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
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.
degrees of separation...
by Lou Sauritch/Mike Ponzini
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
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
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.
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Carlton Fisk is perhaps best remembered for the home run he hit in game 6 of the 1975 World Series.
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