Last week, the Mariners hired Ted Simmons to be a senior advisor to general manager Jack Zduriencik. Simmons might have to be excused next July for a trip to Cooperstown.
Today, the Expansion Era ballot was released for Hall of Fame consideration by the Committee to Consider Managers, Umpires, Executives and Long-Retired Players (rolls off the tongue, doesn’t it?). There are 12 names on it, and one of them is Simmons, who had an outstanding 21-year career as a major-league catcher. In his only crack on the BBWAA ballot in 1994, Simmons received just 3.7 percent of the vote (17 votes), short of the necessary 5 percent to remain on the ballot.
The 12 candidates — which include former Mariners general manager Pat Gillick — will be voted upon by a 16-member electorate: Hall of Fame members Johnny Bench, Whitey Herzog, Eddie Murray, Jim Palmer, Tony Perez, Frank Robinson, Ryne Sandberg and Ozzie Smith; major league executives Bill Giles (Phillies), David Glass (Royals), Andy MacPhail (Orioles) and Jerry Reinsdorf (White Sox); and veteran media members Bob Elliott (Toronto Sun), Tim Kurkjian (ESPN), Ross Newhan (retired, Los Angeles Times) and Tom Verducci (Sports Illustrated).
Every candidate receiving votes on 75 percent of the 16 ballots cast will earn election to the National Baseball Hall of Fame. The induction weekend will take place July 22-25 in Cooperstown, NY. The results will be announced on Dec. 6 from the Winter Meetings in Orlando, Fla.
Besides Simmons and Gllick, the others under consideration are former players Vida Blue, Dave Concepcion, Steve Garvey, Ron Guidry, Tommy John, Al Oliver and Rusty Staub; former manager Billy Martin; and executives Marvin Miller and George Steinbrenner.
According to the Hall of Fame press release, “The Expansion Era covers candidates among managers, umpires, executives and long-retired players whose most significant career impact was realized during the 1973-present time frame.”
Simmons was a .285 career hitter, wtih 2,472 hits, 483 doubles, 248 homers and 1,389 runs batted in.
The BBWAA ballot will go out in December, with Edgar Martinez having his second crack at getting the necessary 75 percent of the votes after getting 36.2 percent last year.
For those wondering about Seattle native and Cubs legend Ron Santo, who has long been knocking on the door of the Hall of Fame door, his next opportunity won’t come until next year under the new format for electing Uall of Famers beyond those voted upon by the BBWAA. He is in the so-called “Golden Era.”
Here is the explanation of the new voting system provided by the Hall of Fame:
The Expansion Era Committee is the first of a three-year cycle of consideration for Managers, Umpires, Executives and Long-Retired Players by Era, as opposed to the previous consideration by classification, with changes approved and announced by the Hall of Fame’s Board of Directors at the conclusion of Hall of Fame Weekend 2010.
The changes maintain the high standards for earning election to the National Baseball Hall of Fame, with focus on three eras: Expansion (1973-present); Golden (1947-1972) and Pre-Integration (1871-1946), as opposed to the previous four Committees on Baseball Veterans, which considered the four categories of candidates.
Three separate electorates will now consider by era a single composite ballot of managers, umpires, executives and long-retired players on an annual basis, with Golden Era Committee candidates to be considered at the 2011 Winter Meetings for Induction in 2012 and the Pre-Integration Era Committee candidates to be considered at the 2012 Winter Meetings for Induction in 2013. The Expansion Era Committee will next meet at the 2013 Winter Meetings for Induction in 2014.