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December 2, 2010

Expansion era results to be announced

Steinbrenner, Martin headline ballot

— The inaugural results of the Baseball Hall of Fame’s Expansion Era ballot, formerly the Veterans Committee, will be announced on Monday, and could feature several prominent New York Yankees.

In all, 12 individuals, including eight former major league players, three executives and one former manager comprise the 12-name ballot. The 16-member committee considers managers, umpires, executives and longretired players for Hall of Fame election.

The results will be announced at 10 a.m. on Dec. 6 during baseball’s winter meetings in Florida.

Controversial New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner, who died earlier this year, former Yankees manager Billy Martin, who is also deceased, and former Yankees pitcher Ron Guidry headline the ballot.

Every candidate receiving votes on 75 percent of the 16 ballots cast will earn election to the Hall of Fame and will be honored during Hall of Fame Weekend 2011, slated for July 22-25.

The other nine to be considered include former players Vida Blue, Dave Concepcion, Steve Garvey, Tommy John, Al Oliver, Ted Simmons and Rusty Staub; and executives Pat Gillick and Marvin Miller. Martin and Steinbrenner are deceased; all other candidates are living.

The 16-member electorate charged with the review of the ballot features Hall of Fame members Johnny Bench, Whitey Herzog, Eddie Murray, Jim Palmer, Tony Perez, Frank Robinson, Ryne Sandberg and Ozzie Smith; major league executives Bill Giles (Phillies), David Glass (Royals), Andy MacPhail (Orioles) and Jerry Reinsdorf (White Sox); and veteran media members Bob Elliott (Toronto Sun), Tim Kurkjian (ESPN), Ross Newhan (retired, Los Angeles Times) and Tom Verducci (Sports Illustrated).

The combative Martin, despite highly publicized battles with Steinbrenner and outfielder Reggie Jackson, led the Yankees to the 1977 World Series title. Martin was fired during the 1978 season, but Guidry led the Yankees to a second straight Series win with a Cy Young season.

During Steinbrenner’s reign, which began in 1973, the Yankees won seven World Series titles and 11 American League pennants, but he was also suspended at one time and had a penchant for firing managers, especially in the early part of his ownership. The Expansion Era covers candidates among managers, umpires, executives and long-retired players whose most significant career impact was realized during the 1973-present time frame.

The Expansion Era Committee is the first of a three-year cycle of consideration for Managers, Umpires, Executives and Long-Retired Players by Era, as opposed to the previous consideration by classification, with changes approved and announced by the Hall of Fame’s Board of Directors at the conclusion of Hall of Fame Weekend 2010.

Tommy John, who pitched for the Yankees and five other teams during a 26-year career, has 288 career victories, the most of any pitcher not in the Hall.

The changes maintain the high standards for earning election to the National Baseball Hall of Fame, with focus on three eras: Expansion (1973-present); Golden (1947-1972) and Pre-Integration (1871-1946), as opposed to the previous four Committees on Baseball Veterans, which considered the four categories of candidates.

Three separate electorates will now consider by era a single composite ballot of managers, umpires, executives and longretired players on an annual basis, with Golden Era Committee candidates to be considered at the 2011 Winter Meetings for Induction in 2012 and the Pre-Integration Era Committee candidates to be considered at the 2012 Winter Meetings for Induction in 2013.

The Expansion Era Committee will next meet at the 2013 Winter Meetings for Induction in 2014.

“The procedures to consider the candidacies of managers, umpires, executives and long-retired players have continually evolved since the first Hall of Fame election in 1936,” said Jane Forbes Clark, chairman of the board for the Baseball Hall of Fame. “Our continual challenge is to provide a structure to ensure that all candidates who are worthy of consideration have a fair system of evaluation. In identifying candidates by era, as opposed to by category, this change will allow for an equal review of all eligible candidates.’’