The Composition of the Veteran’s Committee for the 2014 Ballot

Cooperstown's number one attraction

Cooperstown’s number one attraction

Before completing my look at the 2014 Veteran’s Committee Hall of Fame ballot, I want to point out something. The website for the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown has a list of the members of the committee that will vote on the next Hall of Fame ballot. It consists of six former player and two former managers who are currently Hall of Fame members. There are four current executives and finally four “historians” (actually one guy from Elias and three writers). This committee faces a far different problem than the other Veteran’s Committees.

First, here’s a list of the committee members:

Players–Rod Carew, Carlton Fisk, Joe Morgan, Paul Molitor, Phil Niekro, Frank Robinson

Managers–Whitey Herzog, Tommy Lasorda

Execs–Paul Beeston, Andy McPhail, Dave Montgomery, Jerry Reinsdorf

“Historians”–Steve Hirdt (the Elias guy), Bruce Jenkins, Jack O’Connell, Jim Reeves

Let me state that I have no problem with the particular people who are on the committee.

But if you look at the list and then take a look at the ballot, something leaps out at you (or at least it did to me). The committee is composed of people who played with, played against, know personally, saw play, or otherwise have personal reference to the people on the ballot. That’s not bad, exactly, it’s just different from the other two ballots (1876-1946 and 1947-1972). The other ballots consist of players, executives, umpires, managers, and what have you that the committee, however it’s constituted, may not have seen or known. It’s probable that some of the 1947-72 ballot listees were seen on TV or at the park by the committee. It’s even possible that a couple of the older members of the committee (like Morgan, Niekro, and Robinson) might have played with or against people on the ballot, but it’s not likely that they would have seen or known all of the people involved. And of course the 1876-1946 ballot could be full of people no one alive today ever saw play (take this season’s sole player-inductee, Deacon White as an example).

I do not think this necessarily taints the viewpoint of the current committee, I merely think it should be noted. Morgan played with Dave Concepcion. LaSorda managed against Concepcion. I trust the integrity of both men to make a rational decision about Concepcion and others (like Garvey who LaSorda managed and Morgan played against). But I think that fans should be aware of the unique nature of this ballot when it comes to things like the “eye” test.

The results of the balloting will be announced 9 December. Also the Hall of Fame website indicates the writers ballot will be announced  25 November and the results announced 8 January. The Spink and Frick awards will be announced 10 (Spink) and 11 (Frick) December.

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2 Responses to “The Composition of the Veteran’s Committee for the 2014 Ballot”

  1. William Miller Says:

    Carlton Fisk, a contemporary of Ted Simmons, could turn out to be a very important voice either for or against Simmons’ induction into The Hall. And you know Joe Morgan will argue very strongly in favor of Concepcion. I wonder if Garvey still has any friends?

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