Fowler, Hodges, Kaat, Miñoso, Oliva, O'Neil Elected to Hall of Fame

(ORLANDO, Fla.) – Six candidates earned election to the National Baseball Hall of Fame on Sunday via the Eras Committee process, it was announced today on MLB Network.

Gil Hodges, Jim Kaat, Minnie Miñoso and Tony Oliva were elected by the Golden Days Era Committee, which considered a 10-person ballot comprised of candidates whose primary contribution to the game came from 1950-69.

Bud Fowler and Buck O’Neil were elected by the Early Baseball Era Committee, which considered a 10-person ballot of candidates whose primary contribution to the game came prior to 1950.

Miñoso was named on 14 of 16 ballots (87.5 percent), while Hodges, Kaat and Oliva were each named on 12 of 16 ballots (75 percent), with all four reaching the 75-percent threshold necessary for election.

O’Neil was named on 13 of 16 ballots (81.3 percent), while Fowler was named on 12 ballots (75 percent)

The Golden Days Era Committee and the Early Baseball Era Committee held meetings today in Orlando, Fla.

Kaat and Oliva are living. Hodges passed away on April 2, 1972; Miñoso passed away on March 1, 2015.

Fowler passed away on Feb. 26, 1913; O’Neil passed away on Oct. 6, 2006.

Fowler, Hodges, Kaat, Miñoso, Oliva and O’Neil will be joined in the Hall of Fame Class of 2022 by any electees who emerge from the Baseball Writers’ Association of America voting, which will be announced on Tuesday, Jan. 25.

Hodges played 18 seasons with the Dodgers and the Mets from 1943-63, earning eight All-Star Game selections and three Gold Glove Awards at first base. He topped the 20-homer mark in 11 straight seasons from 1949-59, drove in 100-or-more runs each year from 1949-55 and played on seven pennant winners and two World Series champions, ending his career with 370 home runs – the third-most by a right-handed hitter at the time of his retirement. Hodges went on to manage the Senators and Mets for nine seasons, leading New York to a memorable World Series title in 1969.

Kaat pitched for 25 seasons with the Senators, Twins, White Sox, Phillies, Yankees and Cardinals, winning 283 games. A three-time 20-game winner, three-time All-Star and 16-time Gold Glove Award winner, Kaat’s 625 career games started ranks 17th all-time and his 4,530.1 innings pitched ranks 25th. He helped the Twins win the 1965 American League pennant and the Phillies win National League East titles from 1976-78 before transitioning to a relief role, when he was a key member of manager Whitey Herzog’s bullpen as the Cardinals won the World Series.

Miñoso starred in the Negro National League with the New York Cubans from 1946-48 before debuting with the Cleveland Indians in 1949. He played 17 seasons with the Indians, White Sox, Cardinals and Senators, becoming the first dark-skinned Latin American player to appear in an AL or NL game. Miñoso finished second in the AL Rookie of the Year voting in 1951 and earned the first of nine All-Star Game selections in the AL/NL Midsummer Classic that year. A three-time Gold Glove Award winner in left field, Miñoso led the AL in triples and stolen bases three times apiece and finished his career with 2,110 hits and a .299 batting average.

Oliva spent his entire 15-year big league career with the Twins, winning three AL batting titles while leading the league in hits five times. The 1964 American League Rookie of the Year, Oliva was named to the All-Star Game in eight straight seasons from 1964-71 before knee injuries took their toll. A Gold Glove Award winner for his play in right field in 1966, Oliva became the first player in AL/NL history to win batting titles in each of his first two seasons. He received votes in the AL Most Valuable Player balloting in each season from 1964-71 and finished his career with a .304 batting average.

Miñoso and Oliva are the fifth and sixth Cubans to earn election to the Hall of Fame, bringing the total number of elected Latin Americans to 17.

Fowler, often acknowledged as the first Black professional baseball player, pitched and played second base for teams throughout the late 1800s after growing up in and around Cooperstown, N.Y. In 1894, Fowler helped form the Page Fence Giants, who would go on to become one of the all-time great Black barnstorming teams.

O’Neil played, managed, coached, scouted and served as an executive for nearly eight decades, becoming a beloved oral historian for the Negro Leagues at the end of the 20th century. He broke into the Negro American League with the Memphis Red Sox in 1937, then latched on at first base for the Kansas City Monarchs in 1938. He would remain with the club for nearly two decades. In 1948, O’Neil was named player-manager of the Monarchs – a role he would hold until 1955. He became the first Black coach in AL or NL history in 1962 with the Chicago Cubs.

The 16-member Hall of Fame Board-appointed electorate charged with the review of the Golden Days Era ballot was comprised of Hall of Fame members Rod Carew, Fergie Jenkins, Mike Schmidt, John Schuerholz, Bud Selig, Ozzie Smith and Joe Torre; major league executives Al Avila, Bill DeWitt, Ken Kendrick, Kim Ng and Tony Reagins; and veteran media members/historians Adrian Burgos Jr., Steve Hirdt, Jaime Jarrin and Jack O’Connell. Hall of Fame Chairman of the Board Jane Forbes Clark served as the non-voting chairman of the Golden Days Era Committee.

The 16-member Hall of Fame Board-appointed electorate commissioned with the review of the Early Baseball Era was comprised of Hall of Fame members Bert Blyleven, Fergie Jenkins, John Schuerholz, Ozzie Smith and Joe Torre; major league executives Bill DeWitt, Ken Kendrick and Tony Reagins; and veteran media members/historians Gary Ashwill, Adrian Burgos Jr., Leslie Heaphy, Jim Henneman, Justice Hill, Steve Hirdt, Rick Hummel and John Thorn. Hall of Fame Chairman of the Board Jane Forbes Clark and Hall of Famer Bud Selig served as non-voting co-Chairs for the Early Baseball Era Committee.

Results of the Golden Days Era Ballot (12 votes needed for election): Minnie Miñoso (14 votes, 87.5%); Gil Hodges (12 votes, 75%); Jim Kaat (12 votes, 75%); Tony Oliva (12 votes, 75%); Dick Allen (11 votes, 68.8%); Ken Boyer, Roger Maris, Danny Murtaugh, Billy Pierce and Maury Wills each received three-or-fewer votes.

Results of the Early Baseball Era Ballot (12 votes needed for election): Buck O’Neil (13 votes, 81.3%); Bud Fowler (12 votes, 75%); Vic Harris (10 votes, 62.5%); John Donaldson (8 votes, 50%); Allie Reynolds (6 votes, 37.4%); Lefty O’Doul (5 votes, 31.3%); George Scales (4 votes, 25%); Bill Dahlen, Grant Johnson and Dick Redding each received three-or-fewer votes.

The Golden Days Era Committee will next consider candidates in 2026 for the 2027 Induction year, as the process to consider candidates occurs once in a five-year period. The Early Days Era Committee will next consider candidates in 2031 for the 2032 Induction year, as that process occurs every 10 years.

In the fall of 2022, the Today’s Game Era Committee will consider candidates whose main career contributions occurred from 1988 through the present. In 2023, the Modern Baseball Era Committee will consider candidates whose main career contributions occurred from 1970-87. Committees are annually scheduled to convene at the Winter Meetings.

The 10 Golden Days 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 from 1950-69. 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 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 included the following Negro League historians: Gary Ashwill, Adrian Burgos Jr., Phil Dixon, Leslie Heaphy and Claire Smith. They were 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).

Hall of Fame Weekend 2022 will be held July 22-25 in Cooperstown, N.Y., with the Induction Ceremony slated for Sunday, July 24, 2022. The BBWAA election results will be announced at 6 p.m. ET on Tuesday, Jan. 25, on MLB Network.

Also this week, two Hall of Fame award winners will be announced, with the BBWAA selecting its annual Career Excellence Award winner on Tuesday, Dec. 7, for meritorious contributions to baseball writing. On Wednesday, Dec. 8, the Museum will announce the 2022 Ford C. Frick Award winner, given for excellence in baseball broadcasting.