Baseball Hall of Fame: Buck O’Neil, Minnie Miñoso and Gil Hodges among the six elected by the committees of the times

The National Baseball Hall of Fame will induct at least six new members in 2022. On Sunday night, the Hall of Fame Baseball Era Committee announced that Black League legends Bud Fowler and Buck O’Neil have been elected to Cooperstown. Gil Hodges, Jim Kaat, Minnie Miñoso and Tony Oliva were also elected by the Golden Days Era committee.

Simply put, O’Neil is a Black League icon and one of the most important figures in baseball history. A good player who appeared in three All-Star Games in 10 Negro League seasons, O’Neil founded the Negro League Baseball Hall of Fame in Kansas City after his playing days, and he was also the first black coach of the baseball history. O’Neil died at the age of 94 in 2006, and the Buck O’Neil Award is presented annually to “the individual whose extraordinary efforts have enhanced the positive impact of baseball on society, broadened the attraction of the game and whose character, integrity and dignity are comparable to qualities exhibited by O’Neil. ”

Hodges, eight-time All-Star and manager of the 1969 Miracle Mets, has long been seen as one of the most deserving candidates yet to be elected to the Hall of Fame. He played 18 seasons with the Dodgers and Mets, including 17 after returning from WWII, and retired as a .273 / .359 / .487 career hitter with 1,921 hits and 370 home runs. . He was also considered one of the best defensive players of his time. Hodges died at the age of 47 in 1972.

“When you mention the greatest in Dodgers history, Gil Hodges is among the best to ever don the blue Dodger,” Dodgers president Stan Kasten said in a statement. “We are delighted that he is finally taking his place at Cooperstown alongside the football greats and look forward to honoring him next year.”

As with Hodges and O’Neil, Miñoso’s enthronement is long overdue. Cuban Comet were one of the first Latino and All-Star players in the league, and they are also considered the first black Cuban player in the big leagues. He’s hit 0.299 / 0.387 / 0.461 with 2,110 hits, 195 home runs and 216 steals in 20 seasons, most with the White Sox. Thirteen-time All-Star Miñoso died aged 89 in 2015.

“This immense honor would have meant a lot to my father, and it means a lot to us,” Miñoso’s son Charlie Rice-Miñoso said in a statement. “My dad lived the American dream. He was able to open doors and break down barriers while doing what he loved, fulfilling his lifelong dream of being a major league baseball player. He dedicated his life to the game. baseball, to all the fans in and in Chicago that he loved. He was so proud to be black, to be Cuban, to be American and to be a professional baseball player for the White Sox of Chicago. He would also have been very proud to be a Hall of Fame. ”

Kaat, now 83, launched 25 remarkable seasons in the big leagues, winning 283 games and 16 Golden Gloves. He’s played for five teams but spent most of his time with the Washington Senators / Minnesota Twins franchise, and his 190 wins are second in the franchise standings behind Hall of Famer Walter Johnson’s 417. Kaat also had a very long career as a broadcaster, and he continues to call games to this day for MLB Network.

1964 AL Rookie of the Year and eight-time All-Star Oliva, 83, retired as a career .304 / .353 / .476 hitter who led the league five times in strokes sure, four times led in doubles, and three times led at batting. He was also twice vice-champion of AL MVP. Oliva has spent her entire career with the Twins and ranks among the franchise’s all-time leaders in all significant offensive categories. He and Miñoso are the fifth and sixth Cuban players elected to the Hall of Fame.

“The Pohlad family and the entire Minnesota Twins organization wish to congratulate Tony Oliva and Jim Kaat on their long-awaited and well-deserved election to the National Baseball Hall of Fame,” said the Twins president and CEO, Dave St. Peter, in a press release. “From his stupendous career in the field to the broadcast booth, and into the hearts of fans across our region, ‘Tony O’ embodies what it really means to be a Minnesota Twin and has been the greatest ambassador for this. organization since arriving in the Upper Midwest. In a similar vein, ‘Kitty’ has had an indelible impact on our organization and our fans, from his 15 years with the Twins / Senators franchise until his stint in the broadcast booth. “

Fowler is widely regarded as the first black professional baseball player. He pitched and played on the infield in the 1800s and went on to help found the Page Fence Giants, one of the best black teams of all time. Fowler died at the age of 54 in 1913.

The Early Baseball Era committee covers candidates whose contributions to the game predate 1950. Negro League stars John Donaldson, Vic Harris, Grant “Home Run” Johnson, Dick “Cannonball” Redding and Balances George “Tubby”. US and National Leagues Bill Dahlen, Lefty O’Doul and Allie Reynolds were also on the ballot. All 10 are deceased.

The Golden Days Era committee covers candidates whose contributions to the game occurred between 1951 and 1969. This year’s ballot included Dick Allen, Ken Boyer, Roger Maris, Danny Murtaugh, Billy Pierce and Maury Wills in addition to Hodges, Kat, Miñoso and Oliva. All except Kaat, Oliva and Wills are deceased.

Era committees consist of 16 members who vote for each candidate, with 12 votes required for induction. Voting bodies include Hall of Fame members, baseball executives and senior members of the media. Here are the results of the vote:

1. Minnie Miñoso: 14 votes

1. Buck O’Neil: 13 voices

2. Gil Hodges: 12 voices

2. Fowler bud: 12 voices

3. Jim Kaat: 12 voices

3. Vic Harris: 10 voices

4. Tony Oliva: 12 voices

4. John Donaldson: 8 voices

5. Dick Allen: 11 votes

5. Allie Reynolds: 6 voices

Everyone else received three votes or less

Everyone else received five votes or less

Allen’s voice missed the enthronement for the second time. He was also missing a vote in the 2015 Golden Days Era committee vote. Allen passed away at the age of 78 last December and was one of the greatest hitters of his time, hitting a line. of .292 / .378 / .534 with 351 circuits in 15 seasons. He will again be eligible for a vote at the next Golden Days Era committee meeting in 2026.

Several years ago, the Hall of Fame replaced the Veterans Committee with four-era committees that meet every few years. In addition to the Early Baseball Era and the Golden Days Era, there are also the Modern Baseball Era (1970-87) and Today’s Era of the Game (1988 to today). Today’s Game will vote in December 2022, then Modern Baseball in December 2023.

The Hall of Fame vote by the Baseball Writers Association of America is underway. Here is the ballot. These results will be revealed on January 25. Next year’s Hall of Fame induction ceremony is scheduled for Sunday, July 24.

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