Congratulations, Buck O’Neil and Minnie Minoso, and the four other new Hall members.
Six candidates earned election to the National Baseball Hall of Fame on Sunday via the Eras Committee process, it was announced today on MLB Network.
Gil Hodges, Jim Kaat, Minnie Miñoso and Tony Oliva were elected by the Golden Days Era Committee, which considered a 10-person ballot comprised of candidates whose primary contribution to the game came from 1950-69.
Bud Fowler and Buck O’Neil were elected by the Early Baseball Era Committee, which considered a 10-person ballot of candidates whose primary contribution the game came prior to 1950.
Miñoso was named on 14 of 16 ballots (87.5 percent), while Hodges, Kaat and Oliva were each named on 12 of 16 ballots (75 percent), with all four reaching the 75-percent threshold necessary for election.
O’Neil was named on 13 of 16 ballots (81.3 percent), while Fowler was named on 12 ballots (75 percent)
The Golden Days Era Committee and the Early Baseball Era Committee held meetings today in Orlando, Fla.
Kaat and Oliva are living. Hodges passed away on April 2, 1972; Miñoso passed away on March 1, 2015.
Fowler passed away on Feb. 26, 1913; O’Neil passed away on Oct. 6, 2006.
Fowler, Hodges, Kaat, Miñoso, Oliva and O’Neil will be joined in the Hall of Fame Class of 2022 by any electees who emerge from the Baseball Writers’ Association of America voting, which will be announced on Tuesday, Jan. 25.
This is great news for O’Neil and Minoso, both of whom could and should have been inducted while they were still living but weren’t. Both were pioneers and ambassadors in addition to being great players, and the Hall is a better place for finally having them.
The way the Eras ballots worked this year, there were a lot of Hall-worthy nominees to consider, a function in part of better and more comprehensive Negro Leagues data and in part of reconsidering some players who had been under-appreciated before. One of those players was Dick Allen, who fell a vote short but at least came closer to being enshrined than ever before. Maybe next time for him.
You can see comprehensive profiles of all of the Golden Days nominees here, and of the Early Baseball nominees here. They’re worth your time – I learned a lot about some players I’d known very little about before. Bob Kendrick, the president of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, had a recent podcast episode about the Negro Leagues players on the ballot, and that’s worth your time as well. Really, his whole Black Diamonds podcast series should be on your list. There’s no other baseball to pay attention to now, so make the most of it while you can. And congrats again to Buck O’Neil, Bud Fowler, Minnie Minoso, Tony Oliva, Gil Hodges, and Jim Kaat.