Vets deny HOF bids to Santo, other candidates

Ron Santo, left, is shown in a 1971 file photo. Gil Hodges, right, is shown in a 1956 file photo. Santo, Hodges and all others were left out Tuesday when the Veterans Committee admitted no new members yet again. The Associated Press

AP

Ron Santo, left, is shown in a 1971 file photo. Gil Hodges, right, is shown in a 1956 file photo. Santo, Hodges and all others were left out Tuesday when the Veterans Committee admitted no new members yet again. The Associated Press

By The Associated Press

NEW YORK – The Hall of Fame pitched another shutout.

Ron Santo, Jim Kaat, Marvin Miller and all the other candidates were left out Tuesday when the Veterans Committee admitted no new members for the third straight election.

The blank slate could lead to changes before the next vote in 2009.

“We’re being blamed because something hasn’t happened,” Hall member and vice chairman Joe Morgan said. “If you’re asking me, ‘Do we lower our standards to get more people in?’ my answer would be no.”

Santo came the closest to the required 75 percent. A nine-time All-Star, the former Cubs third baseman was picked on 57 of 82 ballots (70 percent). Players needed 62 for election.

Kaat, a 283-game winner and strongly backed by Hall member Mike Schmidt, drew 52 votes. Gil Hodges, who hit 370 home runs, got 50 votes and three-time AL batting champion Tony Oliva had 47.

Umpire Doug Harvey received 52 of the necessary 61 votes on the ballot for managers, umpires and executives. Miller, the union head who led players to free-agent riches, showed a strong increase in getting 51 of the potential 81 votes.

The vets committee was revamped after charges of cronyism when it elected Bill Mazeroski in 2001. That marked the eighth straight year the 15-member panel sent someone to Cooperstown.

After that, the panel was expanded to include all living Hall of Famers. The new committee votes every other year for players and every four years for the others.

“We are disappointed that no one has been elected in the three voting cycles,” Hall chairman Jane Forbes Clark said. “We will be evaluating this process and its trends at our next meeting, which is March 13, and discussing whether there should be any changes.”

“The board may decide that the trends are not what we thought they were going to be. Perhaps this hasn’t worked as well as some of the board members thought it would and maybe it needs a little bit of change,” she said.

Cal Ripken Jr. and Tony Gwynn were elected to the Hall by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America in January. They will stand alone at the induction ceremonies July 29 in Cooperstown.

AP Sports Writers Ronald Blum and Rick Gano and AP freelancer Mark Didtler contributed.