Hall's Golden Era Committee punches no tickets
SAN DIEGO - I'm going to keep this relatively short, because I've already written so much about so many Hall of Fame candidates, including probably every single candidate on this year's GOLDEN ERA ballot.
This morning at the Winter Meetings, the Hall of Fame announced the results of yesterday's balloting, with Jane Forbes Clark taking the dais to announce the election of ... no one. Forbes was quick to note that "The results today are a reminder that election is incredibly difficult."
As it should be. And as we've mentioned a few times, if the history of these insular committees has taught us anything, it's that they've generally done more harm than good, the occasional Arky Vaughan elections notwithstanding. So while it's obviously disappointing when your favorite candidate falls short, ultimately the Hall and its current members are better served by exclusivity than by inclusitivity.
As always, though, there's still room for discussion because the voting itself is pretty interesting. Of the 10 candidates, only five received more than three votes from the committee's 16 members. The five who didn't? Gil Hodges, Luis Tiant, Billy Pierce, Ken Boyer, and executive Bob Howsam.
Minnie Miñoso, perhaps the top sentimental candidate, received eight votes. Maury Wills got nine, Jim Kaat 10, and -- falling just one vote short of the necessary 12 -- Dick Allen and Tony Oliva both received 11 votes.
What's striking to me is the lack of ... consistency isn't the right word, but something. Dick Allen is a sabermetrician's darling, but Oliva isn't and Maury Wills certainly isn't. Miñoso is a sentimental favorite of the 1950s ... but so is Gil Hodges.
Speaking of Hodges, he routinely received around 60-percent support in BBWAA elections, while Allen topped out with 19 percent, just 18 years ago. Hodges also came close to election via a different committee in 1993, when he reportedly fell just one vote short.
Today's results are perfectly reasonable. If any of these guys were easy choices, they would have been elected a long time ago. But looking at the results, it's difficult to divine any particular standards used by the voters. And it seems highly likely that someone will be elected in three years when this committee meets again.