Jack Morris


Morris fails in Hall of Fame bid; no players selected

  • Article by: LA VELLE E. NEAL III
  • Star Tribune
  • January 9, 2013 - 1:51 PM

Jack Morris will have to wait one more year to get into the Hall of Fame - or not get in at all.

For the eighth time since voting started, nobody was elected in the voting announced Wednesday afternoon. The last time it happened was 1996.

Morris, who pitched for the Twins in 1991 and spent most of his career with the Detroit Tigers, was second among players who received votes, being named on 67.7 percent of ballots. A player needs to be named of 75 percent of ballots cast by Baseball Writers Association of America in order to be elected.

Craig Biggio of the Astros was the leading vote-getter at 68.2 percent.

Next year will be Morris' 15th year on the ballot, and the longest a player can remain on the ballot. Last year, the St. Paul native who graduated from Highland Park High School received 66.7 percent.

If he's not part of the class of 2014 then his case will move on to the Veterans Committee - where it could be even tougher to get into the Hall.

Steroid-tainted stars Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens and Sammy Sosa have been denied entry to baseball's Hall of Fame with voters failing to elect any candidates for only the second time in four decades.

Bonds received just 36.2 percent of the vote, Clemens 37.6 and Sosa 12.5.

Five of the 569 voters sent in blank ballots.

Morris was the winningest pitcher in the 1980's, and his 254 in the DH era are third most. In 16 seasons as a full-time starter, Morris had winning seasons in 14 of them. He won at least 20 games three times and at least 17 games eight times.

Few pitchers looked more comfortable at the front of a rotation than Morris, who took the ball in big games, stopped losing streaks, extended winning streaks and saved his bullpen. Former Twins manager Tom Kelly simply referred to Morris once as 'a horse.

But he never won a Cy Young Award and his 3.90 ERA would have been the highest of any pitcher in The Hall, factors that likely worked against him.

Morris also wasn't helped by the appearance of Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens and other players linked to Performance Enhancing Drugs. Voters had a tough time determining how to vote to players from the Steroid Era.

Some voters sent in blank ballots, which worked against Morris' percentage.

"What would my numbers be if I was cheating?'' Morris said during an interview on Monday. "I think I could have added 150 games to that if I would have started doing some stuff after my arm got hurt in Toronto and I had ten years left and that would have put me at 400 wins."I did what I thought was right and what was in my heart. I can accept working my tail off and doing all I can and that's it.

"We're not machines, we are human beings and I played the game the way I thought was the right way.''

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