Screening committees for Negro Leagues and Pre-Negro League candidates selects final ballots

Final Negro League HOF candidates selected

COOPERSTOWN, NY -- A five-member screening committee of Negro league baseball historians, appointed by the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum's Board of Directors, has selected a slate of Negro leagues and pre-Negro leagues candidates for consideration for election to the National Baseball Hall of Fame. A 12-member voting committee will meet in Tampa, Fla., on Feb. 27, 2006, to vote on the 39 candidacies, with any electees to emerge to be enshrined in Cooperstown, July 30, 2006, as part of the annual Hall of Fame Weekend ceremonies.

The five-member screening committee, including Adrian Burgos, Dick Clark, Larry Hogan, Larry Lester and Jim Overmyer, was appointed by the Board of Directors in July, because of their deep knowledge of the subject matter. The committee developed the two ballots, utilizing the statistics and narrative from a landmark study commissioned by the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2000, funded by Major League Baseball, and completed in 2005.

The screening committee was chaired by Fay Vincent, Major League Baseball's eighth commissioner and an Honorary Director of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. Vincent, the non-voting chairman, led discussions with committee members.

During two days of deliberations at Dodgertown in Vero Beach, Fla., the committee selected 39 candidates for review by the voting committee: 30 on a ballot of former Negro leagues players, managers and executives, and nine on a second ballot of pre-Negro leagues pioneer players and builders. Any candidate to receive votes on 75% of ballots cast will earn election. Every candidate will be voted upon individually. The two final ballots:

NEGRO LEAGUES

Allen, NewtMarcell, Oliver
Beckwith, JohnMinoso, Minnie
Bell, WilliamMoore, Dobie
Brewer, ChetOms, Alejandro
Brown, RayO'Neil, Buck
Brown, WillardParnell, Red
Byrd, BillPompez, Alex
Cooper, AndyPosey, Cum
Dixon, RapScales, George
Donaldson, JohnSuttles, Mule
Hughes, SammyTaylor, Candy Jim
Jenkins, FatsTaylor, C.I.
Lundy, DickTorriente, Cristobal
Mackey, BizWilkinson, JL
Manley, EffaWilson, Jud

PRE-NEGRO LEAGUES

Grant, Frank
Hill, Pete
Johnson, Home Run
Mendez, Jose
Poles, Spot
Redding, Dick
Santop, Louis
Taylor, Ben
White, Sol

"I'm very satisfied with the work done by the screening committee," said Vincent. "The committee members had some difficult choices to make, but because they are extremely knowledgeable, had strong research at their disposal and spent a great deal of time reviewing all candidates thoroughly, they did a tremendous job. The final ballots represent players, managers, executives and builders who are top-tier candidates and worthy of review for consideration for election to the Hall of Fame."

"The screening committee did a great job of handling the first step of narrowing the list of candidates to those who should be seriously considered for election to the Hall of Fame," said Hall of Fame President Dale Petroskey. "The election guidelines allow for worthy candidates to have a chance at election in February 2006, and this step produced two excellent ballots for the voting committee to consider."

Written recommendations from fans, historians and Hall of Fame members were accepted and reviewed by the screening committee. The list was pared down and as a result, the screening committee began with a roster of 93 candidates:

Allen, NewtFowler, BudMartin, JBSantop, Louis
Ball, WalterGardner, JellyMartinez, HoracioScales, George
Bankhead, SamGrant, CharlieMathis, VerdellSmith, Chino
Baro, BernardoGrant, FrankMcClellan, DanSmith, Clarence
Beckwith, JohnGreenlee, GusMcNair, HurleyStovey, George
Bell, WilliamHarris, VicMendez, JoseSuttles, Mule
Bolden, EdHill, PeteMinoso, MinnieTaylor, Ben
Brewer, ChetHolland, BillMonroe, BillTaylor, C.I.
Brooks, ChesterHughes, SammyMoore, DobieTaylor, Jim
Brown, DaveJenkins, FatsOms, AlejandroTorriente, Cristobal
Brown, LarryJethroe, SamO'Neil, BuckVargas, Juan
Brown, RayJohnson, Home RunParnell, RedWalker, Moses
Brown, WillardJohnson, Oscar Patterson, JohnWarfield, Frank
Byrd, BillKimbro, HenryPayne, JapWhite, Chaney
Cannady, RevLeland, Frank Petway, BruceWhite, Sol
Cockrell, PhilLundy, DickPoles, SpotswoodWickware, Frank
Coimbre, PanchoLyons, JimmyPompez, AlexWiley, Wabishaw
Cooper, AndyMackey, BizPosey, CumberlandWilkinson, J.L.
DeMoss, BingoMalarcher, DaveRadcliffe, AlexWilliams, Clarence
Dixon, RapManley, AbeRadcliffe, TedWilliams, George
Donaldson, JohnManley, EffaRedding, DickWilson, George
Duncan, FrankManning, MaxRobinson, NealWilson, Jud
Fernandez, JoseMarcell, OliverRogers, NatWinters, Nip
Wright, Bill

A separate 12-member voting committee, appointed by the Board of Directors and inclusive of the screening committee, will meet February 25-27 to review the final ballots of candidates. After two days of discussion, committee members will cast paper ballots and vote "yes" or "no" for each candidate. Any candidate with "yes" votes on at least 75% of ballots cast will earn election to the Hall of Fame on February 27. The 12 voting committee members and their areas of expertise in African-American baseball history include:

Todd Bolton, Latin AmericaLarry Hogan, overall knowledge
Greg Bond, 19th CenturyNeil Lanctot, Negro leagues eastern teams
Adrian Burgos, Latin AmericaLarry Lester, Negro leagues
Dick Clark, Negro leaguesSammy Miller, Eastern and Western teams
Ray Doswell, overall knowledgeJim Overmyer, Eastern teams and 19th century
Leslie Heaphy, Women's History, Negro leaguesRobert Peterson, overall knowledge

Any electees to emerge from the two ballots will be inducted into the Hall of Fame on July 30, 2006, along with any candidates to emerge from 2006 BBWAA voting. The BBWAA ballot will be announced November 29 at 2 p.m ET and results of the voting will be announced January 10 at 2 p.m. ET.

Major League Baseball provided the Baseball Hall of Fame with a $250,000 grant in July 2000 in order to initiate a comprehensive study on the history of African Americans in Baseball, from 1860-1960. The funds were to allow the Museum to expand the scope and depth of its knowledge and historical collection on this aspect of Baseball and American culture.

In February 2001, the Board selected "The Negro Leagues Researchers/Authors Group" research team, led by Dr. Hogan of Union County College (NJ), Dick Clark, and Larry Lester, to conduct the comprehensive study. The three historians led a diverse group of more than 50 other authors, researcher and historians in this first-of-its-kind academic study.

The research resulted in a raw narrative and bibliography of nearly 800 pages and a statistical database, which includes 3,000 day-by-day records, league leaders and all-time leaders. The research was culled from box scores from 128 newspapers of sanctioned league games played from 1920-54.

With the research now complete, the study includes sanctioned league game box scores from almost 100% of games played in the 1920s, in excess of 90% of the box scores from games played in the 1930s and box scores from 50-70% of games played in the 1940s and 50s, during which time the various leagues began to disband and newspapers ceased to report game information. The end result is the most comprehensive compilation of statistics on the Negro leagues that have ever been accumulated.

National Geographic, in conjunction with the Baseball Hall of Fame, will published a book called Shades of Glory, in February, using material from the research study. The book will trace the dramatic history of African-Americans and baseball from the Civil War to the present. This definitive, detailed, richly illustrated book will not only cover the game as it developed on the field, but it will also provide a review of how baseball played an important role within the black community, particularly during the days of segregation. It will show how this segment of American society dealt with a variety of cultural and legal barriers, but that these detours did not stop them from developing an outstanding level of skill, but also a dedicated passion for the our great national pastime.

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National Baseball Hall of Fame. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.