MLB

George Steinbrenner, Orel Hershiser headline Hall of Fame’s 2019 Today’s Game Era ballot

The Baseball Hall of Fame on Monday released the names of the 10 candidates on the 2019 Today’s Game Era ballot. 

The Today’s Game Era Committee is one of four established by the Hall to evaluate candidates outside of the standard BBWAA election process. This particular committee focuses on candidates who made their greatest contributions from 1998 through 2016, including players who have been retired for at least 15 years. As is the case with the BBWAA vote, a candidate must be named on at least 75 percent of ballots in order to be elected to the Hall (i.e., at least 12 of the 16 committee members must vote for a given candidate).  

The candidates on this year’s Today’s Game Era ballot will be discussed and voted on during the annual Baseball Winter Meetings, which take place next month. The results of the Today’s Game Era ballot and the BBWAA ballot will be announced on Jan. 22, 2019. 

Now for the 10 names on this year’s Today’s Game Era ballot … 

Harold Baines

Played parts of 22 seasons in the majors. Compiled 2,866 hits; 384 home runs; six All-Star appearances; and 38.7 WAR. Was a primary DH but made more than 1,000 starts in the outfield. Fell off the BBWAA ballot after five years.

Albert Belle

Played parts of 12 seasons in the majors. Compiled 381 home runs; 1,239 RBI; 3,300 total bases; 144 OPS+; five All-Star appearances; five top-10 finishes in AL MVP balloting; and 40.1 WAR. Fell off the BBWAA ballot after two years. 

Joe Carter

Played parts of 16 seasons in the majors. Compiled 2,184 hits; 396 home runs; 1,445 RBI; 231 stolen bases; five All-Star appearances; and 19.6 WAR. Also hit one of the most memorable and important home runs in World Series history. Fell off the BBWAA ballot after one year. 

Will Clark

Played parts of 15 seasons in the majors. Compiled 2,176 hits; 937 walks; 284 home runs; 137 OPS+; six All-Star appearances; one Gold Glove; and 56.5 WAR. Fell off the BBWAA ballot after one year. 

Orel Hershiser

Spent parts of 18 seasons in the majors. Went 204-150 with a 3.48 ERA/112 ERA+; 2,014 strikeouts; and 51.6 WAR in 3,130 1/3 innings. Won an NL Cy Young award and finished in the top five in the balloting on three other occasions. Holds the MLB record for consecutive scoreless innings pitched (59). Won MVP honors in the 1998 NLCS, 1988 World Series, and 1995 ALCS. 

Davey Johnson

As a manager went 1,372-1,071 (.562) across parts of 17 seasons. Led four different teams to postseason and won the World Series as manager of the 1986 Mets. Twice won Manager of the Year (once in each league). Also compiled 27.6 WAR as a player. 

Charlie Manuel

As a manager went 1,000-826 (.548) across parts of 12 seasons. Led two different teams to the postseason and won the World Series and an additional pennant as manager of Phillies. 

Lou Piniella

As a manager went 1,835-1,713 (.517) across parts of 23 seasons. Ranks 16th all-time in wins. Led three different teams to the postseason and won the World Series as manager of the 1990 Reds. Also managed the 2001 Mariners, who hold record for most wins in a regular season (116). Won AL Manager of the Year twice and NL Manager of the Year once. Compiled 12.5 WAR as a player. 

Lee Smith

Played parts of 18 seasons in the majors. Saved 478 games and was the all-time leader in the category at the time of his retirement. Struck out 1,251 batters in 1,289 1/3 innings; compiled a WAR of 29.4 and an ERA+ of 132; made seven All-Star teams; four times finished in top 10 of Cy Young balloting. Spent maximum 15 years on BBWAA ballot without being elected.

George Steinbrenner 

Owned the Yankees from 1973 until his death in 2010. The Yankees endured a decade of struggles prior to Steinbrenner’s purchase of the team, but on his (very hands-on) watch they won seven titles and 11 pennants while becoming one of the most lucrative franchises in sports. Only posthumous candidate on this ballot.

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