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  • prospects for Executives

    Last fall a committee of 12 including 7 executives (some retired), 3 writers, and 2 HOF players elected Bowie Kuhn, Water O'Malley, and Barney Dreyfuss from a ballot of ten executives. They wil be inducted this summer.

    What may we expect for executives in the future?
    No candidate is clearly a good bet in the next election, scheduled for December 2009. Ewing Kauffman will be the leading incumbent but he scored only 5 votes. On the other hand, an overwhelming number of votes on the scale of this election will be freed from Dreyfuss, Kuhn, and O'Malley. The recent results also bode well for owners in general. The four owners and one commissioner on the ballot reaped 38 of 48 possible votes (at least two voters plunked for four of them) and they finished uniformly ahead of the four general managers and one labor leader, who scored only 6-10 votes total.

    Each of the 12 committee members was permitted to vote for four of ten candidates on the ballot. At least eight of them voted for four; only four of 48 possible votes were either cast for the three also-rans or not cast at all. We know that because seven candidates scored 44 votes total; we don't know more because support for the also-rans was reported only as "less than three".

    Quoting from wikipedia "Baseball Hall of Fame balloting, 2008":
    Code:
        * Barney Dreyfuss, team owner - 10
        * Bowie Kuhn, commissioner - 10
        * Walter O'Malley, team owner - 9
        * Ewing Kauffman, team owner - 5
        * John Fetzer, team owner - 4
        * Bob Howsam, general manager - 3
        * Marvin Miller, labor official - 3
        * Buzzie Bavasi, general manager - <3
        * John McHale, general manager - <3
        * Gabe Paul, general manager - <3
    Leading incumbent Kauffman missed seven votes. But that was at most four true rejections by people who voted for only three candidates, at least three "no votes" from people who voted for four others. By the same reasoning at least four "no votes" for Fetzer and at least five for Howsam and Miller were the ambiguous type cast by people who voted for four others. In fact it is unlikely that the committee clearly rejected anyone. Probably there were more than nine full ballots and the entire cycle may be interpreted as a committee decision whom to induct first. Compare the BBWAA elections until 1956.

    The election of Dreyfuss, Kuhn, and O'Malley frees at least 17 votes, more than one third of the entire voting power, from the ballots of people who voted for four. Almost certainly that includes some latent support for Kauffman, Fetzer, Howsam or Miller and it may include enough latent support to elect them all without any change in committee membership or change of mind! They need at least 21 votes total and there were 29 votes for the big three.

    This committee of twelve determined its own ballot. Whoever has that privilege next time should feel obliged to return even the also-rans to the next ballot, making seven incumbents, in order to gauge their support fairly.

    It should be no big surprise that the owners dominated the general managers. Wikipedia notes that six committee members are executives who never played in the majors, including five club chairmen or CEOs and only one general manager, Andy MacPhail.
    (Several of them served in more than one executive role but Wikipedia may be right about the most important role of each. The seventh baseball executive on the committee is former player and league president Bobby Brown.)

    --
    The contributors ballots for 2003 and 2007 were identical lists of 15 candidates. Doug Pappas classified them as four field managers (including Paul Richards, an important GM too), one umpire, four mainly owners, three mainly GMs, two baseball officials, and one labor official. Under the revised system, four or five of those presumable "leading contributors" are in the managers/umpires category and ten or eleven are in the executives category, with uncertainty about the place for Richards.

    The election results for 2003 and 2007 were almost identical for 12 candidates. Only three gained or lost more than four votes from 80+ Hall of Fame members and honorees: Marvin Miller, up from 35 to 51 votes; Bowie Kuhn, down from 20 to 13; and Billy Martin, down from 22 to 12. Counting the roughly 25% showings by Kuhn and Martin in 2003 only, nine of the 15 made a good showing. Eight of those nine made it to one ballot or the other under the new system; only Bill White did not.

    The new system works against Bill White and anyone else with a career more diverse than two or three different classes of baseball executive. White was a very good player for more than a decade and league president for a decade (and also a ballgame broadcaster). Presumably the first half of his resume was crucial in gaining 30% support from the Hall of Fame members and honorees but it carries little or no weight toward election as a baseball executive by a group half composed of career executives who never played. They serve as their own nominating committee too.

    In its nominating role, the executives committee selected five incumbents from the 2007 ballot and four others from the pool of 35 contributors nominated for 2003 or 2007 who evidently belong in the executives category now. In selecting Dreyfuss from the distant past, and in electing him, they made one good choice. The other selections were predictable, including John McHale, the one not previously nominated.

    The Historical Overview Committee previously nominated ten including Dreyfuss (of 35 contributor nominees evidently in the executives category) whose selection would be surprising because they were active almost entirely before the committee members who now do both the nominating and the voting. Two were two active mainly in the 19th century, before Dreyfuss, and seven became mlb owners and executives in the 1900s to 1920s when he owned the Pittsburgh Pirates.

    Al Reach
    Chris Von der Ahe
    Barney Dreyfuss, elected for 2008 induction
    Ben Shibe
    Charles Somers
    Garry Herrmann
    John Heydler
    Jacob Ruppert
    Sam Breadon
    John A.R. "Bob" Quinn

    I would like to see them nominate Al Reach and one or two others from this list.

    Will they even consider "historical" figures from before their own time? I don't know. What coincidences brought about the nomination and election of Dreyfuss? Was there important input from the Pittsburgh club, from the BBWAA, from the NBHOFM, from baseball (Jerome Holtzman?), from outside historians? I need some knowledge of how this happened in order to judge whether it may be repeated.

    --
    Other executives nominated as contributors for 2003 or 2007:
    (17 with careers mainly or wholly after WWII who were not on the recent ballot)

    Owners - Gene Autry, Charles Bronfman, August Busch, George Bush, Charley Finley, John Galbreath, Calvin Griffith, Joan Payson, Phil Wrigley

    GMs - Harry Dalton, Bing Devine, Frank Lane, Paul Owens, Bill Rigney, Cedric Tallis

    Officials - Chub Feeney, Bill White

    Busch, Finley, Wrigley, Dalton, and White were on the 15-man contributors ballot in 2003 and 2007. Both times the first four scored about 10-15% and White almost 30%.
    Last edited by Paul Wendt; 04-19-2008, 07:59 PM. Reason: routine editing; more of same

  • #2
    None of these guys mentioned should be in the HOF. This induction of execs whose main qualification is longevity is nonsense.

    Bob Howsam? John Fetzer? Even Harry Dalton and Ewing Kauffman? Ridiculous. Kauffman is the only guy that I could even vaguely feel OK about inducting.

    These inductions of execs are going beyond cheesy. Baseball needs to find other ways to honor them besides a plaque in Cooperstown. Very few execs made the kind of contribution that merits HOF induction, period.
    "I do not care if half the league strikes. Those who do it will encounter quick retribution. All will be suspended and I don't care if it wrecks the National League for five years. This is the United States of America and one citizen has as much right to play as another. The National League will go down the line with Robinson whatever the consequences. You will find if you go through with your intention that you have been guilty of complete madness."

    NL President Ford Frick, 1947

    Comment


    • #3
      The thought of JOAN PAYSON as a HOF owner is positively silly.

      Payson was a terrible owner. The Mets were a laughingstock until the free agent draft was instigated. Even after that, they underachieved. Yes, the Miracle Mets of 1969 happened, but are we going to induct the owner of the 1914 Boston Braves with Payson?
      "I do not care if half the league strikes. Those who do it will encounter quick retribution. All will be suspended and I don't care if it wrecks the National League for five years. This is the United States of America and one citizen has as much right to play as another. The National League will go down the line with Robinson whatever the consequences. You will find if you go through with your intention that you have been guilty of complete madness."

      NL President Ford Frick, 1947

      Comment


      • #4
        I believe Jacob Ruppert should be in.
        I also would like to see Gabe Paul in. He built the championship Yankees of the 70s.
        Some Yankee fans want King George in. I think that these two should go in before him.

        Welcome back ARod. Hope you are a Yankee forever.
        Phil Rizzuto-a Yankee forever.

        Holy Cow

        Comment


        • #5
          classes of Contributors nominated 2003-2007

          Originally posted by Fuzzy Bear View Post
          The thought of JOAN PAYSON as a HOF owner is positively silly.

          Payson was a terrible owner. The Mets were a laughingstock until the free agent draft was instigated. Even after that, they underachieved. Yes, the Miracle Mets of 1969 happened, but are we going to induct the owner of the 1914 Boston Braves with Payson?
          Maybe the Paysons donate money to the museum.

          The Overviewers job was to nominate a prescribed number of contributors for 2003 and again for 2007. The number was 60; compare 200 "veteran" players. Those were big numbers on the scale of the final ballots, 15 contributors and 25-30 players.

          So the HOC shouldn't be criticized for nominating 60 but their allocation is fair game. Doug Pappas classified the sixty 2003 nominees and I have done the same with the seven 2007 nominees who were new.
          Code:
          Classification of "Contributors" nominated for 2003 or 2007 (67 total)
          
          managers and umpires
          21 --	17+4	field managers
          11 	10+1	umpires
          32
          
          executives
          19 --	18+1	club owners
          10 	 9+1	club general managers
           5 -	 5	higher baseball officials
           1	 1	labor official
          35
          
          The primary count at left covers both renditions. 
          '19	18+1'	means 19 comprising 18 for 2003 and one new nominee for 2007.
          '-'	(minus)	represents one elected for 2008
          The Historical Overview Committee still has a crucial function, perhaps more than before, but no longer for executives. At least for 1908, the executive committee handled both nominating and voting.
          Last edited by Paul Wendt; 04-20-2008, 10:58 AM.

          Comment


          • #6
            Not sure what any owner after Walter O'Malley (outside Seig) has contributed significantly to the development of the game to warrant even consideration for the Hall. Marvin Miller is the only one (post O'Malley) mentioned that did one thing out of the ordinary to warrant inclusion.

            I'll give a potential nod to:

            Chris Von der Ahe
            Charles Somers
            Garry Herrmann

            But I can't see what the others like Ruppert did outside spending money.

            Don't see how colluding with a fellow New Yorker (Frazee) and robbing Boston of players and rising to the top after the collapse of two (Boston and Chicago) of the other seven AL franchise (and failure of several of the others to legimately compete) during the 1920s gives Ruppert any particularly great resume.

            Comment


            • #7
              Howsam might get a little bump from his recent passing, but I doubt enough to get in.

              It's been a long time since I've been to the HOF. Are the executive plaques in the same room as the player plaques? Or do they have a separate section?
              The Writer's Journey

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by hairmetalfreek View Post
                Howsam might get a little bump from his recent passing, but I doubt enough to get in.

                It's been a long time since I've been to the HOF. Are the executive plaques in the same room as the player plaques? Or do they have a separate section?
                The executives are indeed part of a regular election process, and are included with the players, managers and umpires. As opposed to writers and broadcasters, who are given awards on a yearly basis and are honored in the basement. Last time I was there (2001), the gallery was organized by election year.
                Dave Bill Tom George Mark Bob Ernie Soupy Dick Alex Sparky
                Joe Gary MCA Emanuel Sonny Dave Earl Stan
                Jonathan Neil Roger Anthony Ray Thomas Art Don
                Gates Philip John Warrior Rik Casey Tony Horace
                Robin Bill Ernie JEDI

                Comment


                • #9
                  [QUOTE=Paul Wendt;1168407]Quoting from wikipedia "Baseball Hall of Fame balloting, 2008":
                  Code:
                      * Barney Dreyfuss, team owner - 10
                      * Bowie Kuhn, commissioner - 10
                      * Walter O'Malley, team owner - 9
                      * Ewing Kauffman, team owner - 5
                      * John Fetzer, team owner - 4
                      * Bob Howsam, general manager - 3
                      * Marvin Miller, labor official - 3
                      * Buzzie Bavasi, general manager - <3
                      * John McHale, general manager - <3
                      * Gabe Paul, general manager - <3
                  Among the strong showings Fetzer and Howsam fit the bill as long service, no import, as far as I know. As far as I know, Fetzer deserves kudos for renaming the ballpark Tiger Stadium instead of Fetzer Stadium in the tradition of previous owners Navin and Briggs. Thanks but no plaque.

                  Some owners, chairmen, chief execs may be the heroes of their brethren for covertly "leading the good fight" against the players. We may not know who they are, without Doug Pappas to tell us. (Jerry Reinsdorf late in the game, I understand. And David Glass of Walmart and the Royals even later, too late for a considerable resume.) A committee of 12 with 6 owners is likely to elect someone for that someday, but we may not recognize him.

                  The Historical Overview Committee previously nominated ten including Dreyfuss (of 35 contributor nominees evidently in the executives category) whose selection would be surprising because they were active almost entirely before the committee members who now do both the nominating and the voting. Two were two active mainly in the 19th century, before Dreyfuss, and seven became mlb owners and executives in the 1900s to 1920s when he owned the Pittsburgh Pirates.

                  Al Reach
                  Chris Von der Ahe
                  Barney Dreyfuss, elected for 2008 induction
                  Ben Shibe
                  Charles Somers
                  Garry Herrmann
                  John Heydler
                  Jacob Ruppert
                  Sam Breadon
                  John A.R. "Bob" Quinn

                  I would like to see them nominate Al Reach and one or two others from this list.
                  Electing Reach would be using the "baseball executive" authorization to recognize a much broader career. It isn't something that baseball executives are likely to do even if they study the history.

                  For now let me comment on two others.

                  From the Dodgers early in their time as a leading franchise the Hall of Fame has selected GMs Larry MacPhail and Branch Rickey, managers Leo Durocher and Walter Alston, and now owner O'Malley.

                  From the Yankees early in their time . . . we have GM Ed Barrow, managers Miller Huggins and Joe McCarthy. From the Cardinals early in their time . . . we have GM Branch Rickey, manager Frank Frisch. Electing Ruppert or Breadon would express the *opinion* that owners are the crucial people who build their clubs. Of course it would be specific to these two cases, a way of "righting the *wrong*" that Barrow and Rickey, mainly, have reaped too much credit for the Yankees and Cardinals. Surely the real inventor of the farm system was "the one who paid the bills" and literally purchased some of those minor clubs.
                  * I don't know that this is a common opinion even among owners who pay some attention to history. It's how I would interpret election of JR or SB.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Paul Wendt View Post
                    Among the strong showings Fetzer and Howsam fit the bill as long service, no import, as far as I know. As far as I know, Fetzer deserves kudos for renaming the ballpark Tiger Stadium instead of Fetzer Stadium in the tradition of previous owners Navin and Briggs. Thanks but no plaque.
                    Remember, what's the HOF's main exhibit building now? the FETZER - Yawkey building. Trying to buy his way in?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      NL owners in the Hall of Fame

                      Oh, yeah, Yawkey.
                      Isn't it cool that Tom Yawkey is in the Hall of Fame. Ruppert and Breadon are not, and Walter O'Malley is only going in this summer?
                      Hulbert, Comiskey, Yawkey, the owners who firmly established baseball's strongest franchises.


                      Can this be correct?
                      Hall of Fame members honored foremost for work done while they were the primary owners of ballclubs.

                      National League
                      Morgan Bulkeley, 1876-77
                      William Hulbert, 1876-82
                      Albert Spalding, successor to Hulbert
                      Barney Dreyfuss, class of 2008
                      Walter O'Malley, class of 2008

                      Whom am I missing?
                      Here it seems that Veterans Committee 2008 is breaking new ground.
                      Is there some truth in it, or do I get the award for How to Lie with Lists?
                      Last edited by Paul Wendt; 04-24-2008, 08:30 AM.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Paul Wendt View Post
                        Oh, yeah, Yawkey.
                        Isn't it cool that Tom Yawkey is in the Hall of Fame. Ruppert and Breadon are not, and Walter O'Malley is only going in this summer?
                        Hulbert, Comiskey, Yawkey, the owners who firmly established baseball's strongest franchises.


                        Can this be correct?
                        Hall of Fame members honored foremost for work done while they were the primary owners of ballclubs.
                        National League
                        Morgan Bulkeley, 1876-77
                        William Hulbert, 1876-82
                        Albert Spalding, successor to Hulbert
                        Barney Dreyfuss, class of 2008
                        Walter O'Malley, class of 2008

                        Whom am I missing?
                        Here it seems that Veterans Committee 2008 is breaking new ground.
                        Is there some truth in it, or do I get the award for How to Lie with Lists?

                        Did Bilkeley actually own a team? I always thought he was just the figurehead first NL President, with Hulbert and Spalding really running things. Including Yawkey and Comiskey you've got everyone but Clark Griffith, listed as an exec, and P.T. Barnum, er, Bill Veeck.
                        Dave Bill Tom George Mark Bob Ernie Soupy Dick Alex Sparky
                        Joe Gary MCA Emanuel Sonny Dave Earl Stan
                        Jonathan Neil Roger Anthony Ray Thomas Art Don
                        Gates Philip John Warrior Rik Casey Tony Horace
                        Robin Bill Ernie JEDI

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Bulkeley, a Connecticut politician and businessman, owned the Hartford club.
                          Last edited by Brian McKenna; 04-24-2008, 06:18 AM.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            AL club owners in the Hall of Fame

                            American League
                            Charles Comiskey, from 1900 in Chicago (important player and captain/manager)
                            Connie Mack, from 1901 in Philadelphia (minority owner, then majority; recognized chiefly as a manager/gm)
                            Clark Griffith (important player and manager, especially in 1901)
                            Tom Yawkey, 1934-
                            Bill Veeck, 1946-80

                            If this is correct, that is six who were involved in establishing their two leagues and only four others.

                            Yawkey was the first of the four, 1980.
                            "Yawkey became president of the Boston Red Sox in 1933, and was the sole owner of the team for 44 seasons, longer than anyone in baseball history." --wikipedia

                            From Veeck at wikipedia:
                            Veeck was the last owner to purchase a baseball franchise without an independent fortune, and is responsible for many significant innovations and contributions to baseball.
                            . . .
                            Finding himself no longer able to financially compete in the free agent era, Veeck sold the White Sox in January 1981. He retired to his home in St. Michaels, Maryland, where he had earlier discovered White Sox star Harold Baines while Baines was in high school there.
                            Last edited by Paul Wendt; 04-24-2008, 08:29 AM. Reason: Veeck's purchase

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Brian McKenna View Post
                              Bulkeley, a Connecticut politician and businessman, owned the Hartford club.
                              Thus, his in for the Presidency. The list of inducted owners for the sake of owning, though, pretty much doubled in one election.
                              Dave Bill Tom George Mark Bob Ernie Soupy Dick Alex Sparky
                              Joe Gary MCA Emanuel Sonny Dave Earl Stan
                              Jonathan Neil Roger Anthony Ray Thomas Art Don
                              Gates Philip John Warrior Rik Casey Tony Horace
                              Robin Bill Ernie JEDI

                              Comment

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