Twenty candidates on Veterans Committee Hall ballot

11/8/2007 - MLB

NEW YORK -- Billy Martin, Marvin Miller and Doug Harvey are among 20 former managers, executives and umpires on the new Hall of Fame ballots to be considered by the revamped Veterans Committee when it votes next month.

Whitey Herzog, Davey Johnson, Gene Mauch and Bowie Kuhn are other notable candidates up for induction in 2008. The Veterans Committee has gone three straight elections without enshrining anyone in Cooperstown, leading to further changes in the process this year.

The vets committee will not consider any players for the Hall until late next year.

Two ballots, each listing 10 candidates, will be reviewed by a pair of separate voting committees on Dec. 2, the day before baseball's winter meetings begin in Nashville, Tenn. Voting results will be announced Dec. 3 at the meetings.

Any candidate who receives the required 75 percent on either ballot will be inducted into the Hall of Fame with the 2008 class on July 27. Voters can select up to four candidates on each ballot.

The ballot for managers and umpires will be examined by a 16-member board made up of three current and former executives, three longtime media members and 10 Hall of Famers -- including Hank Aaron, Jim Bunning, Bob Gibson, Tom Lasorda and Earl Weaver.

The ballot for executives will be considered by a 12-member panel consisting of seven current and former executives, three longtime baseball writers and two Hall of Fame players -- Harmon Killebrew and Monte Irvin.

Joining Martin, Herzog, Mauch and Johnson on one ballot are fellow managers Danny Murtaugh, Billy Southworth and Dick Williams. In addition to Harvey, the other eligible umpires are Hank O'Day and Cy Rigler.

The ballot for executives includes Miller, Kuhn, Buzzie Bavasi, Barney Dreyfuss, John Fetzer, Bob Howsam, Ewing Kauffman, John McHale, Walter O'Malley and Gabe Paul.

Harvey, a longtime NL umpire, came close to election in February when he received 52 of the necessary 61 votes on the composite ballot from the previous Veterans Committee.

Miller, the union head who led players to free-agent riches, showed a strong increase by garnering 63 percent.

The new managers and umpires ballot was devised by 11 veteran members of the Baseball Writers' Association of America. The executives ballot was created by the executive voting committee, which studied retired execs and active ones 65 or older.

The Veterans Committee now handles four ballots. The one for managers and umpires and the one for executives will be considered every other year starting this December.

Players who began their careers in 1943 or later will be reviewed every other year starting with the 2009 induction class. Players whose careers started before 1943 will come up for election every five years, beginning with the '09 class.

All members of the Hall of Fame will vote next year on eligible players from 1943 and later. A 12-member panel, not yet appointed, will vote on pre-1943 players at next year's winter meetings. Both those ballots will be created next fall.

In July, the Hall of Fame's board of directors voted to trim the size of the Veterans Committee and the number of players it will consider for induction. It also changed the format for electing long-retired players, managers, umpires and executives.

That wasn't the first time the vets committee was restructured. It was altered after charges of cronyism when it elected Bill Mazeroski in 2001.

"Historically, the Veterans Committee has continually evolved since its inception in 1936," Hall chairman Jane Forbes Clark said. "These newest changes uphold our belief that players should have a Veterans Committee review, while also recognizing the unique analysis needed for managers, executives and umpires.

"We believe that these new procedures and restructured committees will allow for more open dialogue among those who vote, promoting a more intensive study of player candidacies," she said.