The Veterans Committee was the popular name of the National Baseball Hall of Fame Committee to Consider Managers, Umpires, Executives and Long-Retired Players; a former voting committee of the U.S. Baseball Hall of Fame that provided an opportunity for Hall of Fame enshrinement to all individuals who are eligible for induction but ineligible for consideration by the Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA). The term "Veterans Committee" (was composed of four committees of baseball veterans) is taken from the body's former official name: National Baseball Hall of Fame Committee on Baseball Veterans (1953).
Since July 2010, the Veterans Committee name was changed by the Hall of Fame Board of Directors and its name is no longer officially used by the Hall of Fame, which calls three new 16-member voting committees by era: the Expansion Era Committee (1973–present era), the Golden Era Committee (1947-1972 era), and the Pre-Integration Era Committee (1876-1946 era) - each, "The Committee"(the term "Veterans Committee" is still being used by some sports media). The three committees meet on a rotating cycle once every three years to elect candidates from each era to the Hall of Fame that have been "identified" by a BBWAA-appointed "Screening Committee" named the "Historical Overview Committee" (10-12 representatives; BBWAA members).
Beginning in 2010, 2011, and 2012, the three separate era committees have been responsible for considering a total of thirty-two candidates from three eras in the following categories: Managers, umpires, executives ( includes team owners, general managers, and major league officials), and long-retired players.
- History 1
Hall of Fame election timeline 2
First Election (1936) 2.1
- Candidates 2.1.1
- The Centennial Commission (1937 Election) 2.2
- 1938 Election 2.3
The Old-Timers Committee (1939 Election) 2.4
- National Baseball Museum 2.4.1
1944 Election 2.5
- Commissioner Landis 2.5.1
1945 Election 2.6
- Selections 2.6.1
- Other candidates 2.6.2
- Criticism and rationale 2.6.3
1946 Election 2.7
- Selections 2.7.1
- Honor Rolls of Baseball 2.7.2
- Criticism and rationale 2.7.3
1949 Election 2.8
- Selection 2.8.1
1953 Election 2.9
- Committee on Baseball Veterans (Veterans Committee) 2.9.1
- 1955 through 1999 Elections 2.10
- 2000, 2001, 2002 Elections 2.11
2003 Election 2.12
- Historical Overview Committee 2.12.1
- Screening 2.12.2
- Voting 2.12.3
2005 Election 2.13
- Preliminary phase 2.13.1
- Phase two 2.13.2
- Final ballot 2.13.3
- Reaction 2.13.4
2006 and the Special Committee on Negro Leagues 2.14
- Screening process 2.14.1
- Final ballots 2.14.2
- Preliminary phase 2.14.3
- Phase two 2.14.4
- Final ballots 2.14.5
- Reaction 2.14.6
2008 Election 2.15
- Managers/umpires ballot 2.15.1
- Executives ballot 2.15.2
2008 Election 2.16
1943 and later 2.16.1
- Hall of Fame change in procedures for consideration 188.8.131.52
- Pre-1943 2.16.2
- 1943 and later 2.16.1
2009 Election 2.17
- Managers/umpires ballot 2.17.1
- Executives ballot 2.17.2
- 2010 Election 2.18
- 2011 Election 2.19
- 2012 Election 2.20
- First Election (1936) 2.1
Revisions to the voting process 3
- 2001 revisions 3.1
2007 revisions 3.2
- Changes affecting all elections 3.2.1
Changes affecting player elections 3.2.2
- Pre-World War II players 184.108.40.206
- Changes affecting non-player elections 3.2.3
- 2010 revisions 3.3
Expansion Era Committee members 4.1.1
- Hall of Famers 220.127.116.11
- Executives 18.104.22.168
- Media 22.214.171.124
Golden Era Committee members 4.1.2
- Hall of Famers 126.96.36.199
- Executives 188.8.131.52
- Media 184.108.40.206
- Pre-Integration Era Committee members 4.1.3
- Expansion Era Committee members 4.1.1
Recent past members 4.2
Pre-1943 Veterans Committee members 4.2.1
- Hall of Famers 220.127.116.11
- Historians 18.104.22.168
- Post-1942 Veterans Committee members (67) 4.2.2
- Pre-1943 Veterans Committee members 4.2.1
- Current 4.1
- Notes and references 5
- External links 6
The Veterans Committee can be traced back to 1939 when Commissioner Landis formed the Old-Timers Committee to put players from the 19th century in the Hall of Fame. In 1939, the committee selected five players. In 1944, after Landis' death, they put him in the Hall. After Landis, they put twenty-three additional players in the Hall.
In 1953, the Veterans Committee met for the first time under the name Committee on Baseball Veterans. With eleven members, they elected six players in their first vote in 1953. Starting in 1955, they would meet to elect up to two players in odd-numbered years.
In 1962, they went back to annual elections to the Hall of Fame, with the continued mandate to elect up to two players a year.
The Hall of Fame suffered in the 1970s, when Frankie Frisch was a major voice on the committee. The old Hall of Famer, backed by former teammate Bill Terry and sportswriters J. Roy Stockton and Fred Lieb, who covered Frisch's teams, managed to get five of his teammates elected to the Hall by the committee. Additionally, in the three years after his death, two more teammates were elected.
After Frisch died and Terry left the Committee, elections were normalized. In 1978, membership increased to fifteen members, five Hall of Famers, five owners and executives, and five sportswriters. The members would meet in Florida during spring training to elect a player or two every year.
The Veterans Committee mandate of up to two players was increased briefly from 1995 to 2001. In these years, the committee could elect one extra player from the Negro leagues and one from the 19th century in addition to the two regular players.
During much of its existence, the Veterans Committee consisted of fifteen members selected by the Hall of Fame for defined terms. A six-man subcommittee of this group met as a screening committee to determine who would be on the ballot. The committee met annually to consider candidates in four separate categories:
The Veterans Committee met privately, and its ballots and voting results were generally not revealed prior to 2003. From the mid-1970s until 2001, the top candidate in each category was elected to the Hall of Fame if he earned at least 75% of the committee's votes.
Hall of Fame election timeline
First Election (1936)
In 1936, a total of 78 ballots were cast by players, writers, managers and officials who had first-hand familiarity with 19th-century baseball, resulting in 371 individual votes for 57 specific candidates; 59 votes were required for election. No candidates were elected, possibly because of a great deal of confusion regarding the voting procedure. The ballots which were issued in this vote also featured a list of suggested candidates, which was amended after complaints that Ed Delahanty, Willie Keeler and Cy Young should be on this ballot as well as that for the 20th century; but when some voters expressed doubts regarding the possibility of write-in votes, a letter including clearer instructions specifically allowing for write-ins had to be mailed. Many voters were also under the impression that they were to select an "All-Star team" of ten players, with one at each position; 58 ballots cast in this manner were sent back to the voters to be re-cast, although ten voters returned the ballots unaltered, stating that was the way they wished to vote regardless of the instructions. The results were delayed for several days until early February while these reminders and revisions took place.
It was further decided, during the tabulations and after the voting, that voters would each be restricted to five total votes in order to limit the initial 19th-century selections to five players; but since most voters had cast votes for ten, it was ruled that each vote would only count as 1/2 in the total for that candidate - making a 75% tally nearly mathematically impossible. When the votes were tabulated with this method, only two candidates had totals reaching even 50% of the required number. Plans for a runoff election featuring only the top twelve finishers, to be held prior to the 1939 opening of the Hall, never materialized; even with all the problems, the 1936 vote would remain the Hall's most successful attempt to seek a wide vote from experts on the era regarding candidates from that period.
Candidates who were listed as suggestions on the ballot are indicated here with a †. Candidates who have since been selected in subsequent elections are indicated in italics, as is Honus Wagner, who was elected in the BBWAA vote:
- †Cap Anson - 391/2
- †Buck Ewing - 391/2
- †Willie Keeler - 33
- †Cy Young - 321/2
- †Ed Delahanty - 211/2
- †John McGraw - 17
- †Charles Radbourn - 16
- †Herman Long - 151/2
- †Mike "King" Kelly - 15
- †Amos Rusie - 111/2
- †Hughie Jennings - 11
- †Fred Clarke - 9
- Jimmy Collins - 8
- †Charles Comiskey - 6
- †Jerry Denny - 6
- Bill Lange - 6
- †Wilbert Robinson - 6
- Harry Stovey - 6
- †George Wright - 6
- †John Clarkson - 5
- Honus Wagner - 5
- †Albert Spalding - 4
- †Hugh Duffy - 31/2
- †Ross Barnes - 3
- †Charlie Bennett - 3
- Kid Nichols - 3
- †John Montgomery Ward - 3
- †Fred Dunlap - 21/2
- Dan Brouthers - 2
- Jack Glasscock - 2
- Billy Hamilton - 2
- Nap Lajoie - 2
- Ned Williamson - 2
- Bobby Lowe - 11/2
- Doug Allison - 1
- Joe Battin - 1
- Jake Beckley - 1
- Tommy Bond - 1
- †Jesse Burkett - 1
- Lou Criger - 1
- Bill Dahlen - 1
- Jake Daubert - 1
- Jack Doyle - 1
- Tim Keefe - 1
- †Matt Kilroy - 1
- Arlie Latham - 1
- Jimmy McAleer - 1
- Tommy McCarthy - 1
- Cal McVey - 1
- Charlie Pabor - 1
- Lip Pike - 1
- Jack Remsen - 1
- Hardy Richardson - 1
- Fred Tenney - 1
- George Van Haltren - 1
- †Bobby Wallace - 1
- Deacon White - 1
- †Candy Cummings - 0
- †Silver Flint - 0
- †Lee Richmond - 0
The Centennial Commission (1937 Election)
After the error-ridden 1936 election failed to select any 19th-century players, the Hall opted in 1937 to have a small committee select inductees "for outstanding service to base ball apart from playing the game". The Commission's members were: Commissioner American Association and chairman of the National Association's executive committee.
At the December 1937 major league winter meetings in Chicago, Frick announced that the Commission had elected:
- Connie Mack and John McGraw, who had been NL players in the 1890s and had gone on to be the winningest managers in their respective leagues: Mack with 9 AL pennants and 5 World Series titles, McGraw with 10 NL pennants and 3 World Series titles;
- Byron "Ban" Johnson, the AL's founder and first president (1900-1927); and
- 1869 and the game's greatest early outstanding shortstop. He was also a successful manager and led global barnstorming tours.
Among the five only Mack was still living when the selections were made; Wright had died only that year, August 21.
The Commission chose two inductees at the major league winter meetings in New York City in December 1938, though the choices were not announced until January 1939:
- Henry Chadwick, a sportswriter who had tirelessly promoted the game in the late 19th century and had been a major force in revision of the rules through several decades. To date he is the only sportswriter (or commentator) to be inducted into the real Hall of Fame (as opposed to the writers' and commentators' "wings").
The Old-Timers Committee (1939 Election)
Difficulties in convening the Centennial Commission of the previous two years led to an even smaller Old-Timers Committee selecting inductees from the 19th century - a cause of particular urgency to many who had been anticipating the five promised but unfulfilled selections in that area for over three years.
As the opening of the Hall approached, criticism mounted that no 19th-century figures who were known primarily as players had yet been selected, when basic plans nearly four years earlier had promised five as an ideal initial number. In addition, the six-member Centennial Commission which had selected honorees in the previous two years never had an opportunity to meet. As a result, a smaller committee of only three members - Commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis, National League president Ford Frick, and American League president Will Harridge - was formed to choose appropriate honorees; their selections were announced on May 2, less than six weeks before the Hall's opening. They chose six inductees, all of whom were deceased; of the thirteen committee selections between 1937 and 1939, only Connie Mack was still living at the time of the Hall's opening (his Athletics played in the inaugural Hall of Fame game). The committee's choices included the two players who had tied for first in the failed 1936 Veterans vote (the 3rd- and 4th-place finishers had by this time been selected by the BBWAA; the 6th-place choice had been selected by an earlier committee):
- Cap Anson, a star first baseman from the 1870s through the late 1890s, and also a successful manager, who is now widely recognized as the first player to collect 3000 hits in the topmost professional leagues; and
- Buck Ewing, the game's premier catcher in the 1880s and early 1890s.
The remaining inductees were:
- Charles "Old Hoss" Radbourn, who won 309 games in an eleven-year career in the 1880s, including a record 60 wins in 1884; he had finished 7th in the 1936 vote.
- Albert Spalding, the game's best pitcher in the 1870s (252 wins from 1871 to 1876), who managed Chicago to the first NL pennant and later became not only part owner of the team and the club president, but also the founder of a major sporting goods company.
- Charles Comiskey, a defensive standout at first base in the 1880s who also managed his team to four consecutive pennants and later became owner of the Chicago White Sox, elected more for his overall influence on the game than for his playing days.
- William "Candy" Cummings, who the committee members decided had the strongest claim to having invented the curveball.
National Baseball Museum
When the National Baseball Museum opened on June 12, 1939 in Cooperstown New York, it remained to be determined how the membership in its Hall of Fame would be determined in the future. The Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA) had determined to vote every three years rather than annually, although it had voted in special election to consider Lou Gehrig. That move was a widely criticized, as observers generally agreed that it was a good pace to elect about three recent players annually, as from 1936 to 1939.
After the Centennial Committee made six selections in 1939 from the figures of the 19th century, baseball's Commissioner Landis completely revised the committee's membership, designating it the Hall of Fame Committee and establishing it as the institution's permanent governing body. From 1939 to 1944 its four members were Athletics owner and manager Connie Mack, Yankees president Ed Barrow, Braves president Bob Quinn, and sportswriter Sid Mercer. This committee was responsible, in its function as the Old-Timers Committee, for selecting additional worthy candidates from the 19th century, but it never convened during this five-year period, and thereby selected no one. Inaction fostered greater complaints that the stars of the 1880s and 1890s were being ignored. The relative slight was small considering the baseball writers voted only once between 1939 and 1945 and elected only one recent player.
There was no regular election in 1944 to select inductees to the Baseball Hall of Fame; in 1939 the Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA) had moved to hold elections every three years rather than annually, and the next scheduled election was to be in 1945. In addition, the four-member Old-Timers Committee formed in late 1939 to select deserving individuals from the 19th century had still never met for that purpose, and criticism of the lack of honorees from that period was increasing.
On August 4, 1944, baseball commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis named three new members to the Hall of Fame Committee, in addition to the four already named; he instructed them to put aside any delay and choose at least ten individuals from the period 1876-1900 when they met early in 1945, in order that those selected might be honored concurrently with any elected by the BBWAA in their regular election in January. This was a goal the committee members believed they would have no problem meeting, and some noted that the number of deserving players was probably over two dozen. The previously named committee members were: Yankees president Ed Barrow; Athletics owner/manager Connie Mack; New York sportswriter Sid Mercer; and Braves president Bob Quinn. The newly named members were: Hall of Fame president Stephen C. Clark, who would chair the committee; Hall of Fame treasurer Paul S. Kerr, who would serve as committee secretary; and Boston sportswriter Mel Webb.
Landis died on November 25, 1944 while plans were being made to extend his contract for a new seven-year term. Within days, the public and press strongly advocated his immediate election to the Hall. Two weeks after Landis' death, the Old-Timers Committee met at baseball's winter meetings in New York City and elected Landis to membership in the Hall of Fame; Connie Mack sent his approval of the move by telegram from California, where he was vacationing. The members stated that any delay in electing Landis might have been resulted in an unfortunate increase in public pressure, possibly creating the impression that the move was somehow forced rather than voluntary. The committee also suggested that if the upcoming BBWAA election failed to select any players whose careers extended into the early 20th century, some would be selected by the committee when they met again in February 1945.
Landis was formally inducted into the Hall of Fame on June 13, 1946, with New York Governor Thomas Dewey unveiling his plaque in Cooperstown.
In response to the failure of the BBWAA to select any inductees, the Old-Timers Committee was encouraged to assist the BBWAA in clearing the congestion at the top of its ballot by including, among their ten requested selections from the period 1876-1900, some players whose careers extended into the early 20th century - in particular, the three players gaining over 100 votes in the BBWAA election whose careers had peaked before 1905.
The committee members were: Hall of Fame president Stephen C. Clark, who chaired the committee; Hall of Fame treasurer Paul S. Kerr, the committee secretary; Yankees president Ed Barrow; Athletics owner/manager Connie Mack; New York sportswriter Sid Mercer; Braves president Bob Quinn; and Boston sportswriter Mel Webb. The committee had initially planned to meet in February; but the long search for a successor to Landis, along with the retirements of Barrow and Quinn as club presidents, delayed the meeting until April 25, 1945 one day after Albert "Happy" Chandler was elected as the second Commissioner of Baseball (November 1, 1945 to July 15, 1951). On that day, in the offices of the New York Yankees, six members of the committee met to make their selections; Sid Mercer could not attend due to a long illness which took his life eight weeks later.
The committee, as requested, selected ten inductees, the first three by unanimous vote:
- Fred Clarke, a left fielder, primarily with the Pittsburgh Pirates, from 1894 to 1911; he compiled a .312 career batting average, and also led the team to four pennants in sixteen seasons as manager, as well as the 1909 World Series title. He retired in 1915 with a major league record 1602 career wins as a manager.
- Jimmy Collins, widely regarded as the greatest third baseman in the major leagues' first seventy years; he batted over .300 five times, finishing with a .294 average, and also managed the Boston Americans to the first World Series.
- Wilbert Robinson, perhaps the greatest catcher of the 1890s; he caught a record 1108 games before 1900. He later served as the New York Giants' pitching coach for eleven years, then managed Brooklyn for eighteen seasons, winning two pennants; upon his retirement, his win total as a manager trailed those of only John McGraw and Clarke in National League history.
- Roger Bresnahan, often regarded as the game's best catcher of the 1900s, and described by both McGraw and Branch Rickey as the greatest catcher they had ever seen; in 1907 he became the first major league catcher to wear shinguards, and was a capable player at every position. He was fast enough to bat leadoff, and remains the only catcher to steal over 200 bases in his career. He managed the Cardinals and Cubs for a total of five seasons, and was later a coach with the Giants and Tigers.
- Dan Brouthers, a star first baseman from 1879 to 1896 who won five batting titles (a 19th-century record) and retired with a .342 career average; the game's greatest power hitter of the 1880s, he was the only 19th-century player to have a career slugging percentage over .500. He later became a scout for the Giants.
- Ed Delahanty, a left fielder from 1888 to 1903, and the sport's greatest slugger of the 1890s, batting over .400 three times; he won batting titles in both leagues and had a .346 career average. He hit four home runs in one game in 1896, and had a 31-game hitting streak in 1899. He died at age 35 in 1903 when he fell from a bridge into the Niagara River after being put off a train.
- Hugh Duffy, a center fielder from 1888 to 1905 who starred primarily with the Boston Beaneaters; his .438 batting average in 1894 remains the major league record for a single season, and he retired with a career average of .324. Perhaps the best defensive outfielder of the era, as well as the first recognized triple crown winner, he later became a hitting coach for the Red Sox for a number of years, tutoring the young Ted Williams.
- Hughie Jennings, the fiery shortstop and team captain of the Baltimore Orioles in the 1890s; he batted .401 in 1896 and retired with a .311 average. He later managed the Tigers from 1907 to 1920, winning pennants in his first three years; he left the Tigers trailing only Connie Mack and Clark Griffith in career wins among AL managers. Afterward, he was a coach for the Giants on four consecutive pennant winners.
- Mike "King" Kelly, who starred as an outfielder and catcher with several teams from 1878 to 1893, and was an extraordinary baserunner; he led the Chicago White Stockings to five pennants in the 1880s, and retired with a .308 batting average. He was always aware of the loopholes in the official rules, and some prominent figures in the game estimated that half of all the rules in baseball had been created in response to his exploiting their oversights. Along with manager-teammate Cap Anson, he is often credited with devising the hit-and-run and the double steal.
- Jim O'Rourke, an outfielder from 1872 to 1893, and one of the game's earliest stars, played for six pennant winners in the 1870s. Along with Cap Anson, he was one of two players to collect over 2000 hits in the major leagues before 1893; he later played in the minor leagues until he was past fifty. An induction ceremony was held for him in Cooperstown in 2013.
Of the ten selections, only Clarke and Duffy were still living. The committee intended to consider the pitchers of the era at their next meeting in September, and to elect additional members at that time. When they met in Cooperstown on September 6, however, they focused instead on revising the widely criticized election process, and ordered that the BBWAA resume annual elections under a revised format which was hoped to facilitate more selections (the BBWAA having selected only one player in six years). Former National League president John Heydler participated in the meeting to replace those members who were deceased or otherwise unable to attend. Once the decision was made to hold the next election in 1946 rather than in 1948, the committee agreed to postpone the selection of pitchers and other candidates until they met in spring 1946.
Among those candidates who were not elected by the Old-Timers Committee at their April 1945 meeting, there were five who received particularly strong support or attention:
- The committee chose not to consider Clark Griffith and Charles "Kid" Nichols until pitchers were more completely reviewed at their next meeting.
- Popular support to elect recently deceased President Franklin Roosevelt, in recognition of his support for baseball's continuation for morale purposes during World War II, was met with uncertainty on the committee's part as to whether they had the authority to elect someone who was never a major league player, manager or executive. They opted to seek advice on this point before taking action in his case.
- The candidacy of Abner Doubleday, based on his supposed invention of baseball at Cooperstown in 1839, had become more controversial due to increasing skepticism regarding the historical basis for that belief. It was widely believed that the committee intended to seek further information either supporting or refuting the story before taking action.
- There was support for electing Jim "Deacon" White, a star catcher and third baseman of the 1870s and 1880s; but after choosing several candidates from the turn of the century and adding three stars of the 1880s, the committee had fulfilled its initial obligation of ten selections and chose to postpone further choices until meeting again.
Criticism and rationale
Although the committee's selections were roundly applauded at the time, in later years many baseball historians and writers came to believe strongly that the committee erred in some of its 1945 selections, and that too many individuals had been elected; however, this view does not consider the fact that the committee had been required to select ten inductees that year. There are also several factors which make the reasons for their choices clearly discernible:
- After the failed BBWAA election, the committee was primarily focused on assisting the BBWAA in relieving the congestion at the top of its ballot, and was encouraged to select some players who had played into the early 20th century and were receiving support in the BBWAA vote. Therefore, their selections that year tended to strongly favor the period between 1893 (when baseball moved the pitcher back ten feet from the plate) and 1910; all ten of their selections were active players in 1893 or later, and seven were active after 1900.
- Of all the non-pitchers who had retired before 1910, only five had received more than two votes (1% of the vote) in the 1945 BBWAA election: Jimmy Collins (121), Ed Delahanty (111), Hughie Jennings (92), Wilbert Robinson (81) and Hugh Duffy (64). All five were stars prior to 1900, with only Collins playing regularly after 1903, and each had received over 25% of the BBWAA vote; every other non-pitcher retired before 1910 who had ever received over 2% of the BBWAA vote had already been elected. The committee elected all five, and criticism of any of these choices is more appropriately directed at the BBWAA voters who supported their selection, as the Old-Timers Committee was acting simply out of agreement with their vote.
- The committee apparently made an attempt to elect players at positions which were not yet represented in the Hall; by 1945, the BBWAA had elected 20th-century players at every position except catcher, third base and left field. The committee's election of Jimmy Collins corrected the absence of a third baseman, as he was generally regarded as the game's greatest player at the position to that time and had consistently finished first among third basemen in the BBWAA voting, usually outpolling the combined totals of all others at the position. His career spanned the years 1894 to 1908, easily allowing him to be considered a star in both centuries. The committee's choices at the other two positions also followed the BBWAA vote closely. Catcher Roger Bresnahan had finished first among catchers in most of the BBWAA elections, with only the recently retired Mickey Cochrane competing for the top spot. In the voting since 1937, Fred Clarke had trailed only Ed Delahanty - who died in 1903 - among left fielders. Both Bresnahan and Clarke were stars of the 1900s who had made their major league debuts in the 1890s, making them eligible for selection by the Old-Timers.
- Among most of those following the elections, there was very strong sentiment to choose players who had remained in the sport as managers, coaches or executives after retiring. Eight of the selections were major league managers at some point, with five (Clarke, Collins, Jennings, King Kelly and Robinson) leading their teams to pennants. Bresnahan, Jennings and Robinson each served at least five seasons as coaches in the major leagues, and Duffy worked as a scout for many years. With the elections of Clarke, Robinson and Jennings, five of the nine retired managers with over 1000 wins were now in the Hall (as well as the still-active Connie Mack), with Clark Griffith's candidacy deferred. There were fourteen managers with at least a thousand wins before 1945; all have since been elected, the last being Frank Selee in 1999.
- There was a strong emphasis on those who had played central roles on championship teams, particularly the three-time champion Baltimore Orioles of 1894-96 which were regarded by many as the greatest baseball dynasty of the 19th century; Dan Brouthers, Jennings and Robinson were all regulars on that team, with Jennings also playing for a later Brooklyn champion (he was with the team when they won the NL in 1899 and 1900) and Brouthers starring for three earlier champions (the 1887 Detroit Wolverines and the 1890-1891 Boston Reds. He also appeared in two games for the 1904 New York Giants). Bresnahan had starred on the 1905 New York Giants; Collins was the playing manager of the 1903 Boston Americans, and a star player for two NL champions of the late 1890s; Duffy starred on five pennant winners in Boston in the 1890s; and Clarke was the playing manager of four pennant winners in Pittsburgh. Kelly and Jim O'Rourke each starred on several pennant winners in the era before 1893. Of the ten selections, eight had been a starting player and/or manager on at least four pennant winners.
After its 1945 selections, the committee had intended to review the pitchers from the pre-1910 era and to also re-focus on the earlier 19th century players; but after the BBWAA had failed to select any inductees for the second year in a row, and with only one player chosen by the BBWAA since 1939, it was generally accepted that a dramatic revision of the election process by the Hall of Fame Committee was necessary. The committee firmly agreed that any flaws in the rules were causing errors of omission rather than ones of liberality in selections, and that the wide field of candidates from the entire 20th century was making it unlikely that any candidate could draw 75% of the vote from the BBWAA.
The committee members were: Hall of Fame president Stephen C. Clark, who chaired the committee; Hall of Fame treasurer Paul S. Kerr, the committee secretary; former Yankees president Ed Barrow; Athletics owner/manager Connie Mack; former Braves president Bob Quinn; and Boston sportswriter Mel Webb. New York sportswriter Harry Cross, who had been named in February to fill the vacancy created by the death of Sid Mercer, also died on April 4. On April 23, the members of the committee met in New York City to consider their selections and to make further revisions in the election process. In May, Grantland Rice was named to fill the vacancy on the committee, and another major revision in the BBWAA voting process was enacted at their meeting in December.
The committee determined that the candidates from the early part of the century were gaining the most support, but would likely never reach the necessary threshold of 75% because many younger writers were reluctant to vote for players about whom they had limited first-hand knowledge. In 1945 the committee had believed that only a handful of those early candidates whose careers bridged the turn of the century needed to be removed from BBWAA consideration in order to facilitate elections; they were now more certain that they needed to select players whose careers began after 1900, and extended through the 1910s, in order to break the deadlock in the BBWAA voting. There was even some support on the committee from eliminating the BBWAA from the process entirely, due to their inability for several years to agree on appropriate inductees.
The committee selected eleven inductees - five of whom were still living - including the first two left-handed pitchers to reach the Hall. They were formally inducted on July 21, 1947, with National League president Ford Frick officiating; however, of the four still living at that time (Johnny Evers died in the interim), only Ed Walsh attended the ceremonies:
- Jesse Burkett, a left fielder who played primarily in Cleveland and St. Louis from 1890 to 1905; he compiled a .338 career batting average, hitting over .400 twice and winning three batting titles. His 240 hits in 1896 stand as the 19th century record, and his 2850 career hits ranked behind only Cap Anson's total upon his retirement. His ability to foul off pitches was a factor in baseball's move to count fouls as strikes. He later won four pennants as a minor league manager before coaching at Holy Cross and then becoming a scout for the New York Giants.
- Frank Chance, the first baseman and manager, known as the "Peerless Leader", of the great Chicago Cubs teams from 1898 to 1912. The team won four pennants between 1906 and 1910, winning a record 116 games in 1906 for a .763 winning percentage. He was widely considered baseball's best right-handed first baseman, and remains the only player at that position to steal 400 bases. He later managed the Yankees and Red Sox, and had been hired to manage the White Sox before dying at age 47.
- Jack Chesbro, a spitball pitcher from 1899 to 1909, winning 198 games. His 41 wins in 1904 stand as the modern record, and he won over 20 three other times. He led both leagues once each in wins and winning percentage.
- Johnny Evers, the star second baseman on the Cubs and Boston Braves from 1902 to 1917, he was named the NL's Most Valuable Player in 1914 with the "Miracle Braves." Arriving in the majors when he weighed under 100 pounds (45 kg), he was consistently one of the sport's most dynamic figures, and his alertness helped capture the 1908 pennant with a famous defensive move. He was a manager or coach for four teams from 1920 to 1932, later working as a scout.
- Clark Griffith, a pitcher who won 237 games between 1891 and 1906, collecting over 20 wins seven times. He managed four teams from 1901 to 1920, winning the first AL pennant with the White Sox; he not only managed the Washington Senators from 1912 to 1920, but became the majority owner of the team from 1919 until his death in 1955.
- Tommy McCarthy, an outfielder and excellent baserunner from 1884 to 1896 who played a notable role on the Boston teams of the early 1890s. Along with center fielder Hugh Duffy, he was known as one of the "Heavenly Twins" for his defensive ability. He also played a part in developing important aspects of defensive strategy and team signals.
- Joe McGinnity, a pitcher from 1899 to 1908 who won over 20 games eight times, and over 30 twice. Known as "Iron Man" for his durability and stamina, he pitched complete double-headers five times, including thrice in one month, and once won five games in six days. He won nearly 500 games in a professional career which lasted until he was in his fifties.
- Eddie Plank, a left-handed pitcher from 1901 to 1917, primarily with the Philadelphia Athletics, he won 20 games eight times and was a mainstay of the pitching staff on six pennant winners. He was the first left-hander to win 200 games, and kept going until he finished with 326 victories - the most by a left-hander until 1962, and still the AL record.
- Joe Tinker, shortstop on the Cubs from 1902 to 1912 and a daring baserunner, later the player-manager of the Chicago Federal League team, winning that league's pennant in 1915. The defensive standout led the NL in fielding average four times. After retiring as a player, he became a minor league manager and executive, and a scout for the Cubs.
- Rube Waddell, a pitcher from 1897 to 1910, the unpredictable left-handed pitcher starred for the Athletics from 1902 to 1907; he set numerous strikeout records, leading the AL in each of his seasons with the A's and notching a record 349 in 1904. Out of the major leagues at 33, he died at the age of 37.
- Ed Walsh, a spitball pitcher from 1904 to 1917, almost all with the Chicago White Sox, he peaked from 1906 to 1912 when he won 24 games or more four times, including 40 wins in 1908. His career ERA of 1.82 remains the lowest in major league history. He played a major role on the 1906 "Hitless Wonders" which won the World Series, and pitched a no-hitter in 1911. He was later an AL umpire for one year, and then coached the Sox for several seasons.
The committee had followed up on its intent to review most of the popular pitching candidates of the era, but took no further action on the candidacies, proposed one year earlier, of Abner Doubleday and Franklin Roosevelt. They also took no action on additional stars such as Jim "Deacon" White from the era before 1890, an area in which selections had continually been postponed.
Honor Rolls of Baseball
The Hall of Fame Committee also announced the creation of the Honor Rolls of Baseball, which would be displayed at the museum, featuring the names of significant non-players in four areas. This second-tier list consisted of five managers, eleven umpires, eleven executives and twelve sportswriters. These contributors were not designated as official Hall of Fame members, so plaques on the wall were not authorized, as they were reserved only for those outstanding players, along with certain pioneers of the game. The Honor Roll recognition was not meant to be a final destination for anyone in the categories of writers, umpires, managers and executive. The committee was clear that any of the men named to the Honor Rolls would be eligible for full admission into the Hall in the future. In fact, nine of the thirty-nine have received the higher honor. Of the thirty-nine honorees, only eight were still living: Barrow, Carrigan, Connolly, Dinneen, Evans, Heydler, Klem and Quinn.
Criticism and rationale
Whereas the committee's 1945 selections met with criticism only in later years, complaints regarding their moves in 1946 began more immediately. The committee had not yet outlined the revised voting rules for BBWAA elections, and many observers felt that the BBWAA's privilege of selecting 20th-century players was being infringed. It was widely suggested that the committee should either reform the BBWAA's voting rules or eliminate the writers entirely from the process; it was also noted that there was still plenty of work for the committee in selecting further 19th-century inductees. Criticism was also directed at the Roll of Honor, which had been created by the committee without any popular request; many felt that the Roll was a backhanded, secondary honor for individuals who had perhaps earned full membership in the Hall, and that the committee had simply established it as an excuse for inaction regarding non-playing candidates. It was further noted that managers (Connie Mack), executives (Ban Johnson), sportwriters (Henry Chadwick) and pioneers (Alexander Cartwright) were already included among the Hall's members, indicating that it had not been intended as an honor solely for players. Probably as a result of this criticism, there were never any additions to the Roll of Honor.
Specific, individual criticism regarding the eleven inductees selected by the committee was not as immediate, although the choices included some which have come to be met with greater disapproval than any of the 1945 choices; McCarthy has been described as the worst player in the Hall of Fame. Again, it is reasonably clear to discern the several factors which the committee likely found most important in making their selections in both 1945 and 1946:
- The committee's primary focus in both years was dealing with the failure of two consecutive BBWAA elections. In helping to ease the BBWAA's task, they initially intended only to select popular candidates whose peak years were before 1905; but they later decided that clearing the BBWAA logjam would require that they forgo their earlier limitation to the 19th century, and cover the entire period before 1920. As a result, almost all of their twenty-one selections over the two years played in the 25-year period between 1893 (when baseball moved the pitcher back ten feet from the plate) and 1917; all of their selections were active players in 1893 or later, with eleven playing their entire careers within that span. Only four enjoyed their peak years before 1893, including three selected in 1945: Dan Brouthers, Mike "King" Kelly, Jim O'Rourke, and the newly added Tommy McCarthy. Fully seventeen were active after 1900, and seven were active after 1910.
- The committee was selecting the most popular candidates from the BBWAA voting; had they instead selected players who received scant support from the BBWAA, they would have been far more heavily criticized for overriding the writers' judgment. With their selections over two years, they had chosen 15 of the 18 candidates who had retired by 1920 and who had received at least 10% of the vote in either year's election; every non-pitcher retired before 1920 who had ever received over 10% of the BBWAA vote had now been elected to the Hall or (in Miller Huggins' case) named to the Roll of Honor. Jesse Burkett, also elected, was the only player retired before 1910 who received more than one vote in the 1946 election. Four of the committee's other selections had retired before 1900 and were not eligible for BBWAA consideration. The BBWAA members who supported the selection of these inductees are more appropriate targets for criticism than the Old-Timers Committee, which was essentially confirming their votes; the committee elected the same candidates the BBWAA had been trying to elect.
Throughout this period, most voters and media observers supported the idea of choosing players who had remained in the sport as managers, coaches or executives after retiring. A majority of the selections were major league managers at some point, with eight leading their teams to pennants. Five of the inductees each served at least five seasons as coaches in the major leagues; Burkett and Hugh Duffy worked as scouts for several years. Every retired manager with over 1000 victories had now been either elected to the Hall or placed in the Roll of Honor. Here follow the names of the twenty-one managers who had won over 750 major league games prior to 1946, only three of whom were retired but had not yet received either recognition; those who had been selected by 1946 are shown in italics:
- Connie Mack - 3387 (active)
- John McGraw - 2763
- Joe McCarthy - 1880 (active) (elected by Veterans Committee, 1957)
- Bill McKechnie - 1832 (active) (elected by Veterans Committee, 1962)
- Fred Clarke - 1602
- Bucky Harris - 1456 (active) (elected by Veterans Committee, 1975)
- Clark Griffith - 1491
- Miller Huggins - 1413 (Roll of Honor) (elected by Veterans Committee, 1964)
- Wilbert Robinson - 1399
- Ned Hanlon - 1313 (Roll of Honor) (elected by Veterans Committee, 1996)
- Cap Anson - 1292
- Frank Selee - 1284 (Roll of Honor) (elected by Veterans Committee, 1999)
- Hughie Jennings - 1184
- Joe Cronin - 1049 (active) (elected by BBWAA, 1956)
- Harry Wright - 1000 (elected by Veterans Committee, 1953)
- Frank Chance - 946
- Frankie Frisch - 935 (active) (elected by BBWAA, 1947)
- Jimmy Dykes - 889 (active)
- George Stallings - 879
- Charles Comiskey - 839
- Bill Terry - 823 (elected by BBWAA, 1954)
- The committee had elected players at positions which were not yet represented in the Hall. By 1945, the BBWAA had elected 20th-century players at every position except catcher, third base and left field; these omissions were corrected through the elections of Roger Bresnahan, Jimmy Collins, and Fred Clarke respectively. The 1946 selections of Eddie Plank and Rube Waddell corrected the absence of any left-handed pitchers.
- There was a strong emphasis on those who had played central roles on championship teams, particularly the three-time champion Baltimore Orioles of 1894-95-96 (four inducted members), and the powerhouse Chicago Cubs teams which won four pennants between 1906 and 1910 (three inducted members). Sixteen of the twenty-one inductees had been regulars on a world championship team; all except Burkett and Ed Delahanty had played for a pennant winner. Of the twenty-one selections, fifteen had been a starting player, manager or owner for at least three pennant winners.
- The committee evidently chose to include players who had accomplished noteworthy feats in single seasons, particularly establishing single-season records (Jack Chesbro, Duffy and Waddell), and winning multiple batting titles (Brouthers, Burkett, Delahanty).
- The committee included groups of players who were closely associated with one another in baseball lore, such as Chicago's infield combination of Tinker, Evers and Chance, and Boston's "Heavenly Twins" outfield in the early 1890s of Duffy and McCarthy.
After not having voted on new inductees since 1946, the committee still did not meet formally to consider candidates; instead, the members cast ballots by mail on candidates from the pre-1924 era. This minor action temporarily decreased criticism that earlier players were being overlooked, but it would be the only attempt between 1946 and 1953 to elect players from this period, and there was no attempt to review managers and other non-playing candidates.
On May 9, 1949, it was announced that two pitchers had been selected:
- Mordecai "Three Finger" Brown, whose career extended from 1903 to 1916, ending with 239 victories and a 2.06 ERA; he had been the main pitching star on the Chicago Cubs teams which dominated the National League between 1906 and 1910, with Brown winning 20 or more games each season as the club won four pennants. His shutout in Game 5 of the 1907 World Series clinched the championship for the Cubs. In twenty-five career matchups against Christy Mathewson, Brown won thirteen times, with Mathewson winning eleven. His partial loss of two fingers in a childhood farm accident had led to his pitches having an atypical motion.
- Charles "Kid" Nichols, who won 360 games between 1890 and 1906, primarily with the five-time champion Boston Beaneaters; at age 30, he became the youngest man ever to win 300 games, and he retired with the third-most wins of any pitcher. He won over 20 games every year in the 1890s, and won 30 or more a record seven times. An incredibly strong-armed pitcher despite his small size (5'9", 170 pounds (77 kg)), he regularly pitched over 400 innings per year, and completed all but 30 of his 561 career starts – never being replaced by a relief pitcher.
Nichols was still living, but Brown had died February 14, 1948. They were formally inducted on June 13 along with Charlie Gehringer and the 1948 selections, Pie Traynor and the late Herb Pennock; Nichols and Traynor were in attendance.
The selection of these two pitchers from the period between 1890 and 1916 was roundly applauded, but it was noted that stars of the earlier era had been ignored once again, as well as position players from the same period.
By 1953, the Old-Timers Committee had not met for seven years (1946), and had only elected two players by mail (Mordecai Brown and Kid Nichols). They had not elected any non-players since the mass induction of 1945, and no players whose careers had begun before 1890 since the election of 1946.
Committee on Baseball Veterans (Veterans Committee)
In response to this and the Old-Timers Committee members' increasing ages, a new "Committee on Baseball Veterans" was created, consisting of J. G. Taylor Spink, publisher of The Sporting News from 1914 to 1962, Chairman of the Committee; Paul Kerr, director of the Clark Foundation which funded the Hall, and future President of the Baseball Hall of Fame; American League President Will Harridge; National League President and former General Manager of the Cincinnati Reds Warren Giles; Branch Rickey, who helped pioneer the farm system as General Manager of the St. Louis Cardinals, signed Jackie Robinson who broke the color barrier as General Manager of the Brooklyn Dodgers, and was at this time active General Manager of the Pittsburgh Pirates; President of the International League Frank Shaughnessy; Hall of Fame second baseman Charlie Gehringer; sportswriter Warren Brown, who, among other things, is credited with giving Babe Ruth the nickname "The Sultan of Swat"; sportswriter Frank Graham of the New York Journal-American; sportswriter and former BBWAA President John Malaney of The Boston Post; and former sportswriter and then current secretary-treasurer of the National League Charlie Segar.
Of the eleven members, seven would eventually be inducted into the Hall of Fame themselves: Charlie Gehringer had already been inducted as a player in 1949; Branch Rickey would be inducted as an executive/pioneer in 1967; Will Harridge would be inducted as an executive in 1972; Warren Giles would be inducted as an executive in 1979; and J.G. Taylor Spink (1962), Frank Graham (1971) and Warren Brown (1973) would be honored with the J. G. Taylor Spink Award.
It was also decided in 1953 that the new Veterans Committee would meet only in odd-numbered years. On July 22, 1956 it was decided that the BBWAA would vote only in even-numbered years.
The first Veterans Committee met in closed sessions and elected six people: Ed Barrow, Chief Bender, Tommy Connolly, Bill Klem, Bobby Wallace, and Harry Wright. Afterwards, the Veterans Committee was limited to two selections per meeting.
1955 through 1999 Elections
In 1959, the Veterans Committee selected Zack Wheat. Also in 1959, Lee Allen (baseball) succeeded Ernest Lanigan as Hall of Fame historian. According to Bill James, Paul Kerr would generally convince the Veterans Committee to select those Lee Allen had suggested to him, until Allen's death in 1969.
In 1962, after the BBWAA had selected no one in the 1958 and 1960 elections, the BBWAA ballot would have a second run-off election of the top vote-getters if there were no selection, and the Veterans Committee resumed meeting annually. The Veterans Committee selected Edd Roush and Bill McKechnie.
Following the death of J. G. Taylor Spink in December, the Baseball Writers Association of America inaugurated the Spink Award honoring a baseball writer. It would be conferred as part of the induction ceremonies in Cooperstown, which would help ensure at least one living, honored guest. Spink was the first recipient, deceased.
In 1965, the Veterans Committee selected Pud Galvin. The election of only one person, who had been deceased for more than 60 years evoked wide criticism and led in part to the resumption of annual votes for recent players by the baseball writers.
In 1966, the Veterans Committee selected Casey Stengel.
In 1968, the Veterans Committee selected Kiki Cuyler and Goose Goslin. Goose Goslin would later credit Lawrence Ritter's book, The Glory of Their Times, which had been released in 1966, for helping his induction. Stan Coveleski (1969), Harry Hooper and Rube Marquard (1971) were also elected soon after having appeared in The Glory of Their Times.
In 1971, the Veterans Committee selected George Weiss. With seven electees, this was the largest class the Veterans Committee ever chose in its history from 1953-2001. Partly in response to such a large class, the Veterans Committee was then limited to selecting two players and one non-player every year.
In 1973, the Veterans Committee selected Mickey Welch.
In 1983, the Veterans Committee selected George Kell.
In 1987, the Veterans Committee selected Ray Dandridge.
In 1988, the Veterans Committee met and selected no one.
In 1990, the Veterans Committee met and selected no one.
In 1993, the Veterans Committee met and selected no one.
In 1995, the Veterans Committee met in closed sessions to elect as many as two executives, managers, umpires, and older major league players—the categories considered in all its meetings since 1953. By a new arrangement it separately considered candidates from the Negro leagues and from the 19th century with authority to select one from each of those two special ballots. The older players eligible were those with ten major league seasons beginning 1946 or earlier; those who received at least 100 votes from the BBWAA in some election up to 1992; and those who received at least 60% support in some election beginning 1993. Players on Major League Baseball's ineligible list were also ineligible for election.
The committee elected four people, the maximum number permitted: center fielder Richie Ashburn from the 1950s, pitcher Vic Willis from the 1900s, pitcher Leon Day from the Negro leagues, and from the 19th century William Hulbert, the founder and second president of the National League.
2000, 2001, 2002 Elections
The Board of Directors reformed the system radically with new rules enacted in August 2001. Formerly fifteen members appointed to limited terms, the new Veterans Committee would comprise all living members of the Hall and recipients of the Spink and Frick awards to writers and broadcasters. In particular the new members were sixty-one living Hall of Famers, thirteen living recipients of the J. G. Taylor Spink Award, thirteen living recipients of the Ford C. Frick Award, and three members of the previous committee with unexpired terms had not yet expired.
Elections for players retired more than twenty years would be held every other year and elections for (managers, umpires and executives) would be held every fourth year. The first cycle for both categories would be in 2002 and 2003 for induction in 2003.
Rules enacted in August 2001 provided that the Veterans Committee would be expanded from its previous fifteen members, elected to limited terms, and it would vote by mail rather than convene. The new committee would comprise all living members of the Hall of Fame, recipients of the Spink Award (writers), recipients of the Frick Award (broadcasters), and members of the old committee until expiration of their terms. They would vote by mail using "ballots and supporting material -- prepared by the Hall of Fame".
The process would cover players every two years and other contributors (managers, umpires and executives) every four years. Both cycles first concluded with elections in February 2003, electing no one. (In the event, the system was reformed again after the third fruitless election for players and the second for other contributors in February 2007.)
Historical Overview Committee
A new BBWAA-appointed Historical Overview Committee comprising ten baseball writers nominated 200 players and 60 managers, umpires, and executives.
Players. († marks those newly eligible since 2001 (eight). The last played in the majors during 1980 or 1981.)
Johnny Vander Meer - Bobby Veach - Mickey Vernon - Dixie Walker - Bucky Walters - Lon Warneke - Will White - Cy Williams - Ken R. Williams - Maury Wills - Wilbur Wood - Glenn Wright - Jimmy Wynn - Rudy York
Bill Summers - Cedric Tallis - Chuck Tanner - Birdie Tebbetts - Patsy Tebeau - Chris von der Ahe - Lee Weyer - Bill White - Dick Williams - Phil Wrigley
Sixty baseball writers selected from the nominees twenty-five players and fifteen other contributors to appear on the ballots. Meanwhile, six Hall of Fame members independently selected five nominated players, making twenty-five to thirty players. Evidently the writers passed over one man selected by the Hall of Famers, for there were twenty-six players on the final ballot.
Among 85 eligible voters, 81 cast ballots, so 61 votes were the minimum to elect a candidate. Only three players, led by Gil Hodges (61%), tallied more than fifty percent support. († marks those who were newly eligible since 2001. Italics mark those subsequently elected.)
- Gil Hodges - 50
- Tony Oliva - 48
- Ron Santo - 46
- Joe Torre - 29
- Maury Wills - 24
- Vada Pinson - 21
- Joe Gordon - 19
- Roger Maris - 18
- Marty Marion - 17
- Carl Mays - 16
- Minnie Miñoso - 16
- Allie Reynolds - 16
- Dick Allen - 13
- Mickey Lolich - 13
- Wes Ferrell - 12
- Ken Boyer - 11
- Don Newcombe - 11
- Curt Flood - 10
- Ken Williams - 8
- Rocky Colavito - 7
- Elston Howard - 6
- Bob Meusel - 6
- †Bobby Bonds - 5
- Thurman Munson - 4
- Ted Kluszewski - 4
- †Mike Marshall - 3
On the composite ballot all fifteen finalists had been active since 1976. Writing for the Business of Baseball Committee, SABR, Pappas classified them as one umpire (U), four owners (O), one labor leader (L), three general managers (GM), four managers (M), and two league officials (lg). Among 85 eligible voters, 79 cast ballots so 60 votes were the minimum to elect a candidate. Only umpire Doug Harvey tallied more than fifty percent support. (Italics mark those subsequently elected.)
- Doug Harvey (U) - 48
- Walter O'Malley (O) - 38
- Marvin Miller (L) - 35
- Buzzie Bavasi (GM) - 34
- Dick Williams (M) - 33
- Whitey Herzog (M) - 25
- Billy Martin (M) - 22
- Bill White (lg) - 22
- Bowie Kuhn (lg) - 20
- Gabe Paul (GM) - 13
- Gussie Busch (O) - 11
- Paul Richards (M) - 10
- Charles O. Finley (O) - 9
- Phil Wrigley (O) - 9
- Harry Dalton (GM) - 6
Following 2004, when no Veterans election was held, the Committee voted in 2005 on players who were active no later than 1983; the next such election was in 2007. There was no 2005 election for non-players; the last such election was in 2003, and the next was held in 2007.
In December 2003, a Historical Overview Committee of nine sportswriters appointed by the BBWAA's Board of Directors met at the Hall of Fame's library and nominated 200 players who were active in the major leagues no later than 1983. They were provided with statistical information by the Elias Sports Bureau, official statistician for Major League Baseball since the 1920s, which also identified the 1,400 players with ten or more years of play who were eligible.
The Historical Overview Committee comprised Bob Elliott (Toronto Sun), Steve Hirdt (Elias Sports Bureau), Rick Hummel (St. Louis Post-Dispatch), Moss Klein (Newark Star-Ledger), Bill Madden (New York Daily News), Ken Nigro (former Baltimore Sun writer), Jack O'Connell (The Hartford Courant), Tracy Ringolsby (Rocky Mountain News), and Mark Whicker (Orange County Register). Their list of 200 players was announced April 19, 2004.
Players. († marks those newly eligible since 2003 (eight). They last played in the majors during 1982 or 1983.)
Bobby Veach - Mickey Vernon - Dixie Walker - Bucky Walters - Lon Warneke - Will White - Cy Williams - Ken R. Williams - Maury Wills - Smoky Joe Wood - Wilbur Wood - Glenn Wright - Jimmy Wynn - Rudy York
The 200 players were almost evenly divided between players retired less than 50 years (99 players retired from 1955 to 1983) and those retired over 50 years (101 players retired 1954 or earlier).
The list of 200 was almost identical to the list prepared for the 2003 election; apart from the eight players who were newly eligible, only Hardy Richardson, Ezra Sutton, Arlie Latham, Fred Pfeffer and Joe Start.
By primary fielding position the nominees were starting pitchers (66), relief pitchers (9), catchers (10), first basemen (24), second basemen (8), third basemen (13), shortstops (19), left fielders (18), center fielders (17) and right fielders (16).
The Historical Overview nominations were forwarded to a sixty-member BBWAA screening committee comprising two writers from each major league city. In summer 2004 they selected twenty-five players who would appear on the final ballot. (Everyone voted for twenty-five nominees.) Meanwhile, a committee of six Hall of Fame members independently selected five of the 200 nominees who would appear on the final ballot, which would thereby comprise twenty-five to thirty players.
Evidently the writers named all of the Hall of Fame members' five selections, for there were twenty-five on the final ballot.
On December 6, 2004, the final ballot of twenty-five candidates was announced. Those selected played primarily from the 1950s onward, with only five of the twenty-five candidates having retired before 1960, and only three pitchers – Smoky Joe Wood, Carl Mays and Wes Ferrell – having retired before 1950. The BBWAA screening committee had failed to include any candidates from the era before 1910. This likely reflected a tendency among the voting writers to vote only for those players they had seen themselves, and to withhold votes from earlier players.
All sixty living members of the Hall were eligible to cast ballots in the final election, along with the eight living recipients of the J. G. Taylor Spink Award, the fourteen living recipients of the Ford C. Frick Award, and the sole additional member of the pre-2001 Veterans Committee whose term had not yet expired (John McHale). Balloting was conducted by mail in January 2005, with voters permitted to vote for up to ten candidates from the ballot of twenty-five individuals; all candidates who received at least 75% of the vote would be elected. Results of the voting by the Veterans Committee were announced on March 2.
There were eighty-three eligible voters, eighty of whom cast ballots; sixty votes were required for election. In all, 458 individual votes were cast, for an average of 5.73 votes per ballot. For the second consecutive Veterans Committee election, no player was elected. Of the twenty-one candidates who were also on the 2003 ballot, only seven gained more votes in 2005, with only Joe Torre (seven), Ron Santo (six) and Ken Boyer (three) increasing their totals by more than two votes. Candidates who were considered by the Committee for the first time are indicated here with a †; candidates who have since been elected in subsequent elections are indicated in italics. The complete ballot, with the number of votes cast for each candidate, was:
- Gil Hodges - 52
- Ron Santo - 52
- Tony Oliva - 45
- †Jim Kaat - 43
- Joe Torre - 36
- Maury Wills - 26
- Vada Pinson - 23
- †Luis Tiant - 20
- Roger Maris - 19
- Marty Marion - 16
- Ken Boyer - 15
- Joe Gordon - 14
- Dick Allen - 12
- Carl Mays - 12
- Minnie Miñoso - 12
- Curt Flood - 10
- Wes Ferrell - 9
- Mickey Lolich - 9
- Don Newcombe - 8
- †Sparky Lyle - 7
- Elston Howard - 6
- Bobby Bonds - 4
- Rocky Colavito - 4
- Thurman Munson - 2
- Smoky Joe Wood - 2
Hall of Fame chairwoman Jane Forbes Clark responded to the Committee's failure to elect anyone in 2005 by saying: "The results of the last two elections show that the writers – by and large – have done a great job of electing players to the Hall of Fame. The current process works by upholding the Hall of Fame's high standards for election and by providing a more open, more inclusive and more understandable process." Noting that the top candidates gained slightly from the 2003 voting, she added: "What's encouraging for me is that this shows the process to be dynamic, not static."
Hall of Fame member Tom Seaver, noting that he had voted for three candidates including Gil Hodges, said of the chances of future selections: "I'm of the opinion it's going to be awfully hard, and maybe that's how it should be." He added: "Will somebody make it out of this committee one day? Absolutely. I'm convinced they will."
But response from observers in the press and throughout baseball was widely critical. Stephen Cannella of Sports Illustrated wrote: "Seaver's right. Hall of Fame standards should be high. But letting the inmates play gatekeeper allows them to make those standards unreachable. ... it might be too much to ask Hall of Famers to be guardians of their realm. ... Would you want to belong to a club that would have anyone else as a member?"
Mike Downey of the Chicago Tribune wrote: "And once again these gentlemen made it crystal clear they like their society being extremely exclusive. They act as aristocratically as a board from a private school or a homeowners association in the Hamptons. ... if the vote were left strictly to former players, they might not let another soul in."
Dave Anderson wrote in The New York Times: "It's time not only for the Cooperstown pooh-bahs to rethink this realigned committee's selection process, but also to question the responsibility of the do-nothing committee ... after two veterans committee shutouts, it's fair to wonder how responsibly do the Hall of Famers, especially the 58 ex-players among them, take their duty as voters? Do they really study the two pages of statistics, rankings and highlights supplied to them for each of the 25 candidates on the ballot – particularly those of players from other eras whom they never competed against and probably know nothing about? Do they just glance at the list and make a snap judgment?"
Some writers specifically lamented the failure to elect particular candidates. Ken Rosenthal wrote for All-Star Games, five Gold Gloves – what exactly is the problem?" And Bill Madden of the New York Daily News wrote: "Another exercise in futility by the new and expanded Veterans Committee has again left Gil Hodges waiting on the Hall of Fame doorstep."
Candidate Tony Oliva responded to the election by saying: "It's almost impossible to go into the Hall of Fame the way the system is now. It's ridiculous." And Ron Santo said: "It was a very tough day. ... I'm fortunate to have a wonderful family that puts everything into perspective. ... It was hard to believe no one got in. One thing I can say is the next time I won't be sitting at home waiting for the phone."
2006 and the Special Committee on Negro Leagues
In July 2000, the Hall was given a $250,000 grant from Major League Baseball to begin a comprehensive study on African Americans in baseball from 1860–1960, with the hope of enhancing the Hall's collections in these areas. In February 2001, the Hall selected three historians – Dr. Larry Hogan, Dick Clark and Larry Lester – to conduct the study, which involved over fifty other researchers and authors. The resulting study was a narrative, bibliography, and statistical database, including 3,000 day-by-day records, league leaders and all-time leaders, collected from box scores in 128 newspapers of sanctioned Negro league games played from 1920-1954. The box scores reflect almost 100% of games of the 1920s, over 90% of the games played in the 1930s, and 50-70% of games in the 1940s and 1950s. In February 2006, National Geographic published a book featuring material from the study, in conjunction with the Hall, called Shades of Glory; it covers not only the development of the game, but also its impact within the African American community. Pride and Passion, an exhibit focusing on the history of African American baseball, debuted at the Hall's museum in April 2006.
In July 2005 the Hall's Board of Directors appointed two expert committees, a screening committee of five and a voting committee of twelve. Former Commissioner of Baseball Fay Vincent served as the non-voting chairman of both committees and Hall of Famer Frank Robinson served as an advisor and assistant to Vincent and the committees. Written recommendations from fans and non-committee members were accepted through October 2005 (stage one). From the many candidates recommended, ninety-four were selected for consideration by the screening committee. These second-stage nominations were the first ones published (stage two).
Jud Wilson - Nip Winters - Bill Wright
Using statistics and other historical material from the Hall's earlier study, the screening committee met in November at Dodgertown in Vero Beach, Florida to create two ballots – one for Negro league players, managers, umpires and executives, and another for candidates whose careers mainly preceded the leagues—this is, before 1920. The committee members and listed areas of expertise were Adrian Burgos (Latin America), Dick Clark (Negro leagues), Larry Hogan (overall history), Larry Lester (Negro leagues) and Jim Overmyer (eastern teams and 19th century). They cut the 94 nominees to ten pre-Negro leagues and 29 Negro leagues candidates (stage three).
The following candidates appeared on the two final ballots:
Mule Suttles - Candy Jim Taylor - C. I. Taylor - Cristóbal Torriente - J.L. Wilkinson - Jud Wilson
Frank Grant - Pete Hill - Home Run Johnson - José Méndez - Spottswood Poles - Dick Redding - Louis Santop - Ben Taylor - Sol White
According to Hall president Dale Petroskey, "The screening committee did a great job of handling the first step of narrowing the list of candidates to those who should be seriously considered for election to the Hall of Fame." Vincent added, "I'm very satisfied with the work done by the screening committee. The committee members had some difficult choices to make, but because they are extremely knowledgeable, had strong research at their disposal and spent a great deal of time reviewing all candidates thoroughly, they did a tremendous job. The final ballots represent players, managers, executives and builders who are top-tier candidates and worthy of review for consideration for election to the Hall of Fame."
The 39 candidates on the final ballots were announced on November 21. The voting committee met in Tampa, Florida on February 25 for two days of discussion, after which they cast paper ballots with a "yes" or "no" for every candidate. Those who received "yes" votes on at least 75% of the ballots would be elected. The seven additional voting committee members and listed areas of expertise were Todd Bolton (Latin America), Greg Bond (19th century), Ray Doswell (overall history), Leslie Heaphy (women's history, Negro leagues), Rob Ruck (Negro leagues eastern teams), Sammy Miller (eastern and western teams), and Robert W. Peterson (overall history). Ruck replaced Neil Lanctot, author of two books on Negro league baseball. Peterson died on February 11, but he had submitted an absentee ballot two days earlier and the other committee members voted unanimously to accept it.
The results were announced February 27: seventeen new members had been elected to the Hall. All were deceased. The Newark-based executive Effa Manley would be the first woman in the Hall of Fame.
- Ray Brown, pitcher for the Homestead Grays from 1932 to 1945 who had a career .704 winning percentage and a one-hitter in the 1944 Negro World Series.
- Willard Brown, right fielder for the Kansas City Monarchs from 1936 to 1950 who won several home run titles and was the first black player to hit a home run in the American League.
- Andy Cooper, pitcher with the Detroit Stars and Monarchs from 1920 to 1941 who had a career .671 winning percentage and held the Negro leagues' career record for saves.
- Frank Grant, second baseman in integrated minor leagues and with all-black teams from 1886 to 1903.
- Pete Hill, left fielder from 1899 to 1926 who batted over .300 ten times.
- Biz Mackey, catcher from 1920 to 1947 who batted .322 lifetime and managed the Newark Eagles to the 1946 Negro World Series title.
- Effa Manley, owner of the Newark Eagles from 1935 to 1948.
- José Méndez, pitcher with the Cuban Stars (West), All Nations, and Monarchs teams from 1908 to 1926 who also managed the Monarchs from 1920 to 1926, winning three pennants.
- Alex Pompez, owner of the Cuban Stars (East) and New York Cubans from 1916 to 1950.
- Cum Posey, owner of the Homestead Grays from 1920 to 1946.
- Louis Santop, catcher from 1909 to 1926 who was one of the sport's earliest home run sluggers.
- Mule Suttles, first baseman from 1923 to 1944 who batted over .300 thirteen times and was known for his home run power.
- Ben Taylor, first baseman from 1908 to 1929, notably with the Indianapolis ABCs, who batted .300 ten times and also managed several teams.
- Cristóbal Torriente, center fielder from 1913 to 1928 who batted .339 in the Negro leagues and was the Cuban League's all-time leading hitter with a .350 average.
- Sol White, pioneer who played as an infielder for over 20 years, wrote the first significant history of black baseball, and later helped found the Negro National League.
- J. L. Wilkinson, owner of the All Nations and Kansas City Monarchs teams from 1912 to 1948.
- Jud Wilson, third baseman for the Baltimore Black Sox, Homestead Grays and Philadelphia Stars from 1922 to 1945 who batted .351 lifetime.
Vote counts were not announced but the twelve-person committee evidently cast at least 153 "yes" votes (seventeen times nine) or at least thirteen per voter on average. The inductees brought to thirty-five the number of Negro leagues and pre-leagues figures elected to the Hall, the first being Satchel Paige in 1971.
According to the contemporary press release by the Hall of Fame ["Seventeen ..."], its chairwoman Jane Forbes Clark stated, "The Board of Directors is extremely pleased with how this project has evolved over the last five years – culminating in today's vote. Over the last two days, this committee has held discussions in great detail, utilizing the research and statistics now available to determine who deserves baseball's highest honor – a plaque in the Hall of Fame Gallery in Cooperstown." Major League Baseball had funded the prior scholarly study. Its commissioner Bud Selig said, "I applaud the National Baseball Hall of Fame for conducting this special election of former Negro league stars, and I heartily congratulate those who were elected. ... Eighteen Negro league stars had been elected prior to today's vote, but previous committees had overlooked many who were deserving. Major League Baseball is proud to have played a part in a process that has corrected some of those omissions."
The Committee voted in 2007 on players who were active no later than 1985. Candidates were eligible for the composite ballot if they had been retired from the sport for five years, or if they were at least 65 years of age and had been retired for at least six months.
The Committee voted on players again in preparation for the 2009 inductions, but that election was conducted under significantly different rules enacted in July 2007. The most important changes were:
- The players ballot was restricted to players whose careers started in 1943 or later.
- The sole voting body was composed of living Hall of Fame members. Frick and Spink Award winners, who are considered "honorees", would no longer vote on the players ballot.
- The number of players to be considered was considerably reduced.
- A separate election was held for the 2009 inductions, to be repeated every five years thereafter, for players whose careers started before 1943. The voting body was a twelve-member panel selected by the Hall of Fame Board.
For a more complete discussion of the changes, see the Veterans Committee article.
The Committee was scheduled to vote on non-players in 2011, but the July 2007 rules also dramatically affected the voting process for non-players. A sixteen-member panel of Hall of Famers, executives, and veteran media members voted on managers and umpires again prior to the 2008 inductions. A separate twelve-member panel, drawn from the same sources as the managers/umpires panel but with a greater concentration of executives, simultaneously voted on executives. Both panels voted in the future for inductions in even-numbered years before further changes announced in 2010 that took effect with the 2011 elections.
In December 2005, a Historical Overview Committee of ten sportswriters appointed by the BBWAA's Board of Directors met at the Hall of Fame's library to develop a list of 200 former players who merited consideration for election but played no later than 1985, and a second list of sixty former managers, umpires and executives. They were provided with statistical information by the Elias Sports Bureau, official statistician for Major League Baseball since the 1920s, which also identified the 1,400 players with ten or more years of play who were eligible.
The Historical Overview Committee comprised Dave Van Dyck (Chicago Tribune), Bob Elliott (Toronto Sun), Steve Hirdt (Elias Sports Bureau), Rick Hummel (St. Louis Post-Dispatch), Moss Klein (Newark Star-Ledger), Bill Madden (New York Daily News), Ken Nigro (former Baltimore Sun writer), Jack O'Connell (BBWAA officer and writer for The Hartford Courant), Nick Peters (The Sacramento Bee), and Mark Whicker (Orange County Register). Their lists of 200 players and 60 other contributors were announced April 3, 2006.
Players. († marks those newly eligible since 2005 (twelve). They last played in the majors during 1984 or 1985.)
Bobby Veach - Mickey Vernon • Dixie Walker - Bucky Walters - Lon Warneke - †Bob Watson - Will White - Cy Williams - Ken R. Williams - Maury Wills - Smoky Joe Wood - Wilbur Wood - Jimmy Wynn • Rudy York
Among the newly eligible players who were not included were Rick Monday, Bucky Dent, Jeff Burroughs, Lou Piniella, Richie Hebner, Mike Torrez, Paul Splittorff and Oscar Gamble. As in previous years, the 200 players were almost evenly divided between players retired less than 50 years (98 players retired from 1957 to 1985) and those retired over 50 years (102 players retired 1956 or earlier).
The list of 200 was almost identical to the list prepared for the 2005 election; apart from the twelve players who were newly eligible, only three players from the 1910s were added: left fielder Hardy Richardson, Ezra Sutton, Arlie Latham, Fred Pfeffer and Joe Start.
By primary fielding position the nominees were starting pitchers (67), relief pitchers (10), catchers (10), first basemen (21), second basemen (5), third basemen (11), shortstops (18), left fielders (17), center fielders (22) and right fielders (19).
Of the fifteen players who were dropped from the 2005 list, nearly all were infielders (11) or pitchers (3), with Hank Sauer being the only outfielder; as had been true in earlier years, the list of preliminary candidates seemed to have been developed based on raw offensive totals, with less regard for defensive ability or considerations of era.
Contributors. The committee also named sixty managers, umpires and executives. († marks those newly eligible since 2005. Managers are denoted by (M), umpires by (U) and executives by (E).)
Roger Craig (M) - Harry Dalton (E) - Bing Devine (E) - Bill Dinneen (U) - Charles Dressen (M) - Barney Dreyfuss (E) - Chub Feeney (E) - John Fetzer (E) - Charles O. Finley (E) - Calvin Griffith (E) - Charlie Grimm (M) - Doug Harvey (U) - Garry Herrmann (E) - Whitey Herzog (M) - John Heydler (E) - Ralph Houk (M) - Bob Howsam (E) - Fred Hutchinson (M) - †Davey Johnson (M) - Ewing Kauffman (E) - Bowie Kuhn (E) - Frank Lane (E) - Billy Martin (M) - Gene Mauch (M) - John McSherry (U) - †Jack McKeon (M) - Marvin Miller (E) - Danny Murtaugh (M) - Hank O'Day (U) - Walter O'Malley (E) - Steve O'Neill (M) - Paul Owens (E) - Steve Palermo (U) - Gabe Paul (E) - Babe Pinelli (U) - Bob Quinn (E) - Alfred Reach (E) - Beans Reardon (U) - Paul Richards (M) - Cy Rigler (U) - Bill Rigney (M) - Jake Ruppert (E) - Ben Shibe (E) - Charles Somers (E) - Billy Southworth (M) - Bill Summers (U) - Chuck Tanner (M) - Birdie Tebbetts (M) - Chris von der Ahe (E) - Lee Weyer (U) - Bill White (E) - Dick Williams (M) - Phil Wrigley (E) - †Don Zimmer (M)
Fifty-three of the sixty nominees were holdovers from the 2003 list; along with the three newly eligible candidates, the four additions were Bing Devine, John McSherry, Jake Ruppert, and Charlie Grimm (who had been included on the players' list in both 2003 and 2005). The candidates include thirty-one individuals who were primarily executives, nineteen who were managers, and ten who were umpires. Davey Johnson, like Grimm, was dropped from the players' ballot after being included there in 2003 and 2005; evidently the review committee members regarded Johnson (age 63) as having been retired since 2000 even though he had managed the U.S. team in the 2005 Baseball World Cup, and served as a bench coach in the 2006 World Baseball Classic.
Some people eligible for the first time but not nominated were umpires Larry Barnett, Jim Evans, Rich Garcia, Dave Phillips and Harry Wendelstedt, and managers Jim Fregosi, Tom Kelly and Johnny Oates (Fregosi was included on the players' list).
The Historical Overview Committee nominations were forwarded to a sixty-member BBWAA screening committee comprising two writers from each major league city. In summer 2006 they elected twenty-five players and fifteen contributors who would appear on the final ballots. (Everyone voted for twenty-five and fifteen candidates from the two preliminary ballots.) Meanwhile, a committee of six Hall of Fame members independently selected five of the two hundred nominated players who would appear on the final ballot, so the final ballots would comprise twenty-five to thirty players and fifteen contributors.
Evidently the writers passed over two of the Hall of Fame members' five selections, for there were twenty-seven on the final players ballot.
The final ballots were announced on September 28, 2006. Twenty-three of the twenty-five players on the 2005 ballot returned, with Lefty O'Doul, Cecil Travis, Mickey Vernon and one newly eligible player added as well, replacing Elston Howard and Smoky Joe Wood. Those selected played primarily from the 1950s onward, with only six of the candidates having retired before 1960, and only three – pitchers Carl Mays and Wes Ferrell, and left fielder/pitcher O'Doul – having retired before 1947. The BBWAA screening committee failed to include any candidates from the era before 1910. This likely reflected a tendency among the voting writers to vote only for those players they had seen themselves, and to withhold votes from earlier players.
All sixty-one living members of the Hall were eligible to cast ballots in the final election, along with the eight living recipients of the J. G. Taylor Spink Award (including Jack Lang, who died on January 25 after voting had begun), the fourteen living recipients of the Ford C. Frick Award, and the sole additional member of the pre-2001 Veterans Committee whose term had not yet expired (John McHale). Balloting was conducted by mail in January 2007, with voters permitted to vote for up to ten candidates from each ballot; all candidates who received at least 75% of the vote would be elected. Results of the voting by the Veterans Committee were announced on February 27.
There were eighty-four eligible voters. Eighty-two cast ballots in the players election, with sixty-two votes required for election; eighty-one cast ballots in the composite election, with sixty-one votes required for election. In all, 489 individual votes were cast on the players ballot, for an average of 5.96 votes per ballot, while 338 individual votes were cast on the composite ballot, an average of 4.17 votes per ballot. For the third consecutive Veterans Committee election, no one was elected. Of the twenty-three players who were also on the 2005 ballot, fourteen received fewer votes in 2007, with only Jim Kaat (nine), Don Newcombe (nine), Maury Wills (seven) and Ron Santo (five) increasing their totals by at least five votes. The twenty-seven candidates on the players' ballot, with one player newly eligible since 2005 indicated with a † and candidates who have since been elected in subsequent elections indicated in italics, were:
- Ron Santo - 57
- Jim Kaat - 52
- Gil Hodges - 50
- Tony Oliva - 47
- Maury Wills - 33
- Joe Torre - 26
- Don Newcombe - 17
- Vada Pinson - 16
- Roger Maris - 15
- Lefty O'Doul - 15
- Luis Tiant - 15
- Curt Flood - 14
- †Al Oliver - 14
- Mickey Vernon - 14
- Minnie Minoso - 12
- Cecil Travis - 12
- Dick Allen - 11
- Marty Marion - 11
- Joe Gordon - 10
- Ken Boyer - 9
- Mickey Lolich - 8
- Wes Ferrell - 7
- Sparky Lyle - 6
- Carl Mays - 6
- Thurman Munson - 6
- Rocky Colavito - 5
- Bobby Bonds - 1
There were fifteen candidates on the composite ballot, all of whom had been previously eligible. Again reflecting an emphasis on recent figures, all fifteen were active in the sport in 1976 or later. The candidates, with the ten executives designated (E), the four managers designated (M) and the sole umpire designated (U), and those who have since been selected in subsequent elections indicated in italics, were:
- Doug Harvey (U) - 52
- Marvin Miller (E) - 51
- Walter O'Malley (E) - 36
- Buzzie Bavasi (E) - 30
- Dick Williams (M) - 30
- Whitey Herzog (M) - 29
- Bill White (E) - 24
- Bowie Kuhn (E) - 14
- August Busch, Jr. (E) - 13
- Billy Martin (M) - 12
- Charles O. Finley (E) - 10
- Gabe Paul (E) - 10
- Paul Richards (M) - 10
- Phil Wrigley (E) - 9
- Harry Dalton (E) - 8
Following the third consecutive election in which there were no selections, and with only minimal gains by individual candidates over that period, Hall of Fame chairwoman Jane Forbes Clark suggested that the Hall's board of directors might make changes in the process before the next scheduled election in 2009, saying, "We are disappointed that no one has been elected in the three voting cycles. We will be evaluating this process and its trends at our next meeting, which is March 13, and discussing whether there should be any changes." She added, "The board may decide that the trends are not what we thought they were going to be. Perhaps this hasn't worked as well as some of the board members thought it would and maybe it needs a little bit of change." The board took no action at its March meeting, opting to continue discussions before its next meeting during induction weekend in July.
Hall of Fame member and vice chairman 
Joe Torre, who received less than half the required number of votes (but is widely expected to be elected once he is eligible for consideration as a manager), expressed disappointment that no one was selected and said, "I'm not exactly sure what process they use. Don't forget, you've got the old guard and the young guard. People with different interests."
And Hall of Famer Mike Schmidt noted his support for Jim Kaat and observed that other members also had "their guys," admitting, "Maybe that is the problem when you are trying to evaluate 'bubble' players on entrance. The same thing happens every year. The current members want to preserve the prestige as much as possible, and are unwilling to open the doors."
Two months after the results were announced, Commissioner Bud Selig expressed puzzlement that figures such as Ron Santo had not been elected, and indicated that after three unsuccessful elections he now favored a revision in the voting method. Coincidentally or not, the aforementioned rules changes for the Veterans Committee election process were announced almost exactly three months after Selig's remarks.
The Veterans Committee election process, radically changed in 2001, was revamped yet again in July 2007. The changes that most directly affected this election involved elections of non-players (managers, umpires and executives). Under the 2001 rules, elections of non-players would be held every fourth year on a "composite ballot". No candidate was elected from the composite ballot in 2003 or 2007.
With the 2007 rules changes, the composite ballot was split into two separate ballots—one for managers and umpires and the other for executives. Also, the voting membership of the Committee, which previously included all living members of the Hall, was now reduced to include just a handful of those members, plus additional executives and sportswriters (only one of whom had been among the previous electorate). Voting for both the managers/umpires and executives ballots will now take place prior to inductions in even-numbered years, starting with 2008. To be eligible, managers and umpires need to be retired for at least five years, or for at least six months if they are age 65 or older, while executives need to be either retired or at least age 65.
A Historical Overview Committee of eleven sportswriters appointed by the BBWAA's Board of Directors met to develop a ballot of ten managers and umpires; the committee members were: Dave Van Dyck (Chicago Tribune), Bob Elliott (Toronto Sun), Rick Hummel (St. Louis Post-Dispatch), Steve Hirdt (Elias Sports Bureau), Moss Klein (Newark Star-Ledger), Bill Madden (New York Daily News), Ken Nigro (formerly Baltimore Sun), Jack O'Connell (MLB.com), Nick Peters (The Sacramento Bee), Tracy Ringolsby (Rocky Mountain News) and Mark Whicker (The Orange County Register). The managers/umpires list was submitted to a sixteen-member panel composed of ten Hall of Famers (eight players and two managers), three executives and three veteran media members for a final vote. A separate ballot of ten executives was developed by a twelve-member panel including seven executives, two players and three writers, which was the same committee which did the final voting in that area. On November 8, 2007, the final ballots were released. Each panel member could vote for up to four individuals on each ballot, and each candidate who received 75% of the vote from either panel would be elected; therefore, a maximum of five inductions was possible from each ballot. Voting was conducted at baseball's winter meetings in Nashville, Tennessee on December 2, 2007, with the results announced on December 3; it was the first time since 2001 that the Committee met to discuss candidates, as the previous three elections had been conducted by mail.
The ballot for managers and umpires included seven managers (designated M) and three umpires (designated U), with twelve votes required for election. Candidates who received at least 75% of the vote and were elected are indicated in bold italics; candidates who have since been elected in later elections are indicated in italics.
- Billy Southworth (M) - 13
- Dick Williams (M) - 13
- Doug Harvey (U) - 11
- Whitey Herzog (M) - 11
- Danny Murtaugh (M) - 6
- Hank O'Day (U) - 4
- Davey Johnson (M) - < 3
- Billy Martin (M) - < 3
- Gene Mauch (M) - < 3
- Cy Rigler (U) - < 3
Southworth, who won four National League titles between 1942 and 1948, and Williams, who won American League titles in 1967 and 1972–73 and an NL flag in 1984, had been the only eligible managers with at least four league pennants who had not yet been elected to the Hall; Southworth's 1,044 career victories, however, were the fewest by any manager yet elected. The committee members apparently made an effort to vote for as many candidates as they were allowed, casting at least 58 of a possible 64 individual votes (vote totals for four candidates were not released). Herzog, Martin, Williams and Harvey had previously been on the final composite ballot in the 2007 election. Four of the candidates were still living; at the time the ballot was released, Williams was 78, Harvey 77, Herzog a day shy of his 76th birthday, and Johnson 64. Harvey was the only manager or umpire on the ballot who received majority support in 2007, receiving 52 votes from the 81 committee members who voted that year. The leading vote-getter among managers in 2007 was Williams, who received 30 votes; Herzog was just behind at 29. Harvey and Herzog would both live to be inducted in 2010.
The election committee, which was announced on the same day as the ballot, included:
- Hall of Famers: Hank Aaron, Jim Bunning, Bob Gibson, Fergie Jenkins, Al Kaline, Tommy Lasorda, Phil Niekro, Tony Pérez, Earl Weaver, Billy Williams
- Executives: Jim Frey (retired), Roland Hemond, Bob Watson
- Media: Jack O'Connell, Tim Kurkjian, Tom Verducci
On the executives ballot, nine votes were required for election; those candidates who received at least 75% of the vote and were elected are indicated in bold italics:
- Barney Dreyfuss, team owner - 10
- Bowie Kuhn, commissioner - 10
- Walter O'Malley, team owner - 9
- Ewing Kauffman, team owner - 5
- John Fetzer, team owner - 4
- Bob Howsam, general manager - 3
- Marvin Miller, labor official - 3
- Buzzie Bavasi, general manager - < 3
- John McHale, general manager - < 3
- Gabe Paul, general manager - < 3
Dreyfuss, who owned the Pittsburgh Pirates from 1900 to 1932, and O'Malley, who owned the Brooklyn/Los Angeles Dodgers from 1950 to 1979, were the first National League owners since the 1880s to be elected to the Hall; Kuhn — who died in March 2007 after receiving just 17% of the vote in the January 2007 vote — had been the only eligible commissioner who served more than five years who had not yet been elected. As with the other committee, voters apparently tried to vote for as many candidates as they were allowed, casting at least 44 of a possible 48 individual votes (vote totals for three candidates were not released). Five of the ten candidates (Bavasi, Kuhn, Miller, O'Malley and Paul) were holdovers from the 2007 composite ballot, with McHale (who was then a member of the voting committee) being the only one who was not on the initial 2007 list of sixty candidates. The four candidates then living (Bavasi, Howsam, McHale and Miller) were all age 86 or older; Bavasi, Howsam and McHale all died within five months of the election. Miller's fifty-one votes on the 2007 ballot were second overall to Harvey and tops among executives, and made him the only executive to earn majority support that year.
The election committee, which was announced on the same day as the ballot, included:
- Hall of Famers: Monte Irvin, Harmon Killebrew
- Media: Paul Hagen, Rick Hummel, Hal McCoy
After the elections, various observers expressed skepticism over the failure to elect Marvin Miller, especially given the selection of Kuhn, his longtime bargaining adversary. It was noted that Miller had received 51 votes (out of 81) in the January 2007 election to Kuhn's 14, when all but one of the 84 eligible voters were former players, managers or members of the media; only two had been former executives, including one (McHale) who had previously played in the major leagues, and one former general manager (Lee MacPhail, father of 2008 committee member Andy). Miller had also outpolled Kuhn in the 2003 election by a 35-20 margin. In contrast, half of the 2008 committee was made up of six executives who had never been players, serving almost exclusively as team chairmen or CEOs (Andy MacPhail was the sole general manager), and this panel instead favored Kuhn by a 10-3 margin. Miller himself noted that he was unsurprised by the outcome, given the makeup of the revised committee, saying, "This was done with precision. If you have a set goal in mind, and I think they did, it's not very hard. I'm so able to count votes in advance. Nothing has dimmed with age. No matter how various people involved in the Hall try to put a different gloss on it, it was done primarily to have somebody elected and secondarily to have particular people elected. I don't think this election was about me." He added, "I think it was rigged, but not to keep me out. It was rigged to bring some of these [people] in. It's not a pretty picture. It's demeaning, the whole thing, and I don't mean just to me. It's demeaning to the Hall and demeaning to the people in it."
At the induction ceremonies, Andrew Dreyfuss gave the speech to accept the induction of his great-grandfather Barney, former Dodgers owner Peter O'Malley accepted his father Walter's induction, and Paul Degener accepted the induction of his adoptive stepfather Bowie Kuhn.
1943 and later
Rules for election by the Veterans Committee were revised in July 2007 following complaints that the three elections conducted under the previous format (in 2003, 2005, and 2007) had resulted in no selections. After the February 2007 election, Bud Selig expressed frustration over the ongoing difficulties, and voiced his support for a revision of the process. Under the revised format, a Historical Overview Committee composed of eleven sportswriters appointed by the BBWAA's Board of Directors met in spring 2008 to develop a ballot of twenty former players active between 1943 and 1987; the committee members were: Dave Van Dyck (Chicago Tribune); Bob Elliott (Toronto Sun); Rick Hummel (St. Louis Post-Dispatch); Steve Hirdt (Elias Sports Bureau); Moss Klein (formerly Newark Star-Ledger); Bill Madden (New York Daily News); Ken Nigro (formerly Baltimore Sun); Jack O'Connell (MLB.com); Nick Peters (The Sacramento Bee); Tracy Ringolsby (Rocky Mountain News); and Mark Whicker (The Orange County Register). A six-member panel of Hall of Famers also met to independently select five players for consideration; these lists were merged to create a preliminary ballot of twenty-one names: Dick Allen, Ken Boyer, Bert Campaneris, Rocky Colavito, Mike Cuellar, Steve Garvey, Gil Hodges, Jim Kaat, Ted Kluszewski, Mickey Lolich, Roger Maris, Lee May, Minnie Miñoso, Thurman Munson, Tony Oliva, Al Oliver, Vada Pinson, Ron Santo, Luis Tiant, Joe Torre and Maury Wills.
Following the elections of 2003 through 2007, when the voting membership of the Veterans Committee included not only the living members of the Hall but also recipients of the Ford C. Frick Award and J. G. Taylor Spink Award, voting was now limited to Hall members; they met at the Hall during induction weekend in 2008, and reduced the ballot to 10 names through voting by mail in August. This final ballot was then sent to the sixty-four living members, and they voted by mail, casting votes for up to four candidates each. Any candidate receiving votes on 75% of ballots would be inducted to the Hall; a maximum of five inductees was possible. The final ballot was announced on September 16; all ten finalists were returnees from the 2007 final ballot. Results were announced on December 8 at Major League Baseball's winter meetings in Las Vegas, Nevada, but no candidate received the necessary number of votes. All sixty-four eligible voters cast ballots, with forty-eight votes required for election. Players elected in subsequent years are indicated in plain italics.
- Ron Santo – 39 (60.9%)
- Jim Kaat – 38 (59.4%)
- Tony Oliva – 33 (51.6%)
- Gil Hodges – 28 (43.8%)
- Joe Torre – 19 (29.7%)
- Maury Wills – 15 (23.4%)
- Luis Tiant – 13 (20.3%)
- Vada Pinson – 12 (18.8%)
- Al Oliver – 9 (14.1%)
- Dick Allen – 7 (10.9%)
A total of 213 votes were cast for the ten candidates, an average of 3.33 votes per ballot cast, suggesting that most voters cast votes for the maximum number of candidates but that the votes were too scattered for any one candidate to reach the required number. Although Hall of Fame officials had hoped that reducing the field of candidates on the final ballot from approximately twenty-five names to ten would help focus attention on the most popular candidates and increase the chances of a selection, the coinciding move to reduce the allowable number of votes per ballot from ten to four appeared to counteract any potential benefit, as every candidate but one saw his percentage of the vote drop from 2007 (Tiant improved slightly from 18.3% to 20.3%).
Hall of Fame chairwoman Jane Forbes Clark stated, "When our board of directors restructured the Veterans Committee after the 2007 election, it did so with the goal of ensuring the voters – the living Hall of Famers – would review their peers. The 10 post-1942 ballot finalists all spent a substantial part of their playing career in the 1960s or the 1970s, and a vast majority of the voters were either actively playing, managing or involved in baseball in those two decades." She added, "The process was not redesigned with the goal of necessarily electing someone, but to give everyone on the ballot a very fair chance of earning election through a ballot of their peers. The vote reinforces the selections of the Baseball Writers' Association of America and maintains the high standards set by the BBWAA. A 75-percent threshold is extremely difficult to attain, but the highly selective process helps ensure that enshrinement in the Baseball Hall of Fame remains the greatest honor in the game."
Former manager Dick Williams, who had been inducted into the Hall earlier in the year, noted, "It's not our job to vote someone in," and added, "It's our job to consider the candidates." Noting his support for some of the candidates, he stated, "I thought Kaat would get in. I voted for him. And I think Joe Torre will, too, when he's done managing. I missed quite a few times before I got in. I know what that's like."
In announcing the lack of selections from this ballot, Hall president Jeff Idelson noted that the Hall's board of directors would review the results at its annual spring meeting, in keeping with their regular practice, and consider whether to further alter the selection process; he stressed that this was the first use of the new process featuring a smaller voting body and a reduced ballot. He added that the voting levels indicated that the members believed there were worthy candidates for induction, although no agreement could be reached as to the best ones. Hall member
- Baseball Hall of Fame: The Veterans Committee
- Expansion Era Committee  Retrieved June 21, 2013
- Golden Era Committee  Retrieved June 21, 2013
- Pre-Integration Committee  Retrieved June 21, 2013
- See, e.g.,
- See, e.g.,
- NBHOFM Pappas Pappas classifies the sixty contributors as seventeen managers or coaches, ten umpires, and thirty-three executives; and the latter as seventeen "primarily owners or owner/GMs", nine "primarily GMs", five "primarily major league officials", and one "labor leader".
- Joe Torre was eligible for election four times since winning his fourth pennant in 2000, but always in voting for players; he will not be eligible for election primarily as a manager until his retirement.
- Charles Comiskey and Frank Chance, two successful managers of the pre-World War I era, had fewer victories; but although their managing careers likely played a major role in their selections, they were not elected specifically as managers, and both had significant additional accomplishments as players and/or executives. Harry Wright, a Hall member who managed in the 1870s and 1880s, had only 1,000 major league victories, but also earned 225 wins in the National Association from 1871-1875 prior to the establishment of the first major league. Comiskey and Wright also managed at a time when seasons were considerably shorter than during Southworth's career.
- National Baseball Hall of Fame. Eras: Golden. "Rules For Election for Managers, Umpires, Executives, And Players For Golden Era Candidates To the National Baseball Hall of Fame".  Retrieved June 21, 2013
- "Ten Named To Golden Era Ballot for Baseball Hall of Fame", November 3, 2011  Retrieved June 21, 2013
Notes and references
Post-1942 Veterans Committee members (67)
Hall of Famers
Pre-1943 Veterans Committee members
As of the 2010 election, the members of the Veterans Committee were:
Recent past members
This 16-member committee was announced in October or November 2012, and conducted its first vote at the 2012 winter meetings as part of the 2013 voting process.
Pre-Integration Era Committee members
- Hank Aaron
- Pat Gillick
- Al Kaline
- Ralph Kiner
- Tommy Lasorda
- Juan Marichal
- Brooks Robinson
- Billy Williams
Hall of Famers
This 16-member committee was announced in November 2011, and conducted its first vote at the 2011 winter meetings as part of the 2012 voting process.
Golden Era Committee members
- Johnny Bench
- Whitey Herzog
- Eddie Murray
- Jim Palmer
- Tony Pérez
- Frank Robinson
- Ryne Sandberg
- Ozzie Smith
Hall of Famers
Expansion Era Committee members
As of the 2011 election, the only Veterans Committee members to have been announced are those voting for the post-1972 Expansion Era candidates.
- J. G. Taylor Spink, publisher of The Sporting News from 1914 to 1962, Chairman of the Committee (1953-1959)
- Warren Brown, sportswriter who, among other things, is credited with giving Babe Ruth the nickname "The Sultan of Swat" (1953-1965)
- Charlie Gehringer, Hall of Fame second baseman (1953-1992)
- Warren Giles, President of the National League from 1951 to 1969; General Manager of the Cincinnati Reds from 1937 to 1951 (1953-1978)
- Frank Graham, sportswriter of the New York Journal-American. (1953-1965)
- Will Harridge, President of the American League from 1931 to 1959 (1953-1971)
- Paul Kerr, director of the Clark Foundation which funded the Hall, and future President of the Baseball Hall of Fame (1953-1978)
- John Malaney sportswriter for The Boston Post and former BBWAA President (1953-1959)
- Branch Rickey, who helped pioneer the farm system as General Manager of the St. Louis Cardinals from 1919 to 1942, signed Jackie Robinson who broke the color barrier as President and General Manager of the Brooklyn Dodgers from 1942 to 1950, and was at this time active General Manager of the Pittsburgh Pirates, a position he held from 1950 to 1955 (1953-1965)
- Charlie Segar, former sportswriter, and secretary-treasurer of the National League from 1951 to 1971 (1953-1993)
- Frank Shaughnessy, President of the International League from 1936 to 1960 (1953-1969)
- J. Roy Stockton, sportswriter for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch from 1918 to 1958, where he mostly covered the St. Louis Cardinals (1961-1971)
- Dan Daniel, prolific sportswriter whose contributions over a long period led him to be called the Dean of American Baseball Writers (1961-1976)
- Joe Cronin, Hall of Fame shortstop [inducted in 1956] who also served as manager for the Boston Red Sox from 1935 to 1947, General Manager for the Red Sox from 1947 to 1959, and President of the American League from 1959 to 1973 (1961-1984)
- Ford Frick, National League President from 1934 to 1951 and Commissioner of Baseball from 1951 to 1965 (1966-1969)
- Fred Lieb, sportswriter best known for nicknaming Yankee Stadium as "The House Ruth Built" (1966-1980)
- Frankie Frisch, Hall of Fame second baseman [inducted 1947], who also served as manager (most notably for the St. Louis Cardinals from 1933 to 1938) and radio play-by-play announcer for Boston and the New York Giants (1967-1973)
- Waite Hoyt, Hall of Fame pitcher inducted 1969 who also served as radio play-by-play announcer for the Cincinnati Reds from 1942 to 1965 (1971-1976)
- Bill Terry, Hall of Fame first baseman [inducted 1954], manager of the New York Giants from 1932 to 1941 (1971-1976)
- Bob Broeg, sportswriter who covered the St. Louis Cardinals for forty years, served on the Hall of Fame's Board of Directors from 1972 to 2000 (1972-2000)
- Bill DeWitt, General Manager of the St. Louis Browns from 1937 to 1951, and of the Cincinnati Reds from 1960 to 1966 (1973-1981)
- Stan Musial, Hall of Fame outfielder and first baseman [inducted 1969] and General Manager of the St. Louis Cardinals in 1967 (1973-2001)
- Burleigh Grimes, Hall of Fame pitcher [inducted 1964] and longtime scout (1977-1985)
- Edgar Munzel, sportswriter who wrote for the Chicago Herald-Examiner and Chicago Sun-Times from 1929 to 1973 (1977-1996)
- Bob Addie, sportswriter who covered baseball for The Washington Post and Washington Times-Herald (1978-1981)
- Joe Reichler, sportswriter for the Associated Press from 1943 to 1966 who mostly covered baseball teams in New York City (1978-1988)
- Roy Campanella, Hall of Fame catcher [inducted 1969] (1978-1993)
- Buzzie Bavasi, General Manager for the Brooklyn/Los Angeles Dodgers [1950-1968], the San Diego Padres [1968-1972] and the California Angels [1977-1984] (1978-1999)
- Al Lopez, Hall of Fame manager [inducted 1977] for the Cleveland Indians [1951-1956] and Chicago White Sox [1957-1965, 1968-1969] (1978-1994)
- Gabe Paul, General Manager for the Cincinnati Reds [1951-1960], Cleveland Indians [1961-1969, 1971-1971] and New York Yankees [1974-1977], and President of the Cleveland Indians [1963-1971, 1978-1985] and New York Yankees [1973-1977] (1978-1993)
- Joe L. Brown, General Manager of the Pittsburgh Pirates from 1955 to 1976 (1979-2001)
- Birdie Tebbetts, manager for the Cincinnati Reds [1954-1958], Milwaukee Braves [1961-1962] and Cleveland Indians [1964-1966] and longtime scout [1968-1997] (1979-1993)
- Allen Lewis, sportswriter for the Philadelphia Inquirer from 1949 to 1979 (1979-2000)
- Buck O'Neil, Negro league first baseman and manager, first African-American coach in Major League Baseball, longtime scout for the Chicago Cubs and Kansas City Royals and member of the Baseball Scouts Hall of Fame in St. Louis (1981-2001)
- Milton Richman, sportswriter for the United Press International from 1944 until his death in 1986 (1983-1986)
- Monte Irvin, Hall of Fame left fielder from the Negro leagues [1938-1942, 1948] and MLB New York Giants [1949-1955] and Chicago Cubs  [inducted 1973]
- Bob Fishel, executive for the St. Louis Browns [1946-1953] and New York Yankees [1954-1974], and American League executive vice president [1974-1988] (1985-1988)
- Ted Williams, Hall of Fame left fielder (1986-2000)
- Shirley Povich, sportswriter for The Washington Post from 1923 until his death in 1998 (1987-1993)
- Red Barber, radio play-by-play announcer for the Cincinnati Reds [1934-1938], Brooklyn Dodgers [1939-1953] and New York Yankees [1954-1966] (1988-1990)
- Ernie Harwell, play-by-play announcer, most notably for the Detroit Tigers [1960-1991, 1993-2002] (1988-1995; 2001)
- Billy Herman, Hall of Fame second baseman [inducted 1975]
- Jack Brickhouse, play-by-play announcer for the Chicago Cubs from 1948 to 1981 (1991-1993)
- Yogi Berra, Hall of Fame catcher [inducted 1972]
- Pee Wee Reese, Hall of Fame shortstop [inducted 1984] and television play-by-play announcer (1994-1999)
- Bill White, sportscaster and National League president from 1989 to 1994 (1994-2001)
- Ken Coleman, play-by-play announcer for the Cleveland Indians [1954-1963], Boston Red Sox [1965-1974, 1979-1989] and Cincinnati Reds [1975-1978] (1996-2003)
- Leonard Koppett, sportswriter and author
- Hank Peters, General Manager of the Baltimore Orioles from 1975 to 1987 and GM of the Cleveland Indians from 1987 to 1992 (1996-2001)
- Jerome Holtzman, sportswriter for the Chicago Sun-Times from 1943 to 1981 and the Chicago Tribune from 1981 to 1999, creator of the save statistic, and official historian of Major League Baseball from 1999 until his death in 2008 (1998-2001)
- Hank Aaron, Hall of Fame right fielder [inducted 1982] and senior vice president for the Atlanta Braves since 1980 (2000–Present)
- John McHale, General Manager for the Milwaukee/Atlanta Braves [1959-1966] and Montreal Expos [1978-1984], president of the Montreal Expos [1969-1986] (2000-2007)
The following is a list of members of the Veterans Committee from its establishment in 1953 to its radical reformation in 2001, along with the dates of their membership.
The existing Historical Overview Committee will formulate each ballot for release in the October or November before the next planned induction ceremony. The Expansion Era ballot will include 12 candidates, while the other two ballots will include ten each. The Hall's Board of Directors will select sixteen-member committees for each era, made up of Hall of Famers, executives, baseball historians, and media members. Each committee will convene at the Winter Meetings in December to consider and vote on candidates from its assigned era. As before, the threshold of induction will remain at 75% of those voting.
Candidates from each era will be considered every third year, starting with the Expansion Era in the 2011 election (December 2010, 2013), followed by the Golden Era (December 2011, 2014) and then by the Pre-Integration Era (December 2012, 2015).
- Pre-Integration Era (1871–1946)
- Golden Era (1947–1972)
- Expansion Era (1973 and later)
Candidates will be classified by the time-periods that cover their greatest contributions:
- Managers, umpires, executives, and players will now be considered on a single ballot.
- Living Hall of Fame members will no longer constitute a single electoral body. Instead, separate subcommittees will be created to vote on individuals from different eras of baseball.
The Hall announced a new Veterans Committee voting process on June 26, 2010, effective with the 2011 election process that began late in 2010. The two biggest changes are:
The threshold for induction remained at 75% of all who voted on the appropriate ballot. In the first election held under the new rules, two managers and three executives were elected in December 2007 as part of the 2008 election process.
- The composite ballot will be split into two separate ballots, one for managers and umpires and the other for executives.
- Voting on the managers/umpires and executives ballots will now be conducted for induction in even-numbered years, starting with the class of 2008.
- The voting body for the managers/umpires ballot will be a sixteen-member body of Hall of Famers, executives, and media veterans appointed by the Hall of Fame Board.
- The voting body for the executives ballot will be a separate twelve-member body of Hall of Famers, executives, and media veterans appointed by the Hall of Fame Board.
- Each ballot is presented to the applicable voting board. As is the case for the players' ballot, each voter can choose as many as four individuals.
Changes affecting non-player elections
- Players whose careers began before 1943 are now considered every five years by a committee of twelve Hall of Famers, writers, and baseball historians, to be chosen by the Hall of Fame Board. The first election of pre-World War II players was conducted in 2009.
Pre-World War II players
- The players ballot is now restricted to players whose careers began in 1943 or later.
- Voting for the players ballot is now restricted to Hall of Fame members. Winners of the Frick and Spink Awards are considered "honorees" and are thus ineligible to vote on the main players ballot.
- The list of those eligible for the players ballot will be separately reviewed by a six-member panel of Hall of Famers, which will select five players for the ballot.
- Next, all living Hall of Famers are invited to a meeting at the Hall of Fame during induction weekend. The Hall of Famers who are present at this meeting will narrow the list to a final ballot of 10 players.
- The final players ballot is sent to all living Hall of Famers, who can vote for as many as four individuals.
Changes affecting player elections
- The Historical Overview Committee will continue to formulate the players and managers/umpires ballots, but it will now present a players' ballot of only twenty players and a managers/umpires ballot of only ten figures. The executives ballot, consisting of ten individuals, will be formulated by the voting body for that ballot.
Changes affecting all elections
Following the 2007 elections, the makeup of the committee was again changed, and several procedures were also modified:
Using these procedures, no one was elected to the Hall of Fame by the Veterans Committee in 2003, 2005, or 2007.
- Elections for players would now be held every two years, starting in 2003.
- Managers, umpires, and executives would be elected from a single composite ballot every four years, starting in 2003.
- The Historical Overview Committee, a ten-member panel appointed by the secretary-treasurer of the Baseball Writers Association of America, created an initial list of figures from whom both ballots would be created. At this point, the players' ballot consisted of 200 players.
- Ballots were screened by two groups – a sixty-member panel drawn from the membership of the BBWAA, and a panel of six living Hall of Famers selected by the Hall of Fame Board. The Hall of Famer panel selected five players for the players' ballot, and the BBWAA panel selected twenty-five players for the players' ballot, as well as all candidates for the composite ballot.
- The selections of the Hall of Famer and BBWAA panels were then merged, creating a single players' ballot. Players chosen on both ballots appeared only once on this ballot, which now contained a minimum of twenty-five and a maximum of thirty players.
- The players' ballot and composite ballot (fifteen candidates) are made public before voting.
- Balloting is held by mail, with a stated deadline.
- The Veterans Committee vote is made public after voting.
- All candidates who receive 75% or more of the vote are elected; election is no longer restricted to only the top vote-getter.
- Every player with ten or more years of major-league experience who has not been active in the previous twenty years, and is not on Major League Baseball's ineligible list, is eligible for Veterans Committee consideration. In the past, players who did not receive a certain percentage of the votes on a BBWAA ballot were permanently ineligible for Hall of Fame consideration.
The election procedures instituted in 2003 are listed below. The procedures were changed again in 2007. Rules, and portions thereof, that changed in 2007 are indicated in italics.
All members of the former Veterans Committee remained active until the expiration of their terms. Only two were on the committee for the 2003 election, the first under the new election procedures. Only one of the former Veterans Committee members (John McHale) remained on the committee for the 2005 and 2007 elections, and his term expired immediately after the 2007 election.
- All living members of the Hall of Fame;
- All living recipients of the Ford C. Frick Award for baseball broadcasters;
- And all living recipients of the J. G. Taylor Spink Award for baseball writers.
In 2001, the Hall of Fame radically changed the composition and election procedures for the Veterans Committee, which was revised to consist of:
Revisions to the voting process
The Pre-Integration Era Committee convened at the 2012 winter meetings in Nashville on December 3, with 75% or 12 of 16 votes required for election to the Hall of Fame and July 28, 2013 induction. Ruppert, O'Day and White were elected to the Hall of Fame. Dahlen received 10 of 16 votes, the highest total of anyone not elected. No one else received more than three votes.
- Hall of Famers: Bert Blyleven, Pat Gillick, Phil Niekro, Don Sutton
- Executives: Bill DeWitt, Roland Hemond, Gary Hughes, Bob Watson
- Media and historians: Jim Henneman, Steve Hirdt, Peter Morris, Phil Pepe, Tom Simon, Claire Smith, T.R. Sullivan, Mark Whicker
The pre-Integration Committee (16-member voting committee appointed by the Hall's Board of Directors) was announced at the same time as the final Pre-Integration Era ballot:
|Samuel Breadon||Executive||3 or less||< 25%|||
|Wes Ferrell||Player||3 or less||< 25%|||
|Marty Marion||Player||3 or less||< 25%|||
|Tony Mullane||Player||3 or less||< 25%|||
|Al Reach||Executive||3 or less||< 25%|||
|Bucky Walters||Player||3 or less||< 25%|||
The Pre-Integration Era Ballot was released on November 1, 2012, and the Hall of Fame announced the results on December 3.
Historical Overview Committee members: 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).
- Players who played in at least 10 major league seasons, who are not on Major League Baseballs' ineligible list (e.g., Shoeless Joe Jackson) and have been retired for 21 or more seasons.
- Managers and umpires with 10 or more years in baseball and retired for at least five years. Candidates who are 65 years or older are eligible six months following retirement.
- Executives retired for at least five years. Active executives 65 years or older are eligible for consideration.
Beginning in 2012, an eleven-member BBWAA-appointed Historical Overview Committee identified ten Pre-Integration Era candidates who were judged to have made their greatest contributions during the Pre-Integration Era (between 1876 and 1947). Along with the 1876-1947 era, these criteria defined the consideration set:
(Elected by the Pre-Integration Committee to the Class of 2013)
The Golden Era Committee convened at the December 2011 winter meetings on December 5 with the standard 75% or 12 of 16 votes required for election and July 22, 2012 induction.
- Hall of Famers: Hank Aaron, Al Kaline, Ralph Kiner, Tommy Lasorda, Juan Marichal, Brooks Robinson, Don Sutton, Billy Williams
- Executives: Paul Beeston, Bill DeWitt, Roland Hemond, Gene Michael, Al Rosen
- Media: Dick Kaegel, Jack O'Connell, Dave Van Dyck
The Golden Era Committee (16-member voting electorate appointed by the Hall of Fame's Board of Directors) was announced at the same time as the Golden Era ballot:
Kaat, Miñoso, Oliva, and Tiant were living when the ballot was announced.
|Buzzie Bavasi||Executive||< 3||< 18.8%|||
|Ken Boyer||Player||< 3||< 18.8%|||
|Charlie Finley||Executive||< 3||< 18.8%|||
|Allie Reynolds||Player||< 3||< 18.8%|||
|Luis Tiant||Player||< 3||< 18.8%|||
The Golden Era Ballot was released on November 3, 2011, and the Hall of Fame announced the results on December 5, 2011.
Historical Overview Committee members: 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); Glenn Schwarz (formerly San Francisco Chronicle); Claire Smith (ESPN); Tracy Ringolsby (FSN Rocky Mountain); and Mark Whicker (Orange County Register).
- Players who played in at least 10 major league seasons, who are not on Major League Baseball's ineligible list (e.g., Pete Rose), and who have been retired for at least 21 or more seasons.
- Managers and umpires with 10 years or more in baseball and retired for at least five years. Candidates who are 65 years or older are eligible six months following retirement.
- Executives who have been retired for five years. Active executives 65 years or older are eligible for consideration.
Beginning in 2011, an eleven-member BBWAA appointed-Historical Overview Committee identified ten Golden Era candidates who were judged to have made their greatest contributions during the Golden Era (between 1947 and 1972). Along with the 1947–1972 era, these rules defined the consideration set:
(Elected by the Golden Era Committee to the Class of 2012)
The Expansion Era Committee convened at the 2010 winter meetings in Orlando, Florida with the standard 75% or twelve of sixteen votes required for election and summer 2011 induction. Results were announced at 10:00 am EST on December 6, 2011.
- Hall of Famers: Johnny Bench, Whitey Herzog, Eddie Murray, Jim Palmer, Tony Pérez, Frank Robinson, Ryne Sandberg, Ozzie Smith
- Executives: Bill Giles, David Glass, Andy MacPhail, Jerry Reinsdorf
- Media: Bob Elliott, Tim Kurkjian, Ross Newhan, Tom Verducci
The Expansion Era Committee (16-member voting committee appointed by the Hall's Board of Directors) was announced at the same time as the final Expansion Era Ballot:
All except Martin and Steinbrenner were living when the ballot and results were announced. Martin and Miller were holdovers from the most recent ballots covering managers and executives (2010), and Oliver was a holdover from the most recent ballot covering post-1942 players (2009).
|Vida Blue||Player||< 8||< 50%|
|Steve Garvey||Player||< 8||< 50%|
|Ron Guidry||Player||< 8||< 50%|
|Tommy John||Player||< 8||< 50%|
|Billy Martin||Manager||< 8||< 50%|
|Al Oliver||Player||< 8||< 50%|
|Ted Simmons||Player||< 8||< 50%|
|Rusty Staub||Player||< 8||< 50%|
|George Steinbrenner||Executive||< 8||< 50%|||
The Expansion Era ballot was originally scheduled for release in October but was delayed until November 8. The twelve candidates were eight players, one manager, and three executives. The sole candidate who was elected is indicated in bold italics.
Historical Overview Committee members: Dave Van Dyck (Chicago Tribune); Bob Elliott (Toronto Sun); Rick Hummel (St. Louis Post-Dispatch); Steve Hirdt (Elias Sports Bureau); Moss Klein (formerly Newark Star-Ledger); Bill Madden (New York Daily News); Ken Nigro (formerly Baltimore Sun); Jack O'Connell (BBWAA secretary/treasurer); Nick Peters (formerly Sacramento Bee); Tracy Ringolsby (FSN Rocky Mountain); and Mark Whicker (Orange County Register).
- Players who played in at least 10 major league seasons, who are not on baseball's ineligible list (e.g., Pete Rose), and have been retired for 21 or more seasons.
- Managers and umpires with 10 or more years in baseball and retired for at least five years. Candidates who are 65 years or older are eligible six months after retirement.
- Executives retired for at least five years, Active executives 65 years or older are eligible for consideration.
Beginning in 2010, an eleven-member BBWAA-appointed Historical Overview Committee identified twelve Expansion Era candidates who were judged to have made their greatest contributions during the Expansion Era (1973–present era). Along with the 1973–present era, these criteria defined the consideration set:
(Elected by the Expansion Era Committee to the Class of 2011)
Of the twelve members of the election committee, eight voted for the class of 2008. The new voters were Hall of Famers Roberts and Seaver, executive Schuerholz, and sportswriter Pepe. As with the managers/umpires voting committee, this was the final meeting for the executives voting committee because of the voting changes announced in July 2010.
- Hall of Famers: Robin Roberts, Tom Seaver
- Media: Rick Hummel, Hal McCoy, Phil Pepe
The election committee, which was announced on the same day as the ballot, included:
Of the ten candidates, six (Fetzer, Howsam, Kauffman, McHale, Miller, and Paul) were holdovers from the 2008 ballot. Autry, Breadon, and Ruppert appeared on the ballot for the first time; White, who was on the 2007 composite ballot but was not on the 2008 ballot, returned for 2010. Buzzie Bavasi, who died in the intervening period, was on the 2008 ballot but not the 2010 ballot. Two candidates were living when the results were announced—Miller, age 92, and White, age 75.
As with the other committee, voters in this election made less of an effort to vote for as many candidates as allowed than in the 2008 election. The number of individual votes cast went down to a greater degree than in the managers/umpires balloting—only 28 of the possible 48 individual votes were known to have been cast in this election, compared to 44 in the 2008 voting. (Vote totals for the six trailing candidates were announced as "less than 3", or 0 to 2.)
On the executives ballot, nine votes were required for election; no candidates were elected.
Of the ten candidates for election, Doug Harvey and Whitey Herzog received the 75% needed to garner induction.
Of the sixteen members of the election committee, eleven voted for the class of 2008. The five new voters were all Hall of Famers: Murray, Roberts, Sandberg, Smith, and 2008 inductee Dick Williams. Because of the changes announced for future elections, this was the last meeting of this particular committee.
- Hall of Famers: Jim Bunning, Tommy Lasorda, Eddie Murray, Phil Niekro, Tony Pérez, Robin Roberts, Ryne Sandberg, Ozzie Smith, Billy Williams, Dick Williams
- Executives: Jim Frey, Roland Hemond, Bob Watson
- Media: Tim Kurkjian, Jack O'Connell, Tom Verducci
The election committee, which was announced on the same day as the ballot, included:
In contrast with the 2008 election, voters made less of an effort to vote for as many candidates as they were allowed. While at least 58 of the permitted 64 individual votes were cast in 2008, the number of known individual votes cast in this election was 48 of the possible 64. (Vote totals for the five trailing candidates were announced as "less than 3", or 0 to 2.) Seven of the candidates had been on the preceding ballot in 2008, with Grimm, Kelly, and O'Neill appearing for the first time and umpire Cy Rigler dropping off the ballot. Four candidates were living when the final results were announced—Harvey (age 79), Herzog (78), Johnson (66), and Kelly (59).
A Historical Overview Committee of sportswriters appointed by the BBWAA's Board of Directors met to develop a ballot of ten managers and umpires. The managers/umpires list was then submitted to a panel composed of Hall of Fame members, executives and veteran media members for a final vote. A separate ballot of ten executives was developed by a panel including executives, players and writers, which was the same committee which finally voted in that area. The final ballots were released in November 2009. Each panel member was allowed to vote for up to four individuals on each ballot, and each candidate who received 75% of the vote from either panel was elected; therefore, a maximum of five inductions were possible from each ballot. Voting was conducted at baseball's winter meetings in Indianapolis on December 6, 2009, with the results announced the next day; as was the case with the 2008 class of inductees, the Committee met to discuss the candidates, although the previous three elections had been conducted by mail.
With the 2007 rules changes, the composite ballot was split into two separate ballots—one for managers and umpires and the other for executives. Also, the voting membership of the Committee, which previously included all living members of the Hall, was reduced to include just a handful of those members, plus additional executives and sportswriters. Voting for both the managers/umpires and executives ballots, which now takes place prior to inductions in even-numbered years, began with the 2008 class of inductees, when two managers and three executives were elected. To be eligible, managers and umpires must be retired for at least five years, or for at least six months if they are age 65 or older, while executives must be either retired or at least age 65.
(Last Veterans Committee election; for the Class of 2010)
Because of the 2010 changes to Veterans Committee voting, this would be the only vote of the pre-1943 committee.
The Historical Overview Committee was permitted to nominate candidates who played in the Negro leagues prior to 1946, as long as their time in the Negro leagues and major leagues totals at least ten seasons; this rule would seem to include players such as Minnie Miñoso (who debuted with the New York Cubans in 1945) and Don Newcombe (who debuted with the Newark Eagles in 1944), even if they did not appear in the Negro leagues until after 1943. Negro league first baseman Buck O'Neil, whose playing career began in 1937, was eligible to be included on this ballot; however, if the overview committee believed that his contributions to baseball after his playing career ended outweigh his playing accomplishments, he could be instead considered in the election for non-players in 2010. The rules state that: "Those whose careers entailed involvement as both players and managers/executives/umpires will be considered for their overall contribution to the game of Baseball; however, the specific category in which such individuals shall be considered will be determined by the role in which they were most prominent. In those instances when a candidate is prominent as both a player and as a manager, executive or umpire, the BBWAA Screening Committee shall determine that individual's candidacy as either a player (Players Ballot), or as a manager, umpires, executive or pioneer (Managers/Umpires Ballot, or Executives/Pioneers Ballot)."
- Hall of Famers: Bobby Doerr, Ralph Kiner, Phil Niekro, Robin Roberts, Duke Snider, Don Sutton, Dick Williams
- Executives: Roland Hemond
- Writers: Furman Bisher, Steve Hirdt of Elias Sports Bureau, Bill Madden, ESPN news editor Claire Smith.
The voting committee comprised:
Of the ten final candidates, none were living; Vernon was alive at the time the final ballot was announced, but died a month later. The finalists included candidates spanning the entire period from 1868 (White) to 1960 (Vernon), although six of the ten were active in the 1940s; four of the top five finishers were active in the 1940s, with the four pre-1930 candidates gaining no more than twelve total votes.
The committee members apparently made an effort to vote for as many candidates as they were allowed, casting at least 41 of a possible 48 individual votes (vote totals for three candidates were not released), for a minimum possible average of 3.42 votes per ballot.
- Joe Gordon – 10 (83.3%)
- Allie Reynolds – 8 (66.7%)
- Wes Ferrell – 6 (50.0%)
- Mickey Vernon – 5 (41.7%)
- Deacon White – 5 (41.7%)
- Bucky Walters – 4 (33.3%)
- Sherry Magee – 3 (25.0%)
- Bill Dahlen – <3 (<25.0%)
- Carl Mays - <3 (<25.0%)
- Vern Stephens - <3 (<25.0%)
For the first and ultimately only time, a separate election was held for players whose major league careers began before 1943; these elections were scheduled to occur every five years. The election was conducted on December 7, 2008 at the winter meetings in Las Vegas, among a committee of twelve Hall members and members of the media, with results announced the following day; votes by proxy would be allowed only in emergencies, but this was not necessary. The Historical Overview Committee of the BBWAA selected ten candidates to appear on the ballot, with votes from 75% of the committee necessary for election; each committee member could vote for up to four candidates, allowing for a maximum of five selections. The final ballot was announced on August 25; the candidate who received at least 75% of the vote and was elected is indicated in bold italics.
As it turned out, this would be the last election for the Veterans Committee in this particular form. On July 26, 2010, the Hall of Fame announced a new voting procedure to consider individuals not eligible for the BBWAA ballot. Starting with the 2010 elections for 2011 induction, three era committees would vote once every three years on candidates from a composite ballot from an era including both long-retired players and non-playing personnel. The identified candidates by the Historical Overview Committee would be divided by each era, with the first vote involving figures from what the Hall of Fame now calls the "Expansion Era" (1973–present). In 2011, candidates considered from the "Golden Era" (1947–1972), with candidates from the "Pre-Integration Era" (1876–1946) following in the 2012 election for 2013 enshrinement. The first player elected under the new procedure was Ron Santo, elected in 2011 by the Golden Era Committee as part of the class of 2012.
Hall of Fame change in procedures for consideration
In addition to improving on the fruitless outcome of the previous three elections for players, there may have been particular urgency in the 2009 vote resulting in the selection of one or more new members, as in 2011 a large group of potentially popular candidates would become eligible – possibly further diluting the support for any single candidate. Under the then-current Veterans Committee rules, those becoming eligible in 2011 would have included Buddy Bell, Dave Concepción, Ron Guidry, Tommy John, Graig Nettles and Ted Simmons; another sizable group of potentially popular candidates, including Bob Boone, Dwight Evans, Keith Hernandez, Fred Lynn, Dave Parker and Dan Quisenberry, would have become eligible in 2013.
The ballot was composed almost entirely of players who were active in the 1960s and 1970s, with all but Hodges being active during the period from 1967 to 1972 (Hodges was a manager in that time period); even among the twenty-one players initially considered, only six had their rookie seasons before 1958, and only Hodges, Ted Kluszewski and Minnie Miñoso debuted before 1955. Other players who were on the 2007 ballot who were eligible for consideration were Bobby Bonds, Curt Flood, Sparky Lyle and Don Newcombe. In addition to Ken Boyer, Rocky Colavito, Kluszewski, Roger Maris, Miñoso and Newcombe, other potential candidates whose rookie seasons were before 1958 were Billy Pierce, perhaps the American League's top pitcher in the mid-1950s, Roy Face, the National League's first great reliever, and Dick Groat, a solid-hitting shortstop who was the NL's MVP in 1960.