Early Baseball, Golden Days Era Committee Ballots Announced
(COOPERSTOWN, NY) – The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum today announced the 10-person ballots that will be considered by its Early Baseball Era Committee and Golden Days Era Committee for Hall of Fame election for the Class of 2022. These Era Committees will both meet on Dec. 5 at baseball’s Winter Meetings in Orlando, Fla.
Seven Negro Leagues and pre-Negro Leagues legends and three American League/National League stars comprise the 10-name Early Baseball Era ballot, which features candidates whose primary contribution to the game came prior to 1950. The Golden Days Era Committee considers candidates whose primary contribution to the game came from 1950-69.
The Early Baseball Era ballot includes Bill Dahlen, John Donaldson, Bud Fowler, Vic Harris, Grant “Home Run” Johnson, Lefty O’Doul, Buck O’Neil, Dick “Cannonball” Redding, Allie Reynolds and George “Tubby” Scales. All of these candidates are deceased.
The Golden Days Era ballot includes Dick Allen, Ken Boyer, Gil Hodges, Jim Kaat, Roger Maris, Minnie Miñoso, Danny Murtaugh, Tony Oliva, Billy Pierce and Maury Wills. Of this group, Kaat, Oliva and Wills are living.
The results of the Early Baseball Era Committee vote and the Golden Days Era Committee vote will be announced live on MLB Network’s “MLB Tonight” at 6 p.m. ET on Sunday, Dec. 5.
Any candidate who receives votes on 75 percent of the ballots cast by either 16-member committee will earn election to the National Baseball Hall of Fame and will be inducted in Cooperstown on July 24, 2022, along with any electees who emerge from the 2022 Baseball Writers’ Association of America election, to be announced on Jan. 25, 2022.
The Early Baseball Era and Golden Days Era are two of four Era Committees, each of which provide an avenue for Hall of Fame consideration to managers, umpires and executives, as well as players retired for more than 15 seasons.
The National Baseball Hall of Fame’s Board of Directors convened a Special Early Baseball Overview Committee of 10 historians to develop the Early Baseball Era Committee’s 10-person ballot. The Special Early Baseball Overview Committee consists of five Negro Leagues historians and five veteran members of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America who have previously served on the National Baseball Hall of Fame’s Historical Overview Committee.
The Special Early Baseball Overview Committee includes the following Negro League historians: Gary Ashwill, Adrian Burgos Jr., Phil Dixon, Leslie Heaphy and Claire Smith. They are joined by Historical Overview Committee members Jim Henneman (formerly Baltimore Sun), Steve Hirdt (Stats Perform), Rick Hummel (St. Louis Post-Dispatch), Jim Reeves (formerly Fort Worth Star-Telegram) and Glenn Schwarz (formerly San Francisco Chronicle).
The Historical Overview Committee, which developed the Golden Days Era ballot, includes Henneman, Hirdt, Hummel, Reeves and Schwarz, as well as Bob Elliott (Canadian Baseball Network); David O’Brien (The Athletic); Jack O’Connell (BBWAA); Tracy Ringolsby (InsidetheSeams.com); Susan Slusser (San Francisco Chronicle); and Mark Whicker (Los Angeles News Group).
The 16-member Hall of Fame Board-appointed electorates charged with the review of the Early Baseball Era ballot and the Golden Days Era ballot will be announced later this fall. Each Committee will meet to discuss and review the candidacies of the 10 finalists on each ballot as part of baseball’s Winter Meetings on Dec. 5 in Orlando, Fla.
The 10 candidates for Early Baseball Era consideration for the Class of 2022:
• Bill Dahlen spent 21 seasons in the majors from 1891-1911, playing almost 90 percent of his games at shortstop, compiling a .272 batting average with 84 home runs and 1,234 RBI. He scored 100 or more runs in each of his first six seasons and recorded 120-or-more hits 15 times. He retired in 1911 as the active home run leader with 84 and as the all-time leader in games played (2,444).
• John Donaldson pitched in the Negro Leagues and pre-Negro Leagues for more than 30 years, earning a reputation as one of the best pitchers in the game. Also playing the outfield and managing, Donaldson helped establish the barnstorming business model that was profitable for Black teams for decades.
• Bud Fowler is often acknowledged as the first Black professional baseball player, having pitched and played second base for teams in more than a dozen leagues throughout his career. After spending part of his youth in Cooperstown, Fowler grew up to excel on the diamond and later helped form the successful Page Fence Giants barnstorming team.
• Vic Harris played 18 seasons in the Negro Leagues, primarily as a left fielder for the legendary Homestead Grays. He compiled a .305 career batting average and was known as one of the most aggressive base runners in the Negro National League. Harris also managed the Grays for 11 seasons, winning seven Negro National League pennants and the 1948 World Series.
• Grant “Home Run” Johnson was a shortstop and second baseman in the pre-Negro Leagues era who helped form the Page Fence Giants barnstorming team. A powerful hitter and occasional pitcher, Johnson played for early powerhouse teams like the Brooklyn Royal Giants and New York Lincoln Giants.
• Lefty O’Doul played for 11 seasons with the Yankees, Red Sox, Giants, Phillies and Dodgers, winning two National League batting titles. He compiled a .349 career batting average, fourth-best in AL/NL history. After his playing days, O’Doul managed in the Pacific Coast League and was credited with more than 2,000 victories. In 1932, O’Doul and other players traveled to Japan, where they instructed college students on the intricacies of the game. He returned to Japan several more times throughout the decade and then multiple times after World War II, becoming a beloved figure in the history of Japanese baseball.
• Buck O’Neil played 10 seasons with the Memphis Red Sox and Kansas City Monarchs of the Negro American League and was named to three All-Star Games. Following his playing career, O’Neil became a scout for the Chicago Cubs and later became the first Black coach in AL or NL history with Chicago. Scouting for teams for much of the rest of his career, O’Neil became a beloved ambassador for the game who helped found the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City.
• Dick “Cannonball” Redding was regarded as perhaps the fastest pitcher in Negro Leagues history, hurling for teams such as the Lincoln Giants, Chicago American Giants and the Brooklyn Royal Giants. Credited with multiple no-hitters, Redding was also a successful manager with the Royal Giants.
• Allie Reynolds was 182-107 over 13 years with the Indians and Yankees, with six All-Star team selections. He led his teams to six World Series titles, going 7-2 with a 2.79 ERA. He twice finished in the Top 3 of the American League’s Most Valuable Player Award voting.
• George “Tubby” Scales played 20 seasons in the Negro Leagues as an infielder, compiling a .319 batting average and .421 on-base percentage. He also managed for six seasons in the Negro Leagues and 12 seasons in the Puerto Rican Winter League, leading the Santurce Cangrejeros to the Caribbean World Series title in 1951.
The 10 candidates for Golden Days Era consideration for the Class of 2022:
• Dick Allen played 15 seasons from 1963-77 for five teams, spending nine seasons with the Phillies, compiling 351 home runs, 1,119 RBI and a .292 career average. He was named the 1972 AL Most Valuable Player and the 1964 NL Rookie of the Year, with seven career All-Star selections.
• Ken Boyer played 15 seasons as a third baseman with the Cardinals, Mets, White Sox and Dodgers, earning 11 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.
• 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.
• Roger Maris won back-to-back American League Most Valuable Player Awards in 1960 and 1961, setting a new single-season home run record in the latter season with 61. In 12 big league seasons with the Indians, Athletics, Yankees and Cardinals, Maris earned seven All-Star Game selections and was a part of three World Series title teams.
• Minnie Miñoso played 17 seasons with the Indians, White Sox, Cardinals and Senators, earning nine AL/NL 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.
• Danny Murtaugh managed Pittsburgh to four National League East titles, two NL pennants and World Series wins in 1960 and 1971 over 15 seasons. He fielded the first all-Black/Hispanic lineup in big league history on Sept. 1, 1971. Murtaugh compiled a 1,115-950 record with five first-place finishes.
• 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.
• Billy Pierce complied a 211-169 record with a 3.27 ERA in 18 seasons, 13 with the Chicago White Sox. A seven-time All-Star, he led the league in complete games three straight seasons, totaling 193 overall. He posted the lowest ERA in the AL in 1955 (1.97).
• Maury Wills played 14 seasons from 1959-72, 12 with the Los Angeles Dodgers, with a .281 lifetime average and 586 career stolen bases. The 1962 NL MVP was a seven-time All-Star and two-time Gold Glove Award winner at shortstop.
About the Era Committees
The Era Committees consist of four different electorates: Today’s Game (for candidates whose greatest contributions to baseball were realized from 1988 to the present); Modern Baseball (for candidates whose greatest contributions to baseball were realized from 1970 to 1987); Golden Days (for candidates whose greatest contributions to baseball were realized from 1950 to 1969); and Early Baseball (for candidates whose greatest contributions to baseball were realized prior to 1950).
The Today’s Game and Modern Baseball eras are 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 upcoming years are as follows: 2023 – Today’s Game; 2024 – Modern Baseball; 2025 – Today’s Game; 2026 – Modern Baseball; 2027 – Golden Days. The Early Baseball era returns for induction consideration in 2032.
Both the ballot and electorate are created anew with each cycle for consideration. The four separate electorates consider by era a single composite ballot of managers, umpires, executives and long-retired players.