds of expansion, the creation of Wild Card playoff teams and interleague play as well as the creation of the World Baseball Classic.
• George Steinbrenner purchased the New York Yankees in 1973 and oversaw the team’s path to seven World Series titles before his passing in 2010. An early adopter in baseball’s free agency era of the 1970s, Steinbrenner’s Yankees compiled a winning percentage of .565 and totaled 11 American League pennants in his 37 full years as the team’s owner.
More information is available by visiting http://www.baseballhall.org/hof/2017-todays-game-era-ballot.
About the Era Committees
The Eras Committees consist of four different electorates: Today’s Game (for candidates who made their most indelible contribution to baseball from 1988 to the present); Modern Baseball (for candidates who made their most indelible contribution to baseball from 1970 to 1987); Golden Days (for candidates who made their most indelible contribution to baseball from 1950 to 1969); and Early Baseball (for candidates who made their most indelible contribution to baseball prior to 1950).
The Today’s Game and Modern Baseball eras will be considered twice each in a five-year period, with the Golden Days era considered once every five years and the Early Baseball era considered once every 10 years.
Eras considered for yearly induction over the next decade are as follows: 2017 – Today’s Game; 2018 – Modern Baseball; 2019 – Today’s Game; 2020 – Modern Baseball; 2021 – Both Golden Days and Early Baseball; 2022 – Today’s Game; 2023 – Modern Baseball; 2024 – Today’s Game; 2025 – Modern Baseball; 2026 – Golden Days. The Early Baseball era returns for induction consideration in 2031.
Both the ballot and electorate are created anew with each cycle for consideration.
Four separate electorates consider by era a single composite ballot of managers, umpires, executives and long-retired players. 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.