The Veterans Committee is at it Again

By Bladd Drwg

The veterans committee gets to vote (and probably not elect) anyone this year again. Here is the blurb from of who they get to consider:

COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. — Retired managers Joe Torre, Tony La Russa and Bobby Cox will join holdovers George Steinbrenner and Marvin Miller on the Hall of Fame expansion era committee ballot next month.
Dave Concepcion, Steve Garvey, Tommy John, Billy Martin and Ted Simmons also are held over from the 2010 ballot, while Dave Parker and Dan Quisenberry have been added. Vida Blue, Ron Guidry, Al Oliver and Rusty Staub have been dropped.

The committee will meet at the winter meetings in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., and its vote will be announced there Dec. 9.

Torre and Cox retired as managers after the 2010 season and La Russa after leading the St. Louis Cardinals to the 2011 World Series title.

None of the players on the ballot really deserve to be in the hall, unless you consider Billy Martin as a manager, and then you can make a case for him. Concepcion, Garvey, John, Simmons, Parker and Quiz all were excellent players during their careers but were never quite good enough to be considered greats and the hall would actually be worse off for electing any of them.

There is an interesting argument with the other 5 names. Torre, LaRussa and Cox all had hall of fame managing careers. Torre won 2300 games and 6 pennants and 4 WS titles over 29 seasons. Cox won 2500 games, 5 pennants and 1 WS title over 29 years. LaRussa won 2700 games, 6 pennants and 3 WS titles over 33 years (and is the only one of the 3 to win a pennant with more than one team). They rank 5th, 4th and 3rd respectively in career manager wins, behind only John McGraw and Connie Mack. They are also the only 3 managers in the top 10 in career wins that are not in the HOF. All three should be but I would bet only one of them makes it this year and my money is on Torre.

Steinbrenner and Miller are interesting cases – one was an owner (Steinbrenner) and one was the head of the players union (Miller). Both had significant impact on the game – Miller with leading the players union into the era of free agency and Steinbrenner, well, for being Steinbrenner. I really think Miller has a stronger case than Steinbrenner but both should eventually make it to the Hall. Getting them elected, well that might be harder since neither was particularly well liked by a segment of the voters, so we may never see a plaque with their names hanging in the gallery.


For your viewing pleasure, a cartoon by the late, great Bill Gallo and his classic George Steingrabber character:


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