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Winfield and Puckett Elected to Hall

By Patrick Mondout

January 17, 2001 (updated October 3, 2005)

Voting by Year

Former teammates Dave Winfield and Kirby Puckett earned the necessary number of votes and will be immortalized in Cooperstown, New York in the annual Baseball Hall of Fame induction ceremony in July.

Both players were expected to make it and each made it into the 80% range (75% is required - see results below). Some say that Kirby Puckett, who was forced to retire from baseball at age 34 in 1996 after being diagnosed with glaucoma, did not play long enough to warrant consideration, but he only received 12 less votes than Winfield, who few would deny achieved greatness over a long period.

Puckett, one of the few modern day stars to play his entire career with one team, told the Associated Press, ""From Babe Ruth to Hank Aaron, you name it. It's just unbelievable being in the company of those guys." He becomes the third youngest elected to the Hall of Fame with only Sandy Koufax (37) and Lou Gerhig (36) ahead of him.

Winfield played for several teams and will have to decide which hat he wants to be on his plaque. Mr. May, as Winfield was derisively called by Yankees owner George Steinbrenner, played alongside Puckett in Minnesota in 1993 and 1994 and the pair become only the fourth set of teammates inducted in the same year. Carlton Fisk and Tony Perez were the most recent only last year.

Winfield's statistics alone put him amongst the game's greatest. He is one of only six players to ever hit 450 home runs and pass the 3000 hit mark (Hank Aaron, Willie Mays, Eddie Murray, Stan Musial, and Carl Yastrzemski are the others).

Of those not elected, Gary Carter had his strongest showing yet leapfrogging over Jim Rice (who also gained votes over 2000) for third place. Relievers continued to get no respect; only Hoyt Wilhelm and Rollie Fingers are represented in Cooperstown. Bruce Sutter and Goose Gossage each gained about 10% more votes but are far enough down the list to make this writer wonder what it will take to get two of the top firemen of all time in.

In! ...and getting closer!

Former University of Minnesota athlete and new baseball Hall of Famer Dave Winfield was drafted by the Minnesota Vikings, the Utah Stars of the ABA, the Atlanta Hawks, and the San Diego Padres! Gary Carter continues to gain support but finished third.

Photos by Mike Ponzini/Lou Sauritch 2005


A trio of Detroit Tigers stars from the Awesome80s failed to receive the necessary 26 (5%) votes in order to appear on next year's ballot. Sorry Kirk Gibson, Lance Parrish, and Sweet Lou Whitaker.

Votes by members of the BBWAA were tabulated by the National Baseball Hall of Fame. At least 387 votes were needed to be elected. (Winners in bold.)

Dave Winfield 435 84.5% P 1st
Kirby Puckett 423 82.1% P 1st
Gary Carter 334 64.9% P 4th
Jim Rice 298 57.9% P 7th
Bruce Sutter 245 47.6% P 8th
Rich Gossage 228 44.3% P 2nd
Steve Garvey 176 34.2% P 9th
Tommy John 146 28.3% P 7th
Don Mattingly 145 28.2% P 1st
Jim Kaat 139 27.0% P 13th
Bert Blyleven 121 23.5% P 4th
Jack Morris 101 19.6% P 2nd
Dale Murphy 93 18.1% P 3rd
Dave Parker 84 16.3% P 5th
Dave Concepcion 74 14.4% P 8th
Luis Tiant 63 12.2% P 14th
Keith Hernandez 41 8.0% P 6th
Dave Stewart 38 7.4% P 1st
Ron Guidry 27 5.2% P 8th
Lou Whitaker 15 2.9% P 1st
Kirk Gibson 13 2.5% P 1st
Lance Parrish 9 1.7% P 1st
Tom Henke 6 1.2% P 1st
Dave Righetti 2 0.4% P 1st
Steve Bedrosian 1 0.2% P 1st
Tom Browning 1 0.2% P 1st
Ron Darling 1 0.2% P 1st
Jim Deshaies 1 0.2% P 1st
John Kruk 1 0.2% P 1st
Jose Rijo 1 0.2% P 1st
Howard Johnson 0 0.0% P 1st
Andy Van Slyke 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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--Patrick Mondout



Kirby Puckett will join one-time teammate Dave Winfield in Cooperstown in July.

Photo by Lou Sauritch, 2006

Total ballots cast: 515

Ballots necessary for election: 387

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