Weaver on short list for the Hall Ex-Orioles manager among 15 candidates

February 28, 1992|By Jim Henneman | Jim Henneman,Staff Writer

SARASOTA, Fla. -- In his first year of eligibility, ex-Orioles manager Earl Weaver has made the Veterans Committee's short list of candidates for nomination to the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Weaver is one of 15 candidates who will be considered in the non-playing category, which includes Negro League players. A like number of former players are on the ballot submitted by the screening committee.

A complete list of those who survived the nomination process was unavailable, but a committee member confirmed that Weaver is included. More than 100 former players, executives, managers, umpires and Negro League greats were recommended.

"I don't think there's any doubt that Earl will go in," said the committee member, "but I don't know whether he'll make it in his first year of eligibility.

"There is a little bit of prejudice about electing a guy in his first year. It seems to be there, not only with the Veterans Committee, but also with the Baseball Writers Association [of America]."

The BBWAA annually conducts an election of former players, who must survive a screening committee, a five-year waiting period and attract 75 percent of the vote. The same procedure holds for the veterans committee, which can elect no more than one each from the playing and non-playing categories. If they nominate anybody this year, those inductees would join Tom Seaver and Rollie Fingers at the ceremony in Cooperstown, N.Y., in July.

The veterans committee consists of six Hall of Famers, six members of the media and six executives. The group is one below capacity because of the resignation of Birdie Tebbetts, a career baseball man who is a special assignment scout for the Orioles.

The voting and announcement are scheduled to take place March 17 in Tampa. If Tebbetts is not replaced as a voting executive, 13 votes would be needed for election. But if the committee agrees on a replacement, a Hall of Fame candidate

would need 14 votes.

Weaver's lifetime record is 1,480-1,060, and his .583 winning percentage is the sixth highest in major-league history -- higher than seven of the 10 managers in the Hall of Fame. In 14 full seasons, and parts of two others (1968 and 1985), Weaver won six division titles, four American League pennants and one World Series championship.

Frank Robinson, himself a Hall of Famer, said he wasn't surprised when informed yesterday that Weaver was on the veterans committee's short list. "He's a cinch," said Robinson, who played on three pennant-winners and coached on another under Weaver.

"I don't think there's any doubt that Earl has Hall of Fame credentials," said Robinson, an assistant to Orioles general manager Roland Hemond. "In my mind, he's a cinch to be elected."

The fact that Weaver got this far in his first year of consideration is an indication his chances of making it to Cooperstown are excellent -- possibly this year. It is unusual for a first-year candidate even to make the short list.

Weaver's strongest competition is expected to come from ex-manager Leo Durocher, who missed election by two votes last year, umpire Bill McGowan and Leon Day, a Negro League veteran.

Playing the percentages

Earl weaver's .583 lifetime winning percentage as a major-league managerwould put him among the elite of Hall of Fame managers:

Manager.. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. winning pct.

Joe McCarthy.. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. . .615

John McGraw.. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .587

Al Lopez.. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .584

Walter Alston.. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .558

Miller Huggins.. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .555

Bill McKechnie.. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .524

Casey Stengel.. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .508

Wilbert Robinson.. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .500

Bucky Harris.. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. . .493

Connie Mack.. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .486

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