Elections to the Baseball Hall of Fame for 1997 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 Phil Niekro. The Veterans Committee met in closed sessions and selected three people from multiple classified ballots: Nellie Fox, Tommy Lasorda, and Willie Wells.

The BBWAA electionEdit

The BBWAA was authorized to elect players active in 1977 or later, but not after 1991; the ballot included candidates from the 1996 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 1991. 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 30 players; 473 ballots were cast, with 353 votes required for election. Those candidates receiving less than 5% of the vote (24 votes) 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 selected in subsequent elections are indicated in italics. The ten candidates who received less than 5% of the vote, thus becoming ineligible for future BBWAA consideration, are indicated with a *.

Dick Allen and Joe Torre were on the ballot for the 15th and final time.

Player Votes Percent
Phil Niekro 380 80.3
Don Sutton 346 73.2
Tony Perez 312 66.0
Ron Santo 186 39.3
Jim Rice 178 37.6
Steve Garvey 167 35.3
Bruce Sutter 130 27.5
Jim Kaat 107 22.6
Joe Torre 105 22.2
Tommy John 97 20.5
Minnie Miñoso 84 17.8
Dave Parker 83 17.5
Dick Allen 79 16.7
Dave Concepción 60 12.7
Luis Tiant 53 11.2
Keith Hernandez 45 9.5
Mickey Lolich 34 7.2
Ron Guidry 31 6.6
Bob Boone 28 5.9
Dwight Evans 28 5.9
Ken Griffey* 22 4.7
Fred Lynn* 22 4.7
Graig Nettles* 22 4.7
Bobby Bonds* 20 4.2
Rusty Staub* 18 3.8
Rick Reuschel* 2 0.4
Mike Scott* 2 0.4
Garry Templeton* 2 0.4
Terry Kennedy* 1 0.2
Terry Puhl* 1 0.2

The newly-eligible candidates included 20 All-Stars, including twelve who were not on the ballot, representing a total of 39 All-Star selections. The only candidate elected to at least five All-Star Games was Dave Parker, who was selected a total of seven times. Parker was also the only MVP, winning the award once. The field also included one Cy Young Award-winner (Mike Scott) and one Rookie of the Year (Ron Kittle).

Players eligible for the first time who were not included on the ballot were: Marty Barrett, Tony Bernazard, Oil Can Boyd, Greg Brock, Carmen Castillo, Jim Clancy, Steve Crawford, Warren Cromartie, Scott Garrelts, Ron Hassey, Andy Hawkins, Mike Heath, Danny Heep, Tom Herr, Ron Kittle, Mike LaCoss, Dave LaPoint, Vance Law, Rick Mahler, Mike Marshall, Andy McGaffigan, Lloyd Moseby, Pascual Pérez, Dan Petry, Dan Schatzeder, John Shelby, Eric Show, Max Venable, Ed Whitson, Ernie Whitt, and Mookie Wilson.

The Veterans Committee Edit

The Veterans Committee met in closed sessions to elect as many as two executives, managers, umpires, and older major league players --the categories considered in all its meetings since 1953. By an arrangement since 1995 it separately considered candidates from the Negro Leagues and from the 19th century with authority to select one from each of those two special ballots.

The committee elected three people, one fewer than permitted: second baseman Nellie Fox from the 1950s, manager Tommy Lasorda from the 1970s, and shortstop Willie Wells from the Negro Leagues.

J.G. Taylor Spink Award Edit

Charley Feeney received the J. G. Taylor Spink Award honoring a baseball writer. (The award was voted at the December 1996 meeting of the BBWAA, dated 1996, and conferred in the summer 1997 ceremonies.)

Ford C. Frick Award Edit

Jimmy Dudley received the Ford C. Frick Award honoring a baseball broadcaster.

External linksEdit

{{Baseball Hall of Fame}}

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