The 2005 elections to select inductees to the Baseball Hall of Fame proceeded in keeping with rules enacted in 2001. The Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA) held an election to select from among recent players, and the Veterans Committee held a separate election to select from among players retired for over 20 years. The induction ceremonies were held on July 31 in Cooperstown, with Commissioner Bud Selig presiding.
The BBWAA was again authorized to elect players active in 1985 or later, but not after 1999; the ballot included candidates from the 2004 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 1999. 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 2005 election by the BBWAA were announced on January 4. The ballot consisted of 27 players; 516 ballots were cast, with 387 votes required for election. A total of 3263 individual votes were cast, an average of 6.32 per ballot. Those candidates receiving less than 5% of the vote (26 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 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 10 candidates who received less than 5% of the vote, thus becoming ineligible for future BBWAA consideration, are indicated with a *.
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Players eligible for the first time who were not included on the ballot were: Paul Assenmacher, Jeff Blauser, Mike Blowers, John Cangelosi, Jim Corsi, Rich DeLucia, Tony Fossas, Carlos García, Jack Howell, Darrin Jackson, Jeff King, Mike Macfarlane, Kirt Manwaring, Derrick May, Brian McRae, Eric Plunk, Mark Portugal, Mel Rojas, Paul Sorrento, and Dale Sveum.
Rules enacted in August 2001 provided that the Veterans Committee would be expanded from its previous 15 members, elected to limited terms, to include the full living membership of the Hall. Elections for players retired over 20 years would be held every other year, with elections of non-players (managers, umpires and executives) held every fourth year. No candidates were elected from either ballot in 2003. Following 2004, when no Veterans election was held, the Committee voted in 2005 on players who were active no later than 1983; the next such election was in 2007. There was no 2005 election for non-players; the last such election was in 2003, and the next was held in 2007.
In December 2003, a Historical Overview Committee of 9 sportswriters appointed by the BBWAA's Board of Directors met at the Hall of Fame's library to develop a list of 200 former players who merited consideration for election but played no later than 1983. They were provided with statistical information by the Elias Sports Bureau, official statistician for Major League Baseball since the 1920s, which also identified the 1,400 players with 10 or more years of play who were eligible. The members of the Historical Overview Committee were: Bob Elliott (Toronto Sun), Steve Hirdt (Elias Sports Bureau), Rick Hummel (St. Louis Post-Dispatch), Moss Klein (Newark Star-Ledger), Bill Madden (New York Daily News), Ken Nigro (former Baltimore Sun writer), Jack O'Connell (The Hartford Courant), Tracy Ringolsby (Rocky Mountain News), and Mark Whicker (Orange Country Register).
After conducting further research, the committee's final selections were announced on April 19, 2004, and were forwarded to a 60-member BBWAA screening committee which included two sportswriters from each major league city. This committee conducted a vote in summer 2004 to select 25 players who would appear on the final ballot, with each member voting for 25 candidates; a separate 6-member committee of current members of the Hall independently selected 5 candidates who would be added to the ballot if not selected by the BBWAA committee. The 200 players considered by the screening committee, with those newly eligible since 2003 indicated with a †, were:
Babe Adams - Joe Adcock - Dick Allen - Felipe Alou - Sal Bando - Dick Bartell - Ginger Beaumont - †Mark Belanger - Wally Berger - Bobby Bonds - Ken Boyer - Harry Brecheen - Tommy Bridges - Pete Browning - Charlie Buffinton - Lew Burdette - George H. Burns - George J. Burns - Dolph Camilli - †Bert Campaneris - Bob Caruthers - George Case - Norm Cash - Phil Cavarretta - Spud Chandler - Ben Chapman - Rocky Colavito - Mort Cooper - Walker Cooper - Wilbur Cooper - Doc Cramer - Del Crandall - Gavvy Cravath - Lave Cross - Mike Cuellar - Bill Dahlen - Alvin Dark - Jake Daubert - Tommy Davis - Willie Davis - Paul Derringer - Dom DiMaggio - Patsy Donovan - Larry Doyle - Jimmy Dykes - Bob Elliott - Del Ennis - Carl Erskine - Elroy Face - Wes Ferrell - Freddie Fitzsimmons - Curt Flood - Bill Freehan - Jim Fregosi - Carl Furillo - Mike Garcia - Junior Gilliam - Jack Glasscock - Joe Gordon - Charlie Grimm - Dick Groat - Heinie Groh - Stan Hack - Harvey Haddix - Mel Harder - Jeff Heath - Tommy Henrich - Babe Herman - Pinky Higgins - John Hiller - Gil Hodges - Ken Holtzman - Willie Horton - Elston Howard - Frank Howard - Dummy Hoy - Larry Jackson - Jackie Jensen - Sam Jethroe - Bob L. Johnson - Davey Johnson - Joe Judge - †Jim Kaat - Willie Kamm - Ken Keltner - Don Kessinger - Johnny Kling - Ted Kluszewski - Ray Kremer - Harvey Kuenn - Joe Kuhel - Vern Law - Sam Leever - Mickey Lolich - Sherm Lollar - Herman Long - Eddie Lopat - Dolf Luque - †Sparky Lyle - Sal Maglie - Jim Maloney - Firpo Marberry - Marty Marion - Roger Maris - Mike G. Marshall - Pepper Martin - †Lee May - Carl Mays - Tim McCarver - Frank McCormick - Lindy McDaniel - Gil McDougald - Sam McDowell - Stuffy McInnis - Denny McLain - Roy McMillan - Dave McNally - Andy Messersmith - Bob Meusel - Irish Meusel - Bing Miller - Stu Miller - Minnie Miñoso - Terry Moore - Tony Mullane - Thurman Munson - †Bobby Murcer - Johnny Murphy - Buddy Myer - Art Nehf - Don Newcombe - Bobo Newsom - Lefty O'Doul - Tony Oliva - Claude Osteen - Andy Pafko - Milt Pappas - Camilo Pascual - Ron Perranoski - Jim Perry - Johnny Pesky - Rico Petrocelli - Deacon Phillippe - Billy Pierce - Vada Pinson - Wally Pipp - Johnny Podres - Boog Powell - Jack Quinn - Vic Raschi - Ed Reulbach - Allie Reynolds - Eddie Rommel - Charlie Root - Al Rosen - Schoolboy Rowe - Pete Runnels - Jimmy Ryan - Johnny Sain - Ron Santo - Hank Sauer - Wally Schang - George Scott - Rip Sewell - Bob Shawkey - Urban Shocker - Roy Sievers - Curt Simmons - †Reggie Smith - Vern Stephens - Riggs Stephenson - Mel Stottlemyre - Harry Stovey - Jesse Tannehill - Tony Taylor - Johnny Temple - Fred Tenney - Bobby Thomson - †Luis Tiant - Mike Tiernan - Joe Torre - Cecil Travis - Hal Trosky - Virgil Trucks - Johnny Vander Meer - George Van Haltren - Bobby Veach - Mickey Vernon - Dixie Walker - Bucky Walters - Lon Warneke - Will White - Cy Williams - Ken R. Williams - Maury Wills - Smoky Joe Wood - Wilbur Wood - Glenn Wright - Jimmy Wynn - Rudy York
The 200 players were almost evenly divided between players retired less than 50 years (99 players retired from 1955 to 1983) and those retired over 50 years (101 players retired 1954 or earlier). The list of 200 was almost identical to the list prepared for the 2003 election; apart from the eight players who were newly eligible, only Larry Doyle, Andy Pafko and Smoky Joe Wood were added to the list, for a net change of 11 individuals. Perhaps due to the reliance on official statistics – often incomplete in the sport's early years – provided by the Elias Sports Bureau, the committee included very few players from the sport's first half-century, which remained poorly represented in the Hall; only 15 players were included who made their debut before 1893. Although the Hall's current membership included fewer than a dozen non-pitchers of the 1870s and 1880s, compared to nearly 50 from the 1930s and 1940s, the committee included nearly 50 more players from the period between 1920 and 1945, but only 7 who played primarily in the 25 years before 1893: first baseman/outfielder Harry Stovey, shortstop Jack Glasscock, outfielder Pete Browning, and pitchers Charlie Buffinton, Bob Caruthers, Tony Mullane and Will White. The inclusion of Will White was remarkable in that his brother Deacon White is widely accepted as having been a far greater player. In addition to Deacon White, stars of the 19th century who were omitted included Paul Hines, Deacon McGuire, Cupid Childs, Bobby Lowe, George Gore, Hardy Richardson, Ezra Sutton, Arlie Latham, Fred Pfeffer and Joe Start. Broken down by primary position, the 200 players included:
Starting pitchers (66), relief pitchers (9), catchers (10), first basemen (24), second basemen (8), third basemen (13), shortstops (19), left fielders (18), center fielders (17) and right fielders (16).
On December 6, 2004, the final ballot of 25 candidates was announced. Those selected played primarily from the 1950s onward, with only 5 of the 25 candidates having retired before 1960, and only three pitchers – Smoky Joe Wood, Carl Mays and Wes Ferrell – having retired before 1950. The BBWAA screening committee had failed to include any candidates from the era before 1910. This likely reflected a tendency among the voting writers to vote only for those players they had seen themselves, and to withhold votes from earlier players.
All 60 living members of the Hall were eligible to cast ballots in the final election, along with the 8 living recipients of the J. G. Taylor Spink Award, the 14 living recipients of the Ford C. Frick Award, and the sole additional member of the pre-2001 Veterans Committee whose term has not yet expired (John McHale). Balloting was conducted by mail in January 2005, with voters permitted to vote for up to 10 candidates from the ballot of 25 individuals; all candidates who received at least 75% of the vote would be elected. Results of the voting by the Veterans Committee were announced on March 2.
There were 83 eligible voters, 80 of whom cast ballots; 60 votes were required for election. In all, 458 individual votes were cast, for an average of 5.73 votes per ballot. For the second consecutive Veterans Committee election, no player was elected. Of the 21 candidates who were also on the 2003 ballot, only 7 gained more votes in 2005, with only Joe Torre (7), Ron Santo (6) and Ken Boyer (4) increasing their totals by more than two votes. Candidates who were considered by the Committee for the first time are indicated here with a †. The complete ballot, with the number of votes cast for each candidate, was:
- Gil Hodges - 52
- Ron Santo - 52
- Tony Oliva - 45
- †Jim Kaat - 43
- Joe Torre - 36
- Maury Wills - 26
- Vada Pinson - 23
- †Luis Tiant - 20
- Roger Maris - 19
- Marty Marion - 16
- Ken Boyer - 15
- Joe Gordon - 14
- Dick Allen - 12
- Carl Mays - 12
- Minnie Miñoso - 12
- Curt Flood - 10
- Wes Ferrell - 9
- Mickey Lolich - 9
- Don Newcombe - 8
- †Sparky Lyle - 7
- Elston Howard - 6
- Bobby Bonds - 4
- Rocky Colavito - 4
- Thurman Munson - 2
- Smoky Joe Wood - 2
Hall of Fame chairwoman Jane Forbes Clark responded to the Committee's failure to elect anyone by saying: "The results of the last two elections show that the writers – by and large – have done a great job of electing players to the Hall of Fame. The current process works by upholding the Hall of Fame's high standards for election and by providing a more open, more inclusive and more understandable process." Noting that the top candidates gained slightly from the 2003 voting, she added: "What's encouraging for me is that this shows the process to be dynamic, not static."
Hall of Fame member Tom Seaver, noting that he had voted for three candidates including Gil Hodges, said of the chances of future selections: "I'm of the opinion it's going to be awfully hard, and maybe that's how it should be." He added: "Will somebody make it out of this committee one day? Absolutely. I'm convinced they will."
But response from observers in the press and throughout baseball was widely critical. Stephen Cannella of Sports Illustrated wrote: "Seaver's right. Hall of Fame standards should be high. But letting the inmates play gatekeeper allows them to make those standards unreachable. ... it might be too much to ask Hall of Famers to be guardians of their realm. ... Would you want to belong to a club that would have anyone else as a member?"
Mike Downey of the Chicago Tribune wrote: "And once again these gentlemen made it crystal clear they like their society being extremely exclusive. They act as aristocratically as a board from a private school or a homeowners association in the Hamptons. ... if the vote were left strictly to former players, they might not let another soul in."
Dave Anderson wrote in The New York Times: "It's time not only for the Cooperstown pooh-bahs to rethink this realigned committee's selection process, but also to question the responsibility of the do-nothing committee ... after two veterans committee shutouts, it's fair to wonder how responsibly do the Hall of Famers, especially the 58 ex-players among them, take their duty as voters? Do they really study the two pages of statistics, rankings and highlights supplied to them for each of the 25 candidates on the ballot – particularly those of players from other eras whom they never competed against and probably know nothing about? Do they just glance at the list and make a snap judgment?"
Some writers specifically lamented the failure to elect particular candidates. Ken Rosenthal wrote for The Sporting News: "The writers blew it, and now the Veterans Committee is blowing it. Former Cubs third baseman Ron Santo should be in the Hall of Fame. Santo's career .826 OPS is more than 100 points higher than Brooks Robinson's and is only 30 points lower than George Brett's. Nine All-Star Games, five Gold Gloves – what exactly is the problem?" And Bill Madden of the New York Daily News wrote: "Another exercise in futility by the new and expanded Veterans Committee has again left Gil Hodges waiting on the Hall of Fame doorstep."
Candidate Tony Oliva responded to the election by saying: "It's almost impossible to go into the Hall of Fame the way the system is now. It's ridiculous." And Ron Santo said: "It was a very tough day. ... I'm fortunate to have a wonderful family that puts everything into perspective. ... It was hard to believe no one got in. One thing I can say is the next time I won't be sitting at home waiting for the phone."
J.G. Taylor Spink AwardEdit
The J. G. Taylor Spink Award, presented by the BBWAA annually at the induction ceremonies since 1962, is given to a sportswriter "for meritorious contributions to baseball writing". The recipient is not considered to be a member of the Hall, but is permanently recognized in an exhibit at the museum, and if living becomes a member of the Veterans Committee for life.
Three final candidates, selected by a BBWAA committee, were named on July 13, 2004 in Houston in conjunction with All-Star Game activities; the finalists were: Peter Gammons of The Boston Globe, Sports Illustrated and ESPN The Magazine; the late Vern Plagenhoef, who covered the Detroit Tigers for Michigan's Booth Newspaper Group; and Tracy Ringolsby, who has covered the Colorado Rockies for the Rocky Mountain News since 1993 and has completed 30 seasons as a baseball writer. All 10-year members of the BBWAA were eligible to cast ballots in voting conducted by mail in November.
On December 12, Peter Gammons was announced as the recipient, having received 248 votes out of the 448 ballots cast, with Ringolsby receiving 134 votes and Plagenhoef receiving 66.
Ford C. Frick AwardEdit
The recipient of the Ford C. Frick Award, presented at the induction ceremonies annually since 1978 to a broadcaster for "major contributions to baseball", is not considered to be a member of the Hall, but is permanently recognized in an exhibit at the museum and, if living, also becomes a life member of the Veterans Committee. To be eligible, an active or retired broadcaster must have a minimum of 10 years of continuous major league broadcast service with a ball club, a network, or a combination of the two; more than 160 candidates were eligible.
On December 13, 2004, 10 finalists were announced. In accordance with guidelines established in 2003, seven were chosen by a research committee at the museum: Jerry Coleman, Ken Coleman, Dizzy Dean, Gene Elston, Tony Kubek, France Laux and Graham McNamee. Three additional candidates – Dave Niehaus, Tom Cheek and Ron Santo – were selected in voting by over 65,000 fans prior to November 2004 at the Hall's official website .
On February 22, Jerry Coleman was announced as the 2005 recipient ; a former major league infielder and the voice of the San Diego Padres almost continuously since 1972, he was selected in a January vote by a 20-member committee composed of the 14 living recipients, along with six additional broadcasting historians or columnists: Bob Costas (NBC), Barry Horn (The Dallas Morning News), Stan Isaacs (formerly of New York Newsday), Ted Patterson (historian), Curt Smith (historian) and Larry Stewart (Los Angeles Times). Committee members are asked to base the selection on the following criteria: longevity; continuity with a club; honors, including national assignments such as the World Series and All-Star Games; and popularity with fans.
- 2005 Election at www.baseballhalloffame.org.