Gossage gets in the Hall
Goose Gossage was the only player elected to the Hall of Fame by the Baseball Writers' Association of America. I voted for Goose Gossage, Jim Rice, Andre Dawson and Dave Concepcion. Concepcion comes off the ballot. Here's the release from the Hall:
Rich “Goose” Gossage, who tormented batters as one of the game’s most intimidating relief pitchers over a 22-season career, was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America in balloting verified by Ernst & Young. He will be inducted into the Hall July 27 at the Clark Sports Center in Cooperstown, N.Y.
Gossage will be honored along with one of his former managers, Dick Williams, who was elected last month by the Veterans Committee. Former owners Walter O’Malley and Barney Dreyfuss, former commissioner Bowie Kuhn and former manager Billy Southworth, all deceased, will also be enshrined at the ceremony that will include the presentation of the J.G. Taylor Spink Award for baseball writing to the late Larry Whiteside. The Ford C. Frick Award for broadcasting will be announced on February 19.
In the BBWAA election, 543 ballots, including three blanks, were cast by members with 10 or more consecutive years’ service. Players must be named on 75 percent of ballots submitted to be elected. This year, 408 votes were required.
Gossage was listed on 466 ballots (85.8%) to win election in his ninth year on the ballot, a gain of 14.6 percent over his percentage in 2007 when he finished 21 votes shy of the necessary 75 percent.
His election brings to 286 the number of elected members of the Hall. Of that total, 199 are former major-league players, of which 106 have been through the BBWAA ballot. Gossage is the 61st pitcher overall elected to the Hall and the fifth reliever, joining Hoyt Wilhelm, Rollie Fingers, Dennis Eckersley and Bruce Sutter.
Gossage, 56, compiled a 124-107 record with a 3.01 earned run average and 310 saves in 1,002 games for nine clubs with his best seasons coming with the Chicago White Sox, New York Yankees and San Diego Padres. The hard-throwing righthander led the American League in saves three times, twice won the Sporting News’ AL Fireman of the Year Award and was selected to nine All-Star teams.
The closer on the Yankees’ 1978 World Series championship club, Gossage also pitched in the 1981 World Series for the Yankees and the 1984 World Series for the Padres. He had a 2.63 ERA and two saves in 13 2/3 World Series innings. Primarily a closer in his career, Gossage did make 37 starts during his first five seasons with the White Sox and had 16 complete games.
Finishing 16 votes short of election was former Boston Red Sox slugger Jim Rice, who was named on 392 ballots (72.2%) in trying to become the first left fielder elected to the Hall since former teammate Carl Yastrzemski in 1989. Rice has one more year remaining on the ballot. Players remain on the ballot for up to 15 years provided they receive at least five percent of the vote.
The only other players to be listed on more than half the ballots were outfielder Andre Dawson with 358 votes (65.9) and pitcher Bert Blyleven with 336 (61.9). Rounding out the top 10 were pitchers Lee Smith, Jack Morris and Tommy John; outfielder Tim Raines, first baseman Mark McGwire and shortstop Alan Trammell.
John, like Rice, also has one year remaining on the ballot. This year’s election marked the 15th and final try for former Cincinnati Reds shortstop Dave Concepcion, who received 88 votes (16.2%) and will eventually come under review by the Veterans Committee.
Of the 11 newcomers to the ballot, only Raines received sufficient support of five percent (28 votes) or more to stay on the ballot, with 132 votes (24.3). The list included pitcher Jose Rijo, who previously appeared on the ballot in 2001 before coming out of retirement to pitch in 2001 and ‘02. Rijo received one vote in 2001 and none this year.
Other holdovers who will remain on the ballot are Don Mattingly, Dave Parker, Dale Murphy and Harold Baines.
The vote: Rich “Goose” Gossage 466 (85.8%), Jim Rice 392 (72.2%), Andre Dawson 358 (65.9%), Bert Blyleven 336 (61.9%), Lee Smith 235 (43.3%), Jack Morris 233 (42.9%), Tommy John 158 (29.1%), Tim Raines 132 (24.3%), Mark McGwire 128 (23.6%), Alan Trammell 99 (18.2%), Dave Concepcion 88 (16.2%), Don Mattingly 86 (15.8%), Dave Parker 82 (15.1%), Dale Murphy 75 (13.8%), Harold Baines 28 (5.2%), Rod Beck 2 (0.4%), Travis Fryman 2 (0.4%), Robb Nen 2 (0.4%), Shawon Dunston 1 (0.2%), Chuck Finley 1 (0.2%), David Justice 1 (0.2%), Chuck Knoblauch 1 (0.2%), Todd Stottlemyre 1 (0.2%), Brady Anderson 0, Jose Rijo 0.