Believe it or not, George Steinbrenner was not voted into the Hall of Fame this week. The late Yankees owner was not named on the required 12 of 16 ballots cast by the Veterans Committee. In fact, he didn’t come close.
Steinbrenner was torpedoed. The man who redefined Free Agency, received fewer than eight votes. To add insult to injury, he wasn’t the only Yankee who got blown out of the water. Ron Guidry, Tommy John and Billy Martin (for his managerial career) also received fewer than eight votes.
Former scout and executive Pat Gillick was the only person selected in this week’s vote. Gillick has spent 50 years in baseball and counting. During the Bronx Zoo, he was Yankees’ scouting director (1974-76). He also was integral in building successful teams with the Phillies, Blue Jays, Mariners and Orioles. Before I go further, Gillick may not be glamourous, but he is more than worthy of enshrinement.
I didn’t find it odd that Steinbrenner wasn’t inducted his first year on the ballot. I did find it odd how few votes he got. Executives are inducted based on their impact on the game (for example: Branch Rickey). Steinbrenner defined the Free Agent and redefined business acumen in the Expansion Era.
I’m not screaming Yankee bias. I don’t think that Guidry, John and Martin deserve the call. I don’t. Sorry. However, it should be noted that Union head Marvin Miller fell short as well. Like Steinbrenner, Marvin Miller redefined Major League Baseball (for better or for worse) in the Expansion Era.
Frankly, what was the Veterans Committee thinking?
In accordance to the Hall of Fame’s new voting regulations, the Expansion Era is defined as 1973 to today. Steinbrenner became Yankees owner in 1973. The Yanks won seven World Series Titles and 11 American League pennants during his reign.
The Expansion Era Committee will next consider candidates like Steinbrenner and Miller in 2013 for the 2014 induction year.
Interestingly enough, none of the voters were allowed to discuss their ballot.
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