Voters deny Morris for a 14th time

The St. Paul native and former Twin fell 42 votes shy of enshrinement. The next ballot he appears on will be his last.

While some former baseball players on Wednesday failed to become first-ballot Hall of Famers, Jack Morris has no other choice but to try to be a last-ballot Hall of Famer.

The Baseball Hall of Fame announced that no one was elected for just the eighth time in the history of the vote. For Morris, the St. Paul native and one-time Twin, it was the 14th time he was not named on at least 75 percent of the ballots (the threshold for enshrinement).

Morris was named on 385 of the 569 ballots (67.7 percent), which was 42 votes shy of the 427 needed for election and just three votes more than a year ago. Only former Houston Astros stalwart Craig Biggio, in his first year on the ballot, got more votes (388).

Now Morris has one final chance at being elected by the Baseball Writers Association of America. If he's not elected in 2014, his case will head for the Veterans Committee.

While Morris didn't return phone calls Wednesday, his supporters spoke up for him.

"I'm very disappointed," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "I feel frustrated for Jack, I'm very biased but he put rings on guys' fingers and was one of the best pitchers I've had the pleasure of watching. He was old school, he liked to finish what he started and did that many times. Unfortunately, he's in a position that other people control."

No one was elected by the BBWAA for the first time since 1996. The appearance of several players linked to performance-enhancing drugs on the ballot might have hurt Morris' chances this year.

"I just think the writers were in uncharted waters more than ever, with the big names coming on that were swirling in controversy," Hall of Famer Paul Molitor said. "It unfortunately kind of brought a cloud over this year's vote that Jack might have been somehow affected. I don't think anyone has climbed the way he has to the level he has and all of a sudden leveled off in his 14th year."

But that will be the concern going into his final year on the ballot.

Biggio will get more support in his second year on the ballot. Jeff Bagwell (59.6 percent) and Mike Piazza (57.8) are moving into contention. What will make Morris' case even tougher will be the additions of more formidable candidates on the ballot.

Pitchers Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine and slugger Frank Thomas will appear on the ballot for the first time and are threats for first-ballot induction. Thomas' numbers will look attractive because he's never been linked to PEDs.

If that wasn't enough, Jeff Kent and Mike Mussina will also be on next year's ballot.

Morris has come a long way from 2000, when he received 22.2 percent of the vote in his first year on the ballot. Will there be enough votes out there a year from now?

"You don't know how much sentimentality will be attached to Jack in his last year [on the ballot] that might sway a few people who didn't cross this year," Molitor said.

Morris was the winningest pitcher in the 1980s, and his 254 victories since the designated hitter was implemented are the third most. In 16 seasons as a full-time starter, he had a winning record 14 times. He won at least 17 games eight times; three of those times he was a 20-game winner.

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 Morris never won a Cy Young Award and his 3.90 ERA would be the highest of any pitcher in the Hall. Those factors, plus an expanding list of formidable candidates, will make Morris' final year on the ballot a suspenseful one. He'll have one more chance to join Molitor and Dave Winfield as Hall of Famers from St. Paul.

"I hope those people pull their heads out and put one of my idols where he belongs, the Hall of Fame," Gardenhire said. "They need to finish what he started. He did his part. He wasn't just a gunslinger, he was a stud."

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions
Bottom 8th123456789RHE
Arizona00005001 6140
Minnesota0010001 260
Preview | Matchup | Lineup | Log | Wrap | Box
HR: ARI- M.Trumbo (12) MIN- None

ADVERTISEMENT

Cleveland - WP: C. Allen 4 FINAL
Kansas City - LP: G. Holland 3
Baltimore - LP: W. Chen 0 FINAL
NY Yankees - WP: M. Pineda 5
Kansas City - WP: D. Duffy 2 FINAL
Cleveland - LP: C. Carrasco 0
Seattle - LP: J. Paxton 4 FINAL
Toronto - WP: J. Happ 14
Chicago WSox - WP: C. Bassitt 2 FINAL
Detroit - LP: K. Lobstein 0
Pittsburgh - WP: F. Liriano 1 FINAL
Atlanta - LP: A. Harang 0
Houston 3 Top 9th Inning
Texas 4
St. Louis 8 Top 9th Inning
Chicago Cubs 0
Arizona 6 Top 8th Inning
Minnesota 2
LA Angels 1 Bottom 2nd Inning
Oakland 6
San Francisco 2 Bottom 3rd Inning
Los Angeles 0
Colorado 0 Bottom 3rd Inning
San Diego 1
Chicago 24 4th Qtr
NY Jets 16
NY Giants 9/25/14 7:25 PM
Washington
Buffalo 9/28/14 12:00 PM
Houston
Green Bay 9/28/14 12:00 PM
Chicago
Tennessee 9/28/14 12:00 PM
Indianapolis
Carolina 9/28/14 12:00 PM
Baltimore
Detroit 9/28/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
Tampa Bay 9/28/14 12:00 PM
Pittsburgh
Miami 9/28/14 12:00 PM
Oakland
Jacksonville 9/28/14 3:05 PM
San Diego
Atlanta 9/28/14 3:25 PM
Minnesota
Philadelphia 9/28/14 3:25 PM
San Francisco
New Orleans 9/28/14 7:30 PM
Dallas
Ottawa 2 FINAL
NY Islanders 3
Ottawa 5:00 PM
NY Islanders
New Jersey 5 FINAL
NY Rangers 4
Detroit 2 FINAL
Pittsburgh 1
Toronto 0 2nd Prd 20:00
Philadelphia 0
Washington 4 FINAL
Philadelphia 5
Minnesota 1 FINAL
Winnipeg 2
St. Louis 2 3rd Prd 4:05
Dallas 4
Anaheim 1 3rd Prd 19:31
Colorado 2
Colorado 0 2nd Prd
Anaheim 2
Los Angeles 3 2nd Prd
Arizona 1
Arizona 0 1st Prd 9:48
Los Angeles 1
Texas Tech 9/25/14 6:30 PM
(24) Oklahoma State
Appalachian St 9/25/14 6:30 PM
Ga Southern
(11) UCLA 9/25/14 9:00 PM
(15) Arizona State
Middle Tennessee 9/26/14 7:00 PM
Old Dominion
Fresno State 9/26/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico
Texas-El Paso 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(25) Kansas State
Tennessee 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(12) Georgia
Vanderbilt 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Kentucky
Wyoming 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(9) Michigan State
Northwestern 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Penn State
TCU 9/27/14 11:00 AM
SMU
Iowa 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Purdue
Tulane 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Rutgers
So Florida 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(19) Wisconsin
Colorado State 9/27/14 11:30 AM
Boston College
Western Mich 9/27/14 11:30 AM
Virginia Tech
Maryland 9/27/14 12:30 PM
Indiana
Akron 9/27/14 12:30 PM
Pittsburgh
Bowling Green 9/27/14 2:00 PM
Massachusetts
Arkansas 9/27/14 2:30 PM
(6) Texas A&M
Kent State 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Virginia
Western Ky 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Navy
Minnesota 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Michigan
Wake Forest 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Louisville
FIU 9/27/14 2:30 PM
UAB
(1) Florida State 9/27/14 2:30 PM
NC State
Miami-Ohio 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Buffalo
Colorado 9/27/14 3:00 PM
California
Louisiana Tech 9/27/14 3:00 PM
(5) Auburn
Texas 9/27/14 3:00 PM
Kansas
Temple 9/27/14 3:00 PM
Connecticut
(16) Stanford 9/27/14 3:15 PM
Washington
TX-San Antonio 9/27/14 4:00 PM
Fla Atlantic
South Alabama 9/27/14 4:00 PM
Idaho
Cincinnati 9/27/14 5:00 PM
(22) Ohio State
Rice 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Southern Miss
Missouri 9/27/14 6:00 PM
(13) So Carolina
Boise State 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Air Force
North Carolina 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Clemson
Central Mich 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Toledo
Troy 9/27/14 6:00 PM
ULM
New Mexico St 9/27/14 6:30 PM
(17) LSU
Memphis 9/27/14 6:30 PM
(10) Ole Miss
Duke 9/27/14 6:30 PM
Miami-Florida
Texas State 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Tulsa
Washington St 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Utah
(8) Notre Dame 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Syracuse
(7) Baylor 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Iowa State
UNLV 9/27/14 7:00 PM
San Diego St
Illinois 9/27/14 8:00 PM
(21) Nebraska
Oregon State 9/27/14 9:30 PM
(18) USC
Nevada 9/27/14 9:30 PM
San Jose St
Toronto 40 FINAL
Brt Columbia 23
Edmonton 23 FINAL
Hamilton 25
Calgary 15 FINAL
Montreal 31
Ottawa 32 FINAL
Saskatchewan 35
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: How sure are you that the Twins are on the road to improving?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close