Simmons Gets Another Chance at Hall of Fame

photo: Ted Simmons (Getty Images)

Baseball Hall of Fame press release

Nine former big league players and one executive comprise the 10-name Modern Baseball Era ballot to be reviewed and voted upon Dec. 8 at the Baseball Winter Meetings in San Diego, the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum announced today.

Ted Simmons, 1972 (Getty Images)

Dwight Evans, Steve Garvey, Tommy John, Don Mattingly, Marvin Miller, Thurman Munson, Dale Murphy, Dave Parker, Ted Simmons and Lou Whitaker are the candidates the Modern Baseball Era Committee will consider for Hall of Fame election for the Class of 2020. All candidates are former players except for Miller, who was the head of the Major League Baseball Players Association from 1966-82. All candidates except for Miller and Munson are living.

The results of the Modern Baseball Era Committee vote will be announced live on MLB Network’s “MLB Tonight” at 8 p.m. ET on Sunday, Dec. 8.

Any candidate who receives votes on 75 percent of the ballots cast by the 16-member Modern Baseball Era Committee will earn election to the National Baseball Hall of Fame and will be inducted in Cooperstown on July 26, 2020, along with any electees who emerge from the 2020 Baseball Writers’ Association of America election, to be announced on Jan. 21, 2020.

The Modern Baseball Era is one of four Era Committees, each of which provide an avenue for Hall of Fame consideration to managers, umpires and executives, as well as players retired for more than 15 seasons.

The 10 Modern Baseball Era finalists were selected by the BBWAA-appointed Historical Overview Committee from all eligible candidates among managers, umpires, executives and players whose most significant career impact was realized during the time period from 1970 through 1987. Eligible candidates include: Players who played in at least 10 major league seasons and have been retired for 15 or more seasons; and managers, umpires and executives with 10 or more years in baseball. All active executives age 70 or older may have their careers reviewed as part of the Era Committee balloting process, regardless of the position they hold in an organization, and regardless of whether their body of work has been completed. All candidates must not be on Baseball’s Ineligible List.

The Modern Baseball Era ballot was determined this fall by the Historical Overview Committee, comprised of 11 veteran historians: Bob Elliott (formerly Toronto Sun); Jim Henneman (formerly Baltimore Sun); Rick Hummel (St. Louis Post-Dispatch); Steve Hirdt (formerly Elias Sports Bureau); Bill Madden (formerly New York Daily News); Jack O’Connell (BBWAA); Jim Reeves (formerly Fort Worth Star-Telegram); Tracy Ringolsby (MLB.com); Glenn Schwarz (formerly San Francisco Chronicle); Dave van Dyck (formerly Chicago Tribune); and Mark Whicker (Los Angeles News Group).

The 16-member Hall of Fame Board-appointed electorate charged with the review of the Modern Baseball Era ballot will be announced later this fall. The Modern Baseball Era electorate will meet to discuss and review the candidacies of the 10 finalists as part of Baseball’s Winter Meetings on Dec. 8 in San Diego.

The Modern Baseball Era Committee meets twice in any five-year period, with the next meeting scheduled for the fall of 2022.

The 10 candidates for Modern Baseball Era consideration for the Class of 2020:

  • Dwight Evans played 19 seasons with the Red Sox and one with the Orioles, totaling 385 home runs and 1,384 RBI at the plate while winning eight Gold Glove Awards in right field. A three-time All-Star and two-time Silver Slugger Award winner, Evans posted a .370 career on-base percentage and is one of only 34 players all-time with at least 1,300 runs scored, 1,300 RBI and 1,300 walks.
  • Steve Garvey compiled a .294 career average over 19 major league seasons with the Dodgers and Padres, amassing 2,599 hits, 272 home runs, 1,308 RBI and 10 All-Star Game selections. He hit .338 with 11 home runs and 31 RBI in 11 postseason series, was named the 1978 and 1984 NLCS MVP and won the 1981 Roberto Clemente Award.  The 1974 NL Most Valuable Player, Garvey won four Gold Glove Awards and played in an NL record 1,207 straight games at first base.
  • Tommy John pitched 26 seasons for the Indians, White Sox, Dodgers, Yankees, Angels and A’s, finishing his career after the 1989 season with a record of 288-231 and 3.34 ERA. His 700 career starts rank eighth on the all-time list and his 4,710.1 innings rank 20th all-time. A four-time All-Star Game selection – three of which came following his groundbreaking elbow surgery in 1974 – John won the 1976 Hutch Award and 1981 Lou Gehrig Memorial Award.
  • Don Mattingly played 14 seasons for the Yankees, batting .307 with 222 home runs and 2,153 hits. A six-time All-Star and nine-time Gold Glove Award winner at first base, Mattingly led the American League in total bases in both 1985 and 1986, won the 1984 AL batting title, captured three Silver Slugger Awards and was named the 1985 AL Most Valuable Player.
  • Marvin Miller was elected as the head of the Major League Baseball Players Association in 1966 and quickly turned the union into a powerhouse. Within a decade of being named head of the union, Miller had secured free agency for the players. By the time he retired in 1982, the average player salary was approximately 10 times what it was when he took over.
  • Thurman Munson played for 11 seasons with the Yankees, winning the American League Rookie of the Year Award in 1970 and the American League Most Valuable Player Award in 1976. A seven-time All-Star and three-time Gold Glove Award winner, Munson is one of only two catchers in history with three consecutive seasons with at least a .300 batting average, 180 hits and 100 RBI.
  • Dale Murphy played 18 seasons with the Braves, Phillies and Rockies, winning back-to-back National League Most Valuable Player Awards in 1982 and 1983. A seven-time All-Star, Murphy won five Gold Glove Awards and four Silver Slugger Awards in center field. Murphy finished his career with 398 home runs and 1,266 RBI.
  • Dave Parker compiled a .290 career average over 19 major league seasons with six teams, including 11 years in Pittsburgh and four years in Cincinnati, and amassed 339 home runs, 1,493 RBI and two batting titles (1977-78). The 1978 NL Most Valuable Player was named to seven All-Star games and won three Gold Glove Awards in right field.
  • Ted Simmons played for 21 seasons, totaling a .285 batting average, 2,472 hits, 483 doubles, 248 home runs and 1,389 RBI primarily as a catcher for the Cardinals, Brewers and Braves. An eight-time All-Star, he garnered MVP votes seven times in his career and finished among his league’s top 10 players in batting average six times.
  • Lou Whitaker played 19 seasons, all with the Tigers, compiling 2,369 hits, 244 home runs and 1,197 walks. A five-time All-Star and four-time Silver Slugger Award winner, Whitaker won three Gold Glove Awards for his play at second base. The 1978 American League Rookie of the Year, Whitaker never played a game in the field at any position other than second base.

More information on each candidate is available by visiting baseballhall.org/modern-baseball-era-ballot-2020.

About the Era Committees

The Era Committees consist of four different electorates: Today’s Game (for candidates whose greatest contributions to baseball were realized from 1988 to the present); Modern Baseball (for candidates whose greatest contributions to baseball were realized from 1970 to 1987); Golden Days (for candidates whose greatest contributions to baseball were realized from 1950 to 1969); and Early Baseball (for candidates whose greatest contributions to baseball were realized prior to 1950).

The Today’s Game and Modern Baseball eras are considered twice each in a five-year period, with the Golden Days era considered once every five years and the Early Baseball era considered once every 10 years. The Today’s Game era was considered in the fall of 2018, with Harold Baines and Lee Smith earning Hall of Fame election.

Eras considered for yearly induction over the next decade are as follows: 2021 – Both Golden Days and Early Baseball; 2022 – Today’s Game; 2023 – Modern Baseball; 2024 – Today’s Game; 2025 – Modern Baseball; 2026 – Golden Days. The Early Baseball era returns for induction consideration in 2031.

Both the ballot and electorate are created anew with each cycle for consideration. The four separate electorates consider by era a single composite ballot of managers, umpires, executives and long-retired players.


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