Pat Gillick elected to Hall of Fame
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Pat Gillick, the former major league general manager whose teams won three World Series titles in 27 years, was elected to baseball's Hall of Fame on Monday by the Veterans Committee.
Gillick was GM of the Toronto Blue Jays, Baltimore Orioles, Seattle Mariners and Philadelphia Phillies, winning World Series titles with the Blue Jays in 1992 and 1993, and with the Phillies in 2008. He received 13 votes from the 16-man committee.
Voting from the Veterans Committee for induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame (12 of 16 votes needed for election):
• Pat Gillick (13 votes, 81.25 percent)
• Marvin Miller (11 votes, 68.75 percent)
• Dave Concepcion (8 votes, 50 percent)
• Fewer than 8 votes: Ted Simmons, Vida Blue, Steve Garvey, Ron Guidry, Tommy John, Billy Martin, Al Oliver, Rusty Staub and George Steinbrenner.
Speaking at a news conference at the winter meetings, Gillick thanked all the people he's worked with over the years.
"It all goes back to the players they have on the field," he said. "I could stand in the middle of the field and 4 million people aren't going to show up."
In his fifth time on the ballot, former players' association head Marvin Miller fell one vote short of the 75 percent needed for election.
"Many years ago those who control the Hall decided to rewrite history instead of recording it," the 93-year-old Miller said in a statement. "The aim was to eradicate the history of the tremendous impact of the players' union on the progress and development of the game as a competitive sport, as entertainment, and as an industry."
Dave Concepcion, a nine-time All-Star shortstop who helped the Cincinnati Reds' "Big Red Machine" win World Series titles in 1975-76, was third with eight votes from the committee that considered candidates from the expansion era, 1973 on.
George Steinbrenner, the New York Yankees owner from 1973 until his death in July, was among the candidates who received fewer than eight votes.
"He's already in the Hall, as far as I'm concerned," Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said. "He's a Hall of Famer. They just haven't made it official yet."
Gillick will be inducted into Cooperstown during ceremonies on July 24 along with any players chosen next month by the Baseball Writers' Association of America.
Roberto Alomar, who helped Gillick's Blue Jays win two World Series, also could be inducted. Alomar fell eight votes shy last January in his first season of eligibility.
Gillick is the 32nd executive elected but only the fourth who was primarily a team architect, according to the Hall, joining Ed Barrow, Branch Rickey and George Weiss.
"His skill for identifying talent and knowing how to build a successful roster is exceptional," Commissioner Bud Selig said. "Pat has always believed in scouting and player development, and I know that he will accept this extraordinary honor on behalf of all the scouts he has worked with throughout his career."
Now 73, Gillick is the son of minor league pitcher Larry Gillick. Pat Gillick pitched in the Baltimore Orioles' organization from 1959 to '63. Hall of Fame manager Whitey Herzog, a member of this year's Veterans Committee, remembered Gillick as "a wild lefty."
Gillick started with the Houston Colt .45s-Astros from 1963 to '73, then was the Yankees scouting director from 1974 to '76. He served as GM of Toronto (1977-94), Baltimore (1996-98), Seattle (2000-03) and Philadelphia (2006-08). He currently is a Phillies senior adviser.
Tal Smith, now the Astros' president of baseball operations, and Paul Richards, Houston's first GM, shaped many of Gillick's philosophies.
"Tal Smith is the biggest influence on me," Gillick said. "Paul Richards only gave me one piece of advice. He told me that looking at players, usually your first impression is your correct impression."
Gillick rejected the statistical Sabermetric approach used by some current GMs.
"I think you have to watch the game," he said. "The statistics tell you one thing and they don't want anything happening emotionally on the field or anything on the field to really tinker with those statistics sometimes. So I think you have to use both. ... I think you have to see the player and you have to see him on the field -- how he plays the game. Is he intense? Does he have passion? Get his body language. See how he interacts with the other players on the team."
Miller, who led the Major League Baseball Players Association from 1966 to '81, had asked not to be included on the ballot. An antagonist of baseball owners who helped players gain free agency and multimillion-dollar salaries, he received 44 percent in 2003 and 63 percent in 2007 when all Hall of Famers could vote on the veterans panel.
After the Hall downsized the committee, he got 3 of 12 votes in 2007 -- when seven on the panel were from management -- and 7 of 12 last year.
Selig and former Commissioner Fay Vincent have called for Miller's election, as has Rey Grebey, management's former labor negotiator.
"A long time ago, it became apparent that the Hall sought to bury me long before my time, as a metaphor for burying the union and eradicating its real influence," Miller said. "Its failure is exemplified by the fact that I and the union of players have received far more support, publicity, and appreciation from countless fans, former players, writers, scholars, experts in labor management relations, than if the Hall had not embarked on its futile and fraudulent attempt to rewrite history. It is an amusing anomaly that the Hall of Fame has made me famous by keeping me out."
Under changes adopted by the Hall last summer, managers, umpires, executives and long-retired players from the expansion era were considered this year. The golden era (1947-72) will be voted on in 2011 and the pre-integration era (1871-1946) will be judged in 2012.
Serving on the committee with Herzog were Hall of Famers Johnny Bench, Eddie Murray, Jim Palmer, Tony Perez, Frank Robinson, Ryne Sandberg and Ozzie Smith along with White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf, Orioles president Andy MacPhail, former Phillies owner Bill Giles, Royals owner David Glass, Bob Elliott of the Toronto Sun, Tim Kurkjian of ESPN, Tom Verducci of Sports Illustrated and retired Los Angeles Times reporter Ross Newhan.
Information from ESPNNewYork.com's Andrew Marchand and The Associated Press was used in this report.
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