December 1, 2008 – Ten former major league players whose careers started in 1943 or later have been named as finalists for election and entry into the MLB Hall of Fame in 2009. Three former Minnesota Twins players, Tony Oliva, Jim Kaat, and Luis Tiant are part of this select and talented group. In addition, Dick Allen, Gil Hodges, Al Oliver, Vada Pinson, Ron Santo, Joe Torre, and Maury Wills make up the rest of the group. Boy, I must be getting old because with the exception of Hodges, I grew up watching all these guys play. How many if any of these former stars will make it is hard to say. The veterans group has not selected anyone for admission in years and the voting rules have changed since the last vote was taken. This year, candidates must garner 75% of the vote from living Hall of Famers. Since there are currently 64 living Hall of Famers, 48 votes will be required for entry.
From this group I sure would like to see Tony O, Jim Kaat, and Maury Wills get in. Voting results are scheduled to be announced on December 8 during baseballs’ winter meetings in Las Vegas. I am keeping my fingers crossed.
December 9 update – Disappointment….is how I would describe my feelings when I heard that for the fourth consecutive time no post 1942 players were selected to the Hall. How can this be, are you telling me none of these guys deserve to be in the Hall of Fame? That is a bunch of Bull*&^%, a number of these players belong there, the problem is how to get them there. I have no problem with the 64 living Hall of Famers voting but it seems to me that they are all over the board, there is no leadership here, someone needs to stand up and take charge. To achieve the necessary 75% for election, a player must receive 48 votes. The results for the most recent voting were as follows: Ron Santo (39 votes, 60.9 percent), Jim Kaat (38, 59.4 percent), Tony Oliva (33, 51.6 percent), Gil Hodges (28, 43.8 percent), Joe Torre (19, 29.7 percent), Maury Wills (15, 23.4 percent), Luis Tiant (13, 20.3 percent), Vada Pinson (12, 18.8 percent), Al Oliver (nine, 14.1 percent), Dick Allen (seven, 10.9 percent). All 64 living HOF players cast ballots, the Hall of Fame stated that voters could choose up to four candidates, and an average of 3.33 votes per ballot was cast.
Something needs to change, it is not right that players that deserve to be in the HOF are left outside looking in and then years after they pass away, someone decides they do belong in the HOF, that is just not right. This year 256 votes could have been cast and only 213 were cast, that is 43 votes that went unused. Let’s change the rules for this finalist group; I have no problem with at least one player, the highest vote getter getting the call to the hall. If you don’t want to do that, then let’s make sure that each player cast 4 votes on each ballot. You will not cheapen the entry into the MLB Hall of Fame by doing this, you will only make it better for the players and the fans who want to see the stars they cheered for many years get the credit they deserve. All I can say now is “shame on you the living 64 Hall of Famers who have your noses so high in the air that you can’t see the ballot itself”, you guys really disappointed me.