Allen, Wills among new faces on Hall's Golden Era ballot
K. Boyer, Hodges, Howsam, Kaat, Minoso, Oliva, Pierce, Tiant also to be considered for election
By Joey Nowak
Nine former players and one executive make up the 10-person National Baseball Hall of Fame Golden Era ballot, which will be voted on Dec. 8 at the Winter Meetings in San Diego.
The ballot's 10 candidates are Dick Allen, Ken Boyer, Gil Hodges, Bob Howsam, Jim Kaat, Minnie Minoso, Tony Oliva, Billy Pierce, Luis Tiant and Maury Wills. Howsam is being considered for Hall of Fame induction for his contributions as an executive, while the other nine are being considered for their on-field contributions as players.
Allen, Howsam, Pierce and Wills are new additions to the ballot. Buzzie Bavasi, Charlie Finley and Allie Reynolds were previously considered for election in the fall of 2011 but are not on the current ballot.
Any candidate who receives votes on 75 percent of the ballots cast by the 16-member Golden Era Committee will be inducted to the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y., on July 26. Any inductees will be announced -- along with any electees from the 2015 Baseball Writers' Association of America ballot -- on Jan. 6.
Allen, Kaat, Minoso, Oliva, Pierce, Tiant and Wills are the living candidates.
Allen was a seven-time All-Star who played primarily for the Phillies and White Sox from 1963-77. He was the American League Most Valuable Player and home run champion in 1972, when he hit 37 for Chicago and led the Major Leagues in on-base percentage and OPS. He led his league in OPS four times.
Boyer was a third baseman who also was a seven-time All-Star and a league MVP, winning that award in 1964, when he led the National League in RBIs. He played 11 of his 15 seasons with the Cardinals.
Hodges was the first baseman for the legendary "Boys of Summer" Brooklyn Dodgers who went to the World Series six times from 1947-56 and the manager of the 1969 "Miracle Mets." He was an eight-time All-Star in the nine seasons from 1949-57 and hit 370 career homers.
Howsam was general manager and club president of the "Big Red Machine" teams that won four pennants and two World Series in the 1970s, and among his deals were those that brought Joe Morgan and George Foster to Cincinnati. Howsam had a long career in baseball, and he and his family built the stadium that eventually was expanded to become Mile High Stadium, longtime home of the NFL's Broncos, an original American Football League team he and his family founded in 1960.
Kaat, a left-hander, pitched in 25 Major League seasons, winning 283 games and recording double-digit victory totals in 15 consecutive seasons from 1962-76. He won a career-high 25 games for the Twins in 1966 and was a 16-time Gold Glove winner.
Minoso is closely associated with the White Sox, for whom he played 12 of his 17 seasons. He was a seven-time All-Star, twice led the Majors in triples and hit better than .300 nine times. He played from 1949-64, not including promotional appearances in 1976 and '80.
Oliva was a .313 hitter from 1962-72 for the Twins, with whom he spent his entire 15-year career, and led the AL in hits five times from 1964-70. He was a three-time AL batting champion and an eight-time All-Star, and was twice runner-up for the AL Most Valuable Player Award.
Pierce, another left-hander, went 211-169 in his 18-year career, spent mostly with the White Sox. He led the AL with a 1.97 ERA in 1955 and was also a seven-time All-Star.
Tiant had a 19-year career that was essentially two chapters: the first with the Indians, for whom he was a 21-game winner in 1968, and the second with the Red Sox, for whom he won 20 or more games three times from 1973-76 and went 121-74 from 1972-78 after coming back from injury. Known for his unusual delivery in which he turned his back to the hitter, he was a two-time AL ERA champion and finished with 229 victories.
Wills was the first player to steal 100 bases when he swiped 104 for the Dodgers in 1962. He led the NL in steals in six straight seasons from 1960-65 and compiled 586 steals in his 14-year career, 12 with Los Angeles. He was a five-time All-Star and the NL MVP in '62. He is 20th on the list of career stolen bases.
The Golden Era finalists were selected by the BBWAA-appointed Historical Overview Committee. Candidates include managers, umpires, executives and long-retired players "whose most significant career impact was realized during the 1947-72 time period."
Ron Santo was elected to the Hall of Fame by the Golden Era Committee in 2011, the last time a Golden Era ballot was considered.
Joey Nowak is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @joeynowak. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.