SAN DIEGO — No bronze plaques will be joining the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York.
Maury Wills, Gil Hodges and eight other players on the Hall of Fame’s “Golden Era” ballot were shut out by a 16-member voting committee Monday. Dick Allen and Tony Oliva received the most votes — 11, one short of the 12 votes necessary for induction. Wills received nine votes from the committee and Hodges received three or fewer.
“Having been on a couple of these panels, this was as thorough a discussion as any I’ve been a part of,” said Steve Hirdt, a statistician for the Elias Sports Bureau and a member of the committee.
The committee was comprised of Hall of Fame members Jim Bunning, Rod Carew, Pat Gillick, Ferguson Jenkins, Al Kaline, Joe Morgan, Ozzie Smith and Don Sutton; major league executives Dave Dombrowski, Jim Frey, David Glass and Roland Hemond; and veteran media members Hirdt, Dick Kaegel, Phil Pepe and Tracy Ringolsby.
Wills became the first player in baseball history to steal 100 bases in a season, when he swiped 104 for the Dodgers in 1962. Wills also won the National League MVP award that year and played in a record 165 games. He finished his career with 586 steals, 20th on baseball’s all-time list.
Hodges hit 370 home runs and made eight National League All-Star teams in his 18-year career, playing all but two seasons with the Dodgers. He finished with a career OPS of 120 and was annually rated as one of the best defensive first basemen in the game.