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Hall of Fame announcement due Wednesday

Feb. 25, 2003 at 5:41 PM   |   Comments

COOPERSTOWN, N.Y., Feb. 25 (UPI) -- Marvin Miller and Joe Torre could be the first beneficiaries of the revamped voting procedures employed by the Baseball Hall of Fame's Veterans Committee.

The Hall of Fame will announce the results of the Veterans Committee election on Wednesday and the leading candidates could be Miller, who turned the Major League Baseball Players Association into one of the most powerful unions in the country, and Torre, a nine-time All-Star and currently the manager of the New York Yankees.

This year's election deals as much with the process as it does with the candidates. Under the old rules, the Veterans Committee met each year. With the new system, the committee will pick every two years and will consider managers, executives and umpires every four years.

The changes were prompted by charges of cronyism by the then-15-member panel.

The Veterans Committee gives another chance to those players bypassed in the regular voting by the Baseball Writers Association of America. The new panel consists of 85 members -- the 58 living Hall of Fame members, 25 Hall of Fame writers and broadcasters and two members of the former Veterans Committee.

A sentimental favorite on the Composite Ballott could be the 85-year-old Miller, the person most responsible for the era of free agency and the astronomical salaries that current players enjoy.

The player candidates were put together by a BBWAA-appointed screening committee, and the list of 26 includes Torre, who may also be given consideration for what he has done as a manager.

Torre has won four World Series as manager of the Yankees. The Hall of Fame said that voters can consider his achievements as both a player and a manager.

Ron Santo, a nine-time All-Star and five-time Gold Glove winner who spent all but one of his 15 years with the Chicago Cubs, also is expected to get strong consideration.

The list of players on the ballot also includes Roger Maris, who hit a then-record 61 homers for the Yankees in 1961, and Gil Hodges, the Brooklyn Dodgers first baseman who was an eight-time All-Star.

Dick Allen, Ted Kluszewski, Thurman Munson, Tony Oliva and Minnie Minoso also should receive consideration.

Former commissioner Bowie Kuhn, who often sparred on the labor front with Miller, also is on the ballot, as is Walter O'Malley, the influential owner of the Dodgers who moved the club from Brooklyn to Los Angeles.

Charlie O. Finley, the controversial former owner of the Oakland Athletics, also is on the ballot of 16 former executives, managers and umpires.

The 2003 Hall of Fame class already includes Eddie Murray and Gary Carter, who were elected by the writers in January. Murray and Carter do not have a vote on the Veterans Committee this year.

The induction ceremony will take place on July 27.

© 2003 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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