La Velle E. Neal III has covered baseball for the Star Tribune since 1998 (the post-Knoblauch era). Born and raised in Chicago, he grew up following the White Sox and hating the Cubs. He attended both the University of Illinois and Illinois-Chicago and began his baseball writing career at the Kansas City Star. He can be heard occasionally on KFAN radio, lending his great baseball mind to Paul Allen and other hosts. Mark Rosen borrows him occasionally for WCCO-TV.

Oliva, Kaat fall short in Hall bid

Posted by: La Velle E. Neal III Updated: December 5, 2011 - 1:59 PM

Cubs third baseman Ron Santo has been elected to the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame, the Veterans Committee announced this morning during the winter meetings in Dallas.

Santo was named on a whopping 15 of 16 ballots. He batted .277 over his 15-season career. He was a nine-time All-Star who his 342 home runs and five Gold Glove awards.

In order to be inducted to the Hall, a candidate needed to receive at least 12 votes. Former Twins Jim Kaat and Tony Oliva fell short in their bids to make the Hall.

Kaat finished in second place with 10 votes. Gil Hodges and Minnie Minoso tied for third with nine votes each. Olivia was fourth with eight votes.

“It goes without saying the Twins organization is disappointed with the results of today’s Hall of Fame announcement,” Twins President Dave St. Peter said. “We were hopeful this would finally be the year for Tony Oliva and Jim Kaat. Unfortunately, we now turn our focus toward the next Golden Era vote in 2014. Meanwhile, we congratulate the family of Ron Santo and the Chicago Cubs organization on Ron’s richly deserved election into the National Baseball Hall of Fame.”

Here are the vote totals:

Ron Santo (15 votes, 93.75%); Jim Kaat (10 votes, 62.5%); Gil Hodges (9 votes, 56.25%); Minnie Minoso (9 votes, 56.25%); Tony Oliva (8 votes, 50%); Buzzie Bavasi, Ken Boyer, Charlie Finley, Allie Reynolds and Luis Tiant each received less than three votes.

The 16-member Golden Era Committee was comprised of Hall of Fame members Hank Aaron, Pat Gillick, Al Kaline, Ralph Kiner, Tommy Lasorda, Juan Marichal, Brooks Robinson and Billy Williams; major league executives Paul Beeston (Blue Jays), Bill DeWitt (Cardinals), Roland Hemond (Diamondbacks), Gene Michael (Yankees) and Al Rosen (retired); and veteran media members Dick Kaegel, Jack O’Connell and Dave Van Dyck. Hall of Fame Chairman of the Board Jane Forbes Clark served as the non-voting chairman of the Golden Era Committee.

The next election for Golden Era (1947-72) candidates is scheduled for 2014.

 

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