The Mariners' winningest manager garnered 11 of the 12 votes needed for induction. He won't have another chance for induction until the Today's Game Era committee meets again in 2021.
LAS VEGAS — Lou Piniella would never get angry about falling just short of a baseball’s largest lifetime achievement honor. He’s never been that type of person in a baseball uniform or out of it.
But more than a few fans were throwing tirades reminiscent of Piniella’s memorable and entertaining outbursts at umpires on Sunday night after he fell just one vote short of induction into the National Baseball Hall of Fame by the Today’s Game Era Committee. The Mariners’ winningest manager won’t have a chance for induction until the Today’s Game Era Committee meets again in 2021.
Hard-throwing closer Lee Smith and longtime White Sox designated hitter Harold Baines were voted in by the 16-member Today’s Game Era Committee that was comprised of Hall of Fame members Roberto Alomar, Bert Blyleven, Pat Gillick, Tony La Russa, Greg Maddux, Joe Morgan, John Schuerholz, Ozzie Smith and Joe Torre; major league executives Al Avila, Paul Beeston, Andy MacPhail and Jerry Reinsdorf; and veteran media members/historians Steve Hirdt, Tim Kurkjian and Claire Smith. Hall of Fame Chairman of the Board Jane Forbes Clark served as the non-voting chairman of the Today’s Game Era Committee.
A player needed 12 of 16 votes for induction. Smith’s election was unanimous, while Baines garnered the required 12 votes. Piniella had 11 votes while Albert Belle, Joe Carter, Will Clark, Orel Hershiser, Davey Johnson, Charlie Manuel and George Steinbrenner each received fewer than five votes.
Piniella had a lengthy tenure as a manager in Major League Baseball.
- Yankees: 1986-88
- Reds: 1990-92
- Mariners: 1993-2002
- Rays: 2003-05
- Cubs: 2007-10
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He posted a 1,835-1,713 record (.537). He has the 16th most wins of any manager in MLB history. Of the 15 managers ahead of him in that category, 12 are already in the Hall of Fame. He was a three-time manager of the year, winning the award twice with the Mariners (1995, 2001) and once with the Cubs (2008). Only six other managers have won the award three times. His teams made seven postseason appearances and he won the 1990 World Series as the Reds stunned the Oakland A’s. He tied a MLB record with 116 wins with the 2001 Mariners. And he managed four teams to the League Championship Series.
Per the Hall of Fame, the “Today’s Game Era Committee will next consider candidates in 2021 for the 2022 Induction year, as the process to consider candidates occurs two times in a five-year period. In the fall of 2019, the Modern Baseball Era Committee will consider candidates whose main career contributions came from 1970 through 1987. In 2020, the Golden Days Era Committee will consider candidates whose main career contributions occurred from 1950-69. And also in 2020, the Early Days Era Committee will consider candidates whose greatest contributions came from baseball’s origins through 1949. Committees will continue to meet at the Winter Meetings.”
The Modern Baseball Era ballot was determined this fall by the Historical Overview Committee, comprised of 11 veteran historians: Bob Elliott (Canadian Baseball Network); Jim Henneman (formerly Baltimore Sun); Rick Hummel (St. Louis Post-Dispatch); Steve Hirdt (Elias Sports Bureau); Bill Madden (formerly New York Daily News); Jack O’Connell (BBWAA); Jim Reeves (formerly Fort Worth Star-Telegram); Tracy Ringolsby (Baseball America); Glenn Schwarz (formerly San Francisco Chronicle); Dave van Dyck (formerly Chicago Tribune); and Mark Whicker (Los Angeles News Group).
Mariners fans will now have to wait until Jan. 22 when the Hall of Fame announces the rest of the 2019 class and whether designated hitter Edgar Martinez is inducted in his final season of eligibility.