The committee, consisting of Hall of Famers Tommy Lasorda, Phil Niekro, Paul Molitor, White Sox Chairman Jerry Reinsdorf and others, selected 4 managers, 6 players, an owner and a union leader this year. The expansion era represents the years of 1973 and later. The golden era (1947-1972) will be voted on next year and the pre-integration era (1871-1946) will be voted on the following year. Managers Bobby Cox, Tony LaRussa, Joe Torre and Billy Martin, players Dave Concepcion, Steve Garvey, Tommy John, Dan Quisenberry, Ted Simmons and Dave Parker as well as Yankees owner George Steinbrenner and former MLBPA head Marvin Miller. Martin, Quisenberry, Steinbrenner and Miller would be inducted posthumously.
If I had a vote, I would actually vote for 5 of the 12. I think Cox and LaRussa are clear Hall of Famers, who deserve to be in. I think Miller should go in for what he did for the players association and for free agency and the abolishment of the reserve clause. I also think Steinbrenner needs to go in because of how his philosophy represented the most important thing that all teams stride for. Plus he was the owner during the Yankees last series of success after the team had an eleven year postseason drought. (Though he witnessed himself a fifteen year one). However, out of the six players up for nomination, I would only vote for one. That player is Ted Simmons, who (as I have written about before) has career stats that rank among the greatest offensive catchers to ever play the game.
I left out Torre and Martin. I think Torre could get in, not only for what he did as manager of the Yankees from 1996-2007, but for what he did as a player. He is a borderline Hall of Fame player who is probably a borderline Hall of Fame manager. His success with the Yankees was not matched by his experiences with the Mets, Braves, Cardinals and Dodgers. However, I would not object to Joe Torre getting in. Martin had success wherever he managed, even with the Rangers, where he managed the team to their first ever second place finish. He finished first with the Yankees, Twins, Athletics and Tigers. What could hold him back is the fact that he never stayed in the same place for too long.
I like Concepcion as a player and absolutely think he was an intracle part of the Big Red Machine, but simply do not think he is a Hall of Famer. I would not object to John getting in but he was a slightly above .500 pitcher who was seldom a top pitcher in his league. His 288 wins are impressive and he did have some very good seasons in LA and NY. Quisenberry was good and dominant for a while, but I just do not think he did it for long enough. Parker and Garvey were very good, but I would like to see Al Oliver get in before either of them get in. Oliver hit over .300 and had 2743 hits and did so without the opportunity of finishing his career as a DH due to collusion.
Once again, my choices would be Cox, LaRussa, Miller, Steinbrenner and Simmons. I would put Torre, Martin, Parker and John on the borderline and out, then leave out Garvey and Concepcion. I think this was one of the better set of selections the Veterans Committee has ever come up with as I feel that only two nominees that I feel are absolutely not Hall of Famers, Concepcion and Quisenberry. I would not be surprised to see any of the others in, if not this year, but in the future. Hopefully those selected will someday join Oliver, as well as Alan Trammell, Gil Hodges and Vern Stephens; all of whom belong in Baseball's Hall of Fame.