Baseball Hall of Fame balloting, 1986

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L-R: Willie McCovey, Bobby Doerr, and Ernie Lombardi were inducted in 1986.

Elections to the Baseball Hall of Fame for 1986 followed the system in place since 1978. The Baseball Writers' Association of America (BBWAA) voted by mail to select from recent major league players and elected Willie McCovey. The Veterans Committee met in closed sessions to consider older major league players as well as managers, umpires, executives, and figures from the Negro Leagues. It also selected two players, Bobby Doerr and Ernie Lombardi.

BBWAA election[edit]

The BBWAA was authorized to elect players active in 1966 or later, but not after 1980; the ballot included candidates from the 1985 ballot who received at least 5% of the vote but were not elected, along with selected players, chosen by a screening committee, whose last appearance was in 1980. All 10-year members of the BBWAA were eligible to vote.

Voters were instructed to cast votes for up to 10 candidates; any candidate receiving votes on at least 75% of the ballots would be honored with induction to the Hall. The ballot consisted of 41 players; a total of 425 ballots were cast, with 319 votes required for election. A total of 2,992 individual votes were cast, an average of 7.04 per ballot. Those candidates receiving less than 5% of the vote will not appear on future BBWAA ballots, but may eventually be considered by the Veterans Committee.

Candidates who were eligible for the first time are indicated here with a †. The one candidate who received at least 75% of the vote and was elected is indicated in bold italics; candidates who have since been elected in subsequent elections are indicated in italics. The 17 candidates whoe received less than 5% of the vote, thus becoming ineligible for future BBWAA consideration, are indicated with a *.

Key to colors
     Elected to the Hall. These individuals are also indicated in bold italics.
     Players who were elected in future elections. These individuals are also indicated in plain italics.
     Players not yet elected who returned on the 1987 ballot.
     Eliminated from future BBWAA voting. These individuals remain eligible for future Veterans Committee consideration.
Player Votes Percent
Willie McCovey 346 81.4
Billy Williams 315 74.1
Catfish Hunter 289 68.0
Jim Bunning 279 65.6
Roger Maris 177 41.6
Tony Oliva 154 36.2
Orlando Cepeda 152 35.8
Harvey Kuenn 144 33.9
Maury Wills 124 29.2
Bill Mazeroski 100 23.5
Lew Burdette 96 22.6
Ken Boyer 95 22.4
Minnie Miñoso 89 20.9
Mickey Lolich 86 20.2
Roy Face 74 17.4
Ron Santo 64 15.1
Joe Torre 60 14.1
Elston Howard 51 12.0
Curt Flood 45 10.6
Vada Pinson 43 10.1
Dick Allen 41 9.6
Thurman Munson 35 8.2
Don Larsen 33 7.8
Wilbur Wood 23 5.4
Tim McCarver* 16 3.8
Dave McNally* 12 2.8
John Hiller* 11 2.6
Paul Blair* 8 1.9
J. R. Richard* 7 1.6
Ken Holtzman* 5 1.2
Willie Horton* 4 0.9
Jim Lonborg* 3 0.7
Andy Messersmith* 3 0.7
Dave Cash* 2 0.5
Manny Sanguillén* 2 0.5
Jack Billingham* 1 0.2
José Cardenal* 1 0.2
Bud Harrelson* 1 0.2
George Scott* 1 0.2
Vic Davalillo* 0 0.0
Darold Knowles* 0 0.0

The newly-eligible players included 15 All-Stars, two of whom were not included on the ballot, representing a total of 36 All-Star selections. Among the new candidates were 7-time All-Star Minnie Miñoso, who was re-eligible due to two at-bats in 1980, and 6-time All Star Willie McCovey. The field included one MVP (McCovey), and two Rookies of the Year (McCovey and Ted Sizemore).

Players eligible for the first time who were not included on the ballot were: Bill Bonham, Pedro Borbón, Bernie Carbo, Ralph Garr, Ken Henderson, Von Joshua, Fred Kendall, Lerrin LaGrow, Skip Lockwood, Elliott Maddox, Roger Metzger, Fred Norman, Marty Pattin, Dave Rader, Merv Rettenmund, Jim Rooker, Ted Sizemore and Bob Stinson.

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