Baseball Hall of Fame balloting, 2001
Elections to the Baseball Hall of Fame for 2001 followed the system in use since 1995. The Baseball Writers' Association of America (BBWAA) voted by mail to select from recent major league players and elected two: Kirby Puckett and Dave Winfield. The Veterans Committee met in closed sessions and selected two people from multiple classified ballots: Bill Mazeroski and Hilton Smith.
The BBWAA election
The BBWAA was authorized to elect players active in 1981 or later, but not after 1995; the ballot included candidates from the 2000 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 1995. 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. Results of the 2001 election by the BBWAA were announced on January 16, 2001. The ballot consisted of 32 players; 515 ballots were cast, with 387 votes required for election. A total of 3258 individual votes were cast, an average of 6.33 per ballot. Those candidates receiving less than 5% of the vote (25 votes) would not appear on future BBWAA ballots, and under then-current rules were also eliminated from future consideration by the Veterans Committee. A change in Hall policy later in 2001 restored the eligibility of players dropped from BBWAA balloting for Veterans Committee consideration.
Candidates who were eligible for the first time are indicated here with a †. The two candidates who received at least 75% of the vote and were elected are indicated in bold italics; candidates who have since been selected in subsequent elections are indicated in italics. The 13 candidates who received less than 5% of the vote, thus becoming ineligible for future BBWAA consideration, are indicated with a *.
Both selections, Kirby Puckett of the Minnesota Twins and Dave Winfield of the New York Yankees, were late-1980s/early-1990s star hitters. Puckett is best known for leading the Twins to the World Championship before being forced to retire due to glaucoma.
The newly-eligible candidates included 21 All-Stars, five of whom were not on the ballot, representing a total of 65 All-Star selections. Among the new candidates were 12-time All-Star Dave Winfield, 10-time All-Star Kirby Puckett, 8-time All-Star Lance Parrish, 6-time All-Star Don Mattingly and 5-time All-Star Lou Whitaker. The field also included 2 MVPs (Mattingly and Kirk Gibson), 2 Rookies of the Year (Whitaker and Dave Righetti), and one Cy Young Award winner (Steve Bedrosian).
Players eligible for the first time who were not included on the ballot were: Scott Bankhead, Kevin Bass, Bud Black, Jerry Browne, Steve Buechele, Danny Cox, José DeLeón, Scott Fletcher, Tom Foley, Jim Gott, Atlee Hammaker, Brian Harper, Greg A. Harris, Billy Hatcher, Dwayne Henry, Tim Hulett, Chris James, Bill Krueger, Mike LaValliere, Manuel Lee, Candy Maldonado, Mike Moore, Rob Murphy, Matt Nokes, Jose Oquendo, Spike Owen, Mike Pagliarulo, Gerald Perry, Dennis Rasmussen, Randy Ready, Franklin Stubbs, Mitch Webster, and Bill Wegman.
The Veterans Committee
This was the final meeting of the Committee on Veterans established by the Hall of Fame in 1953. It met in closed sessions, as always, to elect as many as two executives, managers, umpires, and older major league players—the categories considered in all of its meetings.
The older players eligible were those with ten major league seasons beginning 1946 or earlier; those who received at least 100 votes from the BBWAA in some election up to 1992; and those who received at least 60% support in some election beginning 1993. Players on Major League Baseball's ineligible list were also ineligible for election.
By an arrangement since 1995 the committee separately considered candidates from the Negro Leagues and from the 19th century with authority to select one from each of those two special ballots. It elected two people, second baseman Bill Mazeroski from the 1960s and pitcher Hilton Smith from the Negro Leagues.
The Board of Directors reformed the system radically with new rules enacted in August. Formerly 15 members appointed to limited terms, the new Veterans Committee would comprise all living members of the Hall and recipients of the Spink and Frick awards to writers and broadcasters. In particular the new members were 61 living Hall of Famers, 13 living recipients of the J. G. Taylor Spink Award, 13 living recipients of the Ford C. Frick Award, and three members of the previous committee with unexpired terms had not yet expired.
Elections for players retired more than 20 years would be held every other year and elections for (managers, umpires and executives) would be held every fourth year. The first cycle for both categories would be in 2002 and 2003 for induction in 2003.
J.G. Taylor Spink Award
Ford C. Frick Award
- 2001 Election at www.baseballhalloffame.org.