Phil Miller covered three seasons of Twins baseball, but that was at a different ballpark for a different newspaper. Now Miller returns to the baseball beat after joining the Star Tribune as the Gopher football writer in 2010, and he won't miss the dingy dome for a minute. In addition to the Twins and Gophers, Miller covered the Utah Jazz and the NBA for six years at The Salt Lake Tribune.
Barry Larkin became baseball’s newest Hall of Famer on Monday. Jack Morris and the rest of the players on this year’s ballot will have to wait.
The Baseball Writers Association of America released its annual vote results, and Larkin was named on 86.4 percent of the 573 ballots, exceeding the 75 percent threshold required to gain admission.
Morris, who grew up in St. Paul and pitched for the Twins in 1991, got 66.7 percent of the vote, up from 53.5 percent last year.
"I’m encouraged, and I’m very grateful for the guys that have taken another look and not voted for me in the past," Morris said. "The numbers are looking better, and that’s encouraging.
"I just have to congratulate Barry Larkin. He’s a worthy candidate, a class guy, and he’s endured a little bit. It's his day."
Morris' numbers were expected to climb this year because of the relatively weak pool of first-time candidates.
Of the newcomers, only Bernie Williams (9.6 percent) surpassed the 5 percent mark required to return next year. Former Twins pitcher Brad Radke was on the ballot for the first time and received only two votes, which means his name will not stay on in future years.
This was Morris’ 13th year on the BBWAA ballot, so he’ll get two more chances before his case will get turned over to the Veterans Committee.
It figures to be more difficult for Morris to gain votes next year, when the first-time candidates include Roger Clemens, Barry Bonds, Sammy Sosa, Curt Schilling, Mike Piazza, Craig Biggio and Kenny Lofton. The 2014 rookie class includes Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, Frank Thomas, Jeff Kent and Mike Mussina.
Three other players who appeared for the Twins -- Terry Mulholland, Ruben Sierra and Phil Nevin -- were on the ballot and all were shut out in the voting. Sierra and Nevin had only brief stints with the Twins while Mulholland, a left-handed pitcher, was with them in 2004 and 2005.
Star Tribune baseball writer Joe Christensen's Hall of Fame ballot: Barry Larkin, Jack Morris, Jeff Bagwell, Larry Walker, Tim Raines, Alan Trammell, Fred McGriff.
Star Tribune baseball editor Dennis Brackin's ballot: Larkin, Morris, Bagwell, Walker, Raines, Lee Smith.
Star Tribune assistant manager editor/sports Glen Crevier's ballot: Larkin, Bagwell, Trammell, Raines, Smith, Edgar Martinez.
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