Baseball Hall of Fame balloting, 1985

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Elections to the Baseball Hall of Fame for 1985 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 two, Lou Brock and Hoyt Wilhelm.

The BBWAA petitioned the Hall of Fame Board of Directors to reconsider the eligibility of Ken Boyer, Curt Flood and Ron Santo with the intention of restoring their names to the 1985 ballot. Each had failed to achieve 5% in their first years on the ballot (Boyer, 1975–79, Flood, 1977–79 and Santo, 1980). The Board approved and Boyer, Flood and Santo returned to the ballot.

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, Enos Slaughter and Arky Vaughan.

BBWAA election[edit]

The BBWAA was authorized to elect players active in 1965 or later, but not after 1979; the ballot included candidates from the 1984 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 1979. 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 395 ballots were cast, with 297 votes required for election. A total of 2,918 individual votes were cast, an average of 7.39 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 two candidates who received at least 75% of the vote and were elected are indicated in bold italics; candidates who have since been elected in subsequent elections are indicated in italics. The 18 candidates who received less than 5% of the vote, thus becoming ineligible for future BBWAA consideration, are indicated with a *.

Nellie Fox was on the ballot for the 15th and final time.

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 1986 ballot.
     Eliminated from future BBWAA voting. These individuals remain eligible for future Veterans Committee consideration.
Player Votes Percent
Hoyt Wilhelm 331 83.8
Lou Brock 315 79.7
Nellie Fox 295 74.7
Billy Williams 252 63.8
Jim Bunning 214 54.2
Catfish Hunter 212 53.7
Roger Maris 128 32.4
Harvey Kuenn 125 31.6
Orlando Cepeda 114 28.9
Tony Oliva 114 28.9
Maury Wills 93 23.5
Bill Mazeroski 87 22.0
Lew Burdette 82 20.8
Mickey Lolich 78 19.7
Ken Boyer 68 17.2
Roy Face 62 15.7
Elston Howard 54 13.7
Ron Santo 53 13.4
Joe Torre 44 11.1
Don Larsen 32 8.1
Thurman Munson 32 8.1
Dick Allen 28 7.1
Curt Flood 28 7.1
Vada Pinson* 19 4.8
Wilbur Wood* 16 4.1
Harvey Haddix* 15 3.8
Dave McNally* 7 1.8
Ken Holtzman* 4 1.0
Ron Fairly* 3 0.8
Jim Lonborg* 3 0.8
Andy Messersmith* 3 0.8
Don Kessinger* 2 0.5
Denny McLain* 2 0.5
Jesús Alou* 1 0.3
Rico Carty* 1 0.3
Dock Ellis* 1 0.3
Clay Carroll* 0 0.0
Ed Kranepool* 0 0.0
George Scott* 0 0.0
Bobby Tolan* 0 0.0
Roy White* 0 0.0

Thurman Munson, who died in a plane crash in 1979, would have been eligible for the first time, but the five-year waiting period was waived.

The newly eligible players included 16 All-Stars, two of whom were not included on the ballot, representing a total of 44 All-Star selections. Among the new candidates were 8-time All-Star Catfish Hunter,.and 6-time All-Stars Lou Brock and Don Kessinger. The field included two Cy Young Award-winners (Catfish Hunter and Jim Lonborg), as well as George Scott, whose eight Gold Gloves at first base were a record at the time.

Players eligible for the first time who were not on the ballot were: Darrel Chaney, Gene Clines, Joe Coleman, Willie Davis, Frank Duffy, Ray Fosse, Ellie Hendricks, Steve Mingori, Bob Montgomery, Tom Murphy, Bob Robertson, Wayne Twitchell, and Bobby Valentine.

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