Membership into the National Baseball Hall of Fame is likely to grow substantially in July and it will start with a star-studded Expansion Era ballot that was released by the Cooperstown shrine Monday.
Managers Joe Torre, Tony La Russa and Bobby Cox headline a 12-man ballot of players, managers and executives whose greatest contributions to baseball ran from 1973 through today.
Former New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner and ex-Yankees manager Billy Martin also are on the ballot, along with former players Dave Concepcion, Steve Garvey, Tommy John, Dave Parker, Dan Quisenberry and Ted Simmons.
Former Major League Baseball Players Association head Marvin Miller rounds out the candidates.
A 16-member panel will vote on the candidates Dec. 9, during baseball’s winter meetings in Orlando. Twelve votes are needed for election.
Assuming Torre, La Russa and Cox make it from the Expansion Era ballot and considering that the Baseball Writers’ Association of America ballot will include first-timers Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine and Frank Thomas, the Clark Sports Center podium could get mighty crowded in 2014.
Results of the BBWAA ballot will be released Jan. 8.
Unlike this past July when the BBWAA elected no one and the inductions of deceased Pre-Integration Committee selections Hank O’Day, Jacob Ruppert and Deacon White were held in front of a sparse turnout estimated at 2,500, Cooperstown figures to be packed when Induction Day arrives July 27, 2014.
The 16 men who’ll vote on the Expansion Era ballot are Hall of Famers Rod Carew, Carlton Fisk, Whitey Herzog, Tom Lasorda, Paul Molitor, Joe Morgan, Phil Niekro and Frank Robinson, along with executives Paul Beeston, Andy MacPhail, Dave Montgomery and Jerry Reinsdorf, and historians Steve Hirdt, Bruce Jenkins, Jack O’Connell and Jim Reeves.
The following is a capsule look at the Expansion Era candidates:
Played 19 seasons for the Cincinnati Reds, compiling a .267 average with 2,326 hits, 321 steals, two Silver Slugger awards, five Gold Gloves and nine All-Star game selections.
Ranks fourth all-time in managerial victories, going 2,504-2,001 over 29 seasons. Guided Atlanta Braves to the 1995 World Series title and steered Atlanta to five National League pennants over 25 seasons with the Braves. Under Cox’s watch, Braves won 14 straight division titles from 1991-2005, not including the strike-shortened 1994 season. Also managed the Toronto Blue Jays for four seasons.
Batted .294 over 19 seasons with the Dodger and Padres, amassing 2,599 hits, 272 home runs, 1,308 RBIs and 10 All-Star game selections. Hit .338 with 11 homers and 31 RBIs over 11 postseason series and was named NLCS MVP in 1978 and 1984. Earned four Gold Gloves and played in an NL record 1,207 consecutive games.
Twenty-six year career included stints with the Indians, Dodgers, Yankees, Angels and A’s. Finished career with a record of 288-231 and an ERA of 3.34. His 700 career starts ranks eighth all-time and his 4,710 1/3 innings ranks 20th.
Tony La Russa
Ranks third all-time among managers with 2,728 victories to go against 2,365 losses over 33 seasons. Won three World Series (1989 A’s, and 2006 and 2011 Cardinals). Guided A’s to three AL pennants in 10 seasons and Cardinal to three NL pennants in 16 years. Also managed White Sox for eight seasons.
Sixteen-season managerial career included stops with Twins, Tigers, Rangers, Yankees (five stints) and A’s. Went 1,253-1,015, including five first-place seasons, two AL pennants and a World Series title with the Yankees in 1977. Died in car accident in 1989 near Binghamton.
Elected head of the MLBPA in 1966 and quickly turned union into a powerhouse. Secured free agency for players and when he retired in 1982, the average player salary was about 10 times what it was when he took over.
Compiled .290 average over 19 seasons with six teams, including 11 years with the Pirates and four with the Reds. Hit 339 home runs and drove in 1,439 runs. Won NL batting titles in 1977 and 1978. Earned NL MVP honors in 1978. Selected to seven All-Star games and won three Gold Gloves.
Submarine-style pitcher saved 244 games over 12-year career that included 10 seasons in Kansas City. Finished in top five in Cy Young Award voting five times and was selected to three All-Star games. Led league in saves five times. Went 56-46 with a 2.76 ERA over 674 relief appearanes.
Twenty-one year career included .285 average, 2,472 hits, 483 doubles, 248 home runs and 1,389 RBIs with the Cardinals, Brewers and Braves. Selected to All-Star game eight times.
Principal owner of Yankees from 1973 to his death in 2010. Yankees won 11 AL pennants and seven World Series titles under his watch.
Spent 29 seasons as a manager that followed an 18-year playing career in which in compiled a .297 batting average. Managerial career, which included stops with the New York Mets, Atlanta Braves and Los Angeles Dodgers, ended with a record of 2,326-1,997. Led Yankees to World Series titles in 1996 and 1998-2000. Also guided Yankees to AL pennants in 2001 and 2003.