No love for Oliva
Once again, the National Baseball Hall of Fame's Veterans Committee has banded together and voted to disallow anyone else from joining their club. Among those snubbed were two huge figures in Twins history: Tony Oliva and Jim Kaat.
The Veterans Committee--comprising all living Hall of Famers plus recipients of the Frick and Spink awards (for baseball broadcasters and writers, respectively)--meets every odd year to vote on those players passed over by the Hall of Fame's annual voters, the Baseball Writers Association of America (or BBWAA, as in "bbwaa-ha-ha, Bert Blyleven, you'll never be good enough for the Hall, NEVER!") If a player isn't elected by the BBWAA after 15 years of eligibility, they go to the Veterans Committee. There, if 75 percent of the body approves (that was 62 votes out of 82 this year), they are inducted.
Except, that never happens. In 2001, the committee's composition was rejiggered into its current state, and since then they've failed to elect a single player to the Hall.
Earlier today, Kaat received 52 votes. Oliva, 47. Ron Santo, the Cubs thirdbaseman, led the pack with 57. Even Roger Maris, holder of the single-season homerun record for 37 years before a juiced Big Mac stole it, received just 18.3 percent of the vote (compared to the 23.5 percent McGwire received from the BBWAA in January).
Here's hoping they loosen up by 2012. That's the year Blyleven joins Oliva and Kaat on the ballot.