Elections to the Baseball Hall of Fame for 2011 proceeded according to rules most recently revised in July 2010. As in the past, the Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA) voted by mail to select from a ballot of recently-retired players. A new Veterans Committee convened to select from a ballot of long-retired players and non-playing personnel who made their greatest contributions to the sport in 1973 and after, called the "Expansion Era" by the Hall.
The induction class of 2011 will consist of players Roberto Alomar and Bert Blyleven and executive Pat Gillick. The induction ceremonies will be held on July 24, 2011 at the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York.
The BBWAA ballot was announced on November 29, 2010. It included candidates from the 2010 ballot who received at least 5% of the vote but were not elected, along with players chosen by a screening committee whose last appearance was in 2005. All 10-year members of the BBWAA were eligible to vote.
Results of the 2011 election by the BBWAA were announced on January 5. The ballot consisted of 33 players—14 candidates returning from the 2010 ballot, plus 19 first-time candidates, the most since the Template:Bhofy ballot's 24 newcomers. Voters were instructed to cast votes for up to 10 candidates; any candidate who received votes on at least 75% of the ballots would be honored with induction to the Hall. Write-in votes were not permitted. A record 581 ballots were cast (including five ballots which supported no candidates), with 436 votes required for election. A total of 3,057 individual votes were cast, an average of 5.67 per ballot. The table immediately above the ballot results indicates the status of each candidate, which is coded both by colors and text styles. Those candidates who received less than 5% of the vote will not appear on future BBWAA ballots, but may eventually be considered by the Veterans Committee.
Dave Parker was on the ballot for the 15th and final time.
|†||Eligible for the first time.|
|Elected to the Hall. These individuals are also indicated in bold italics.|
|To indicate players elected in future elections. These individuals will also be indicated in plain italics.|
|Players who will return on the 2012 ballot.|
|Eliminated from future BBWAA voting. These individuals remain eligible for future Veterans Committee consideration.|
|B. J. Surhoff†||2||0.3|
The two candidates who earned induction, Alomar and Blyleven, fell short of induction in 2010 by fewer than 10 votes—the first time in history that two candidates had done so in the same election.
The new candidates on the 2011 ballot included three MVP Award winners: Jeff Bagwell (1994 NL), Larry Walker (1997 NL), and Juan González (1996 and 1998 AL). Also eligible was Rafael Palmeiro, who recorded over 3000 hits and 500 home runs, which would typically foreshadow a first-ballot election; however, his candidacy has generated controversy due to his testing positive for steroids. Palmeiro has steadfastly maintained his innocence in the steroid controversy, stating that he must have tested positive due to a tainted B12 injection. Ongoing debate about the influence of steroids on the game in the 1990s was widely believed to have affected the vote totals for several power hitters on the ballot, including McGwire, Bagwell, Walker and Gonzalez, regardless of whether they had ever tested positive for steroid use or had even been accused of involvement with steroids; the top five vote-getters were either pitchers or middle infielders with relatively few home runs. Walker's candidacy was also affected by his extreme home/away statistical splits, attributed by many to the fact that he spent slightly more than half his career with hitter's paradise Coors Field as his home park. Many candidates may simply have been seeking to remain on the ballot for 2012, when a generally weaker field of candidates is expected, with the most prominent new candidates including Bernie Williams, Rubén Sierra, Vinny Castilla, Eric Young, Tim Salmon, Brad Radke and Danny Graves.
Players who were eligible for the first time who were not included on the ballot were: Terry Adams, Wilson Alvarez, Brian Anderson, James Baldwin, Pat Borders, Ricky Bottalico, Frank Castillo, Roger Cedeño, Jason Christiansen, Wil Cordero, Midre Cummings, Cal Eldred, John Flaherty, Buddy Groom, Jeffrey Hammonds, Dave Hansen, Félix Heredia, Denny Hocking, Al Levine, Luis López, Matt Mantei, Dave McCarty, Jim Mecir, Ramiro Mendoza, Mike Mordecai, Greg Myers, C.J. Nitkowski, José Offerman, Keith Osik, Antonio Osuna, Eddie Pérez, Jay Powell, Paul Quantrill, Steve Reed, Rey Sánchez, Ugueth Urbina, Ismael Valdez, Gabe White, Matt Whiteside, Gerald Williams and Dan Wilson. José Lima, who last played in the major leagues in 2006 and died on May 23, 2010, was eligible for consideration in this round of balloting – similar to the inclusion on the ballot of Darryl Kile and Rod Beck in 2003 and 2008 respectively – but was not placed on the ballot. Under Hall of Fame rules, an otherwise eligible player who dies before being retired 5 years becomes eligible in the first election held at least 6 months after his death.
In keeping with the new Veterans Committee voting procedure, the existing Historical Overview Committee nominated 12 candidates who were judged to have made their greatest contributions after 1972. Along with the post-1972 era, these criteria defined the consideration set:
- Players who were active for at least 10 seasons, are not on baseball's ineligible list (e.g., Pete Rose), and were last active in 1989 or earlier.
- Managers and umpires who have served for at least 10 years and are either (a) retired for at least 5 years or (b) at least 65 years old and retired for at least 6 months.
- Executives who have been retired for 5 years, or are at least 65 years old.
The Historical Overview Committee comprised eleven veteran BBWAA members: Dave Van Dyck (Chicago Tribune); Bob Elliott (Toronto Sun); Rick Hummel (St. Louis Post-Dispatch); Steve Hirdt (Elias Sports Bureau); Moss Klein (formerly Newark Star-Ledger); Bill Madden (New York Daily News); Ken Nigro (formerly Baltimore Sun); Jack O'Connell (BBWAA secretary/treasurer); Nick Peters (formerly Sacramento Bee); Tracy Ringolsby (FSN Rocky Mountain); and Mark Whicker (Orange County Register).
The ballot was originally scheduled for release in October but was delayed until November 8. The 12 finalists were eight players, one manager, and three executives. The sole candidate who was elected is indicated in bold italics.
|Vida Blue||Player||< 8||< 50%|
|Steve Garvey||Player||< 8||< 50%|
|Ron Guidry||Player||< 8||< 50%|
|Tommy John||Player||< 8||< 50%|
|Billy Martin||Manager||< 8||< 50%|
|Al Oliver||Player||< 8||< 50%|
|Ted Simmons||Player||< 8||< 50%|
|Rusty Staub||Player||< 8||< 50%|
|George Steinbrenner||Executive||< 8||< 50%|||
All except Martin and Steinbrenner were living when the ballot and results were announced. Martin and Miller were holdovers from the most recent ballots covering managers and executives (2010), and Oliver was a holdover from the most recent ballot covering post-1942 players (2009).
The voting committee appointed by the Hall's Board of Directors—officially called the "Expansion Era Committee" by the Hall, but still generally referred to by media as the "Veterans Committee"—was announced at the same time as the final ballot:
- Hall of Famers: Johnny Bench, Whitey Herzog, Eddie Murray, Jim Palmer, Tony Pérez, Frank Robinson, Ryne Sandberg, Ozzie Smith
- Executives: Bill Giles, David Glass, Andy MacPhail, Jerry Reinsdorf
- Media: Bob Elliott, Tim Kurkjian, Ross Newhan, Tom Verducci
The committee convened at the 2010 winter meetings in Orlando, Florida with the standard 75% or 12 of 16 votes required for election and summer 2011 induction. Results were announced at 10:00 am EST on December 6.
J. G. Taylor Spink AwardEdit
The J. G. Taylor Spink Award has been presented by the BBWAA at the annual summer induction ceremonies since 1962. It recognizes a sportswriter "for meritorious contributions to baseball writing". The recipients are not members of the Hall of the Fame but are featured in a permanent exhibit at the National Baseball Museum.
The three nominees for the 2011 award were Bob Elliott of the Toronto Sun, Bill Conlin of the Philadelphia Daily News, and Joe Giuliotti of the Boston Herald. This was the third consecutive year Elliott had been nominated and the second for Giuliotti.
Under BBWAA rules, the winner was to be announced either during the 2010 World Series or at the 2010 winter meetings. The winner of the 2011 J. G. Taylor Spink Award, announced at the winter meetings, was Bill Conlin, who received 188 votes from the 434. Elliott received 160 votes. Joe Giuliotti got 83 votes. Three blank ballots were among those submitted.
Ford C. Frick AwardEdit
The Ford C. Frick Award has been presented to a broadcaster at the annual induction ceremonies since 1978. Recipients are not members of the Hall of Fame but are permanently recognized in an exhibit at the museum. To be eligible, an active or retired broadcaster must have a minimum of 10 years of continuous major league broadcast service with a ball club, a network, or a combination of the two. The honor is based on four criteria: longevity; continuity with a club; honors, including national assignments such as the World Series and All-Star Games; and popularity with fans. The recipient was announced on December 8, 2010 at the winter meetings, following a vote by the same committee that selected seven of the finalists (below). 
Ten finalists were announced in October 2010. In accord with guidelines established in 2003, seven were chosen by a committee composed of the living recipients along with broadcasting historians and columnists. Three were selected from a list of candidate by fan voting in September 2010 at the Hall's Facebook page.
- Committee selections:
- Fan selections:
Five candidates were living when the ballot was announced—the active McCarver, Nadel, and Van Horne; and the retired Cárdenas and Doucet.
On December 8, Dave Van Horne, currently the lead play-by-play announcer for the Florida Marlins on the team's radio network, was named as the recipient. He began his career with the Richmond Braves in the Triple-A International League before joining the English-language radio broadcast team for the Montreal Expos in their inaugural year of 1969. He remained with the Expos through 2000 before joining the Marlins in 2001. He also called the Expos' last home game in Montreal in 2004 as a member of the visiting Marlins broadcast team. He has also called games on The Baseball Network, and called three World Series and National League Championship Series for Canadian networks, in addition to the Marlins' 2003 World Series victory.
The Frick Award is Van Horne's second award for broadcasting excellence from a baseball hall of fame. In 1996, he received the Jack Graney Award, given irregularly for excellence in either writing or broadcasting, from the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame. Van Horne became the second Frick Award winner, after Template:Bhofy recipient Tony Kubek, to have called games for a Canadian team, and also the second Marlins broadcaster to receive the Frick Award, after Template:Bhofy recipient Felo Ramírez.
Notes and referencesEdit
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum (July 26, 2010). Hall of Fame Board of Directors Restructures Procedures for Consideration of Managers, Umpires, Executives and Long-Retired Players. Press release. Retrieved on October 14, 2010.
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum (January 5, 2011). Alomar, Blyleven Elected to the Hall of Fame. Press release. Retrieved on January 5, 2011.
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 Caple, Jim (December 22, 2010). The Hall of Fame ballot runneth over. Page 2. ESPN.com. Retrieved on December 22, 2010.
- ↑ "2010 Hall of Fame Voting". Baseball-Reference. Retrieved on 2010-07-20.
- ↑ Kurkjian, Tim (December 28, 2010). Controversy follows Rafael Palmeiro. ESPN The Magazine. Retrieved on January 5, 2011.
- ↑ Caple, Jim (December 30, 2010). Don't blame Larry Walker for ballpark. ESPN.com. Retrieved on January 5, 2011.
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum (November 8, 2010). Expansion Era Committee to Consider 12 Candidates for Hall of Fame Election at December’s Winter Meetings. Press release. Retrieved on November 8, 2010.
- ↑ 8.00 8.01 8.02 8.03 8.04 8.05 8.06 8.07 8.08 8.09 8.10 8.11 Bloom, Barry M.. "Gillick newest member of Hall of Fame", 'MLB.com', December 6, 2010. Retrieved on December 6, 2010.
- ↑ "J.G. Taylor Spink Award". baseball-almanac.com. Retrieved on 2010-07-20.
- ↑ Baseball Writers Association of America. "BBWAA Announces Bill Madden as 2010 Spink Award Winner", National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, 2009-12-08. Retrieved on 2009-12-14.
- ↑ Toronto Sun (July 13, 2010). Sun’s Elliott nominated for Spink Award. Press release. Retrieved on November 10, 2010.
- ↑ "Ford Frick Award". baseball-almanac.com. Retrieved on 2010-07-20.
- ↑ 13.0 13.1 13.2 National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum (October 5, 2010). 2011 Ford C. Frick Award Ballot Finalized. Press release. Retrieved on October 18, 2010.
- ↑ National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum (August 23, 2010). Frick Award Ballot Voting Begins at Museum’s Facebook Page on Sept. 1. Press release. Retrieved on October 18, 2010.
- ↑ 15.0 15.1 National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum (December 8, 2010). Dave Van Horne named 2011 Ford C. Frick Award Winner for Broadcasting Excellence. Press release. Retrieved on December 8, 2010.
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