JANE FORBES CLARK: Thank you, Brad. Good morning. As you know, the National Baseball Hall of Fame's 16 member Golden Era Committee met here yesterday to consider ten candidates whose greatest contributions were realized during the period of 1947 to 1972 for Hall of Fame election. The ballot selected by an 11 member historical overview committee of the Baseball Writers Association of America was comprised of eight former players and two executives.
I would characterize the discussions yesterday as being very extensive and very forthright. The 16 members of the committee, some of whom are here today in the front row and on the dais, I'd like to introduce them, and I'd like them to stand and remain standing when I do. Hank Aaron, Paul Beeston, Bill DeWitt, Pat Gillick, Roland Hemond, Dick Kaegel, Al Kaline, Ralph Kiner, Tommy Lasorda, Juan Marichal, Gene Michael, Jack O'Connell, Brooks Robinson, Al Rosen, Dave Van Dyck, and Billy Williams.
I am so happy to tell you that the committee has elected the newest member of the National Baseball Hall of Fame, Ron Santo.
He played 14 seasons with the Chicago Cubs, one season with the Chicago White Sox, totaling 342 career home runs, 1,331 RBIs, 2,254 hits, and a .277 lifetime average in 2,243 games. He was a nine time All Star, earned five Gold Glove awards and twice led the National League in on base percentage.
Ron will be inducted into the Hall of Fame on July 22, and he will be joined in Cooperstown by any electees who emerge from the BBWAA voting, and those results we'll be announcing on January 9th.
Twelve votes were needed to reach the 75 percent to earn election. Ron received 15 of the 16 ballots cast by the members of the committee. The other voting totals were Jim Kaat, 10 votes; Gil Hodges and Minnie Minoso at nine votes each; Tony Oliva, eight votes; the other five candidates on the ballot, Buzzie Bavasi, Ken Boyer, Charlie Finley, Allie Reynolds and Luis Tiant, each received less than three votes.
On behalf of the board of directors of the National Baseball Hall of Fame, I want to thank the committee for their great work yesterday and tell you how thrilled we are for the Santo family and for all his fans, and we look forward to welcoming them all to Cooperstown in July. I will now turn the program back over to Brad for questions and answers.
Ladies and gentlemen, we will take your questions.
Q. This question is directed at Billy Williams. Billy, why do you think the committee was able to see Ron's candidacy in a different light this time compared to how it was in the past?
BILLY WILLIAMS: I think of the 16 member committee, I think yesterday was a healthy discussion, not only about Ron Santo but about all the ten people that was on the ballot. I think some people brought out a lot of other than numbers of Ron Santo, and they talked about what he did for the community. The numbers are there. Everybody saw the numbers, the home runs, the Gold Gloves, and I think they look at it with a different view, saying this guy should be in the Hall of Fame. And of course this is what we came up with. When you get 15 out of 16 votes, a lot of people saw him in a different light.
Minnie Minoso, there was some momentum to maybe get him into the Hall of Fame. What in your estimation kept him from getting into the Hall of Fame this year? What was the discussion like?
TOMMY LASORDA: We went over every player, every person, and what the outcome is nobody knows at that time. When she announced how many votes they get, you have to get a certain amount of votes in order to be inducted. That's all it is.
Q. Tommy, this is for you: Knowing Gil Hodges, having played on the Brooklyn Dodgers with Gil Hodges, are you surprised that he still isn't in the Hall of Fame, given the fact that he had, I believe, the highest percentage of vote totals of anybody on this ballot from the regular elections?
TOMMY LASORDA: Yes, I am very much surprised that he's not in the Hall of Fame. Just the fact that he doesn't get the votes, and nobody knows why. Everybody has to vote to what they believe is the right way to go, and unfortunately he doesn't get the amount of votes it takes to get into the Hall of Fame.
But I'll tell you one thing: He was one of the greatest persons, and he was a great, great player. We just hope that maybe next year we can vote enough to get him in.
FastScripts by ASAP Sports This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.