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Perez and Fisk Make Hall; Teammate Rice Denied Again

By Patrick Mondout

January 10, 2000 (updated October 3, 2005)

Voting by Year

Former Boston Red Sox and Chicago White Sox catcher Carlton Fisk and former Big Red Machine member Tony Perez will soon be the two newest members of the Baseball Hall of Fame. Fisk's former teammate Tony Perez was a distant third while Gary Carter picked up significant support over 1999 in finishing fourth.

As 499 votes from the Baseball Writers Association of America members were cast, 375 votes were necessary to get in this year (75% of actual voters are required). Fisk, who came close in his first attempt last year, received the most votes.

Tony Perez has received support in the 65% range since 1996 after starting in the 50% range in 1992 - his first year of eligibility. He will join fellow Big Red Machine teammates Joe Morgan and Johnny Bench in Cooperstown in a ceremony to be held on July 23, 2000.

The selection of Carlton Fisk in his second year of eligibility is somewhat surprising, considering how much resistance Gary Carter has faced. In fact, the recognition on the part of voters that great catchers rarely finish north of 500 HRs or 3000 hits may account for Carter seemingly riding Fisk's coattails. Carter finished with a discouraging 33.8% last year but jumped all the way to 49.7% this year.

Fisk won a Gold Glove in addition to his Rookie of the Year trophy in 1972. Although he would play another 21 years, he would never win another with Jim Sundberg and Bob Boone winning in most of those years. He was an eleven time All Star and hit more home runs and played more games behind the plate than any other catcher in the history of the sport. He spent significant parts of five seasons on the disabled list and might have had a legit shot at 3000 hits without a few serious on the field injuries.

Even so he only won three Silver Sluggers, only finished in the top ten in the MVP four times in 24 seasons and only lead the league in one major offensive category his entire career. Surprisingly, it was triples back in his rookie year. Players who get in based on longevity often have to wait a few years, but not Fisk.

Two degrees of separation...
Photos by Lou Sauritch/Mike Ponzini

Jim Rice will have to continue to wait while the long wait for Tony Perez is over. They were teammates with Carlton Fisk on the 1980 Boston Red Sox.


The selection of Perez was not quite as surprising as he has been close for many years, but some would argue that this is another case of the erosion of the Hall of Fame standards. Perez was a team leader and is remembered as a clutch hitter with a truly great team. But he has even less individual accomplishments to look back upon than Fisk, who could at least point out that he was a catcher.

First basemen Perez never led any league in any statistical category, only finished in the top ten in the MVP voting four times, and for all the talk of his clutch hitting, batted .238 with 6 homers and 25 RBIs in 47 postseason games. When he finished his 23rd season, he had played more games than all but 14 players in history, yet he never hit any of the "automatic" Hall marks with only 2732 hits and 379 home runs.

Batting behind Pete Rose and Joe Morgan, he did drive in a large number of runs. In fact, there were only 15 players with more RBIs when he retired, and all are represented in Cooperstown.

Votes by members of the BBWAA were tabulated by the National Baseball Hall of Fame. At least 375 votes were needed to be elected. (Winners in bold.)

Carlton Fisk 397 79.6% P 2nd
Tony Perez 385 77.2% P 9th
Jim Rice 257 51.5% P 6th
Gary Carter 248 49.7% P 3rd
Bruce Sutter 192 38.5% P 7th
Rich Gossage 166 33.3% P 1st
Steve Garvey 160 32.1% P 8th
Tommy John 135 27.1% P 6th
Jim Kaat 125 25.1% P 12th
Dale Murphy 116 23.2% P 2nd
Jack Morris 111 22.2% P 1st
Dave Parker 104 20.8% P 4th
Bert Blyleven 87 17.4% P 3rd
Luis Tiant 86 17.2% P 13th
Dave Concepcion 67 13.4% P 7th
Keith Hernandez 52 10.4% P 5th
Ron Guidry 44 8.8% P 7th
Jeff Reardon 24 4.8% P 1st
Bob Boone 21 4.2% P 5th
Willie Wilson 10 2.0% P 1st
Rick Sutcliffe 9 1.8% P 1st
Kent Hrbek 5 1.0% P 1st
Charlie Hough 4 0.8% P 1st
Dave Henderson 2 0.4% P 1st
Steve Sax 2 0.4% P 1st
Bill Gullickson 1 0.2% P 1st
Bruce Hurst 1 0.2% P 1st
Lonnie Smith 1 0.2% P 1st
Bob Welch 1 0.2% P 1st
Hubie Brooks 0 0.0% P 1st

Note: Those with less than 5% of the vote were ineligible for future elections by the BBWAA and could only be elected by the Veteran's Committee.
Source: National Baseball Hall of Fame. Special thanks to Keith Hemmelman for compiling the data.

Hall of Fame References

Baseball's Hall of Fame: Cooperstown--Where the Legends Live Forever by Lowell Reidenbaugh
A Legend for the Legendary: The Origin of the Baseball Hall of Fame by James A. Vlasich
The Politics Of Glory, How Baseball Hall Of Fame Really Works by Bill James
Whatever Happened To The Hall Of Fame? by Bill James

Out by a Step: The 100 Best Players Not in the Baseball Hall of Fame
by Mike Shalin
Total Baseball: The Ultimate Baseball Encyclopedia
by John Thorn, et al.
2006 ESPN Baseball Encyclopedia by Gary Gillette (Editor), Pete Palmer (Editor).

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Carlton Fisk is perhaps best remembered for the home run he hit in game 6 of the 1975 World Series. Photo

Total ballots cast: 499

Ballots necessary for election: 375

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