Dodger Thoughts

Jon Weisman's outlet for dealing psychologically with the Los Angeles Dodgers, baseball and life

Hodges, Wills, Allen denied Hall of Fame — but they’re not alone

Al Campanis and Walter Alston introduce Dick Allen as a Dodger before the 1971 season.

Al Campanis and Walter Alston introduce Dick Allen as a Dodger before the 1971 season.

By Jon Weisman

Given how difficult it is for former players to reach the Hall of Fame via the Veterans Committee, it’s not really a surprise that Dodger greats Gil Hodges and Maury Wills fell short of election today. In fact, none of the 10 candidates made it in.

Another former Dodger, though one less identified with the uniform — Dick Allen — came closest to election, joining Tony Oliva in finishing exactly one vote short.  Allen had a .395 on-base percentage and .468 slugging percentage with 23 home runs in 1971 (all team highs), his only season with the Dodgers. Allen had been acquired by the Dodgers after the 1970 season for former National League Rookie of the Year Ted Sizemore and young catcher Bob Stinson, then was traded to the White Sox in December 1971 at age 29 for infielder Steve Huntz and … Tommy John. John had a 2.89 ERA for the Dodgers in 1972, while Allen won the American League Most Valuable Player Award (.420 OBP, .603 slugging, 37 homers, 113 RBI).

I am a little surprised that Wills outpolled Hodges in this weekend’s vote, and by such a significant margin. Wills received nine votes from the 16-person committee (12 were needed for election), while Hodges was relegated to the “fewer than three” ranks. Without diminishing Wills, I would have thought Hodges’ success as both a player and manager (in the vein of Joe Torre), along with how close he came to election from the Baseball Writers Association of America, would have flipped that result.

“It was a very, very difficult decision for each and every member of the committee in this process,” Hall of Fame executive Pat Gillick, a member of the committee, said on “I think there were very, very healthy conversations on each candidate — the pros and and cons – and most of the conversation yesterday was on the very, very positive of these candidates. It’s just unfortunate that one or two didn’t get in. I am disappointed, but again it points out how very, very difficult it is to earn a plaque in Cooperstown.”



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  1. paulgarzajr

    I am sorry but I have trouble with respect for the committee members who did not vote for Wills. Wills deserves the Hall of Fame and it is a travesty, especially when you contrast him with the shortstops in the Hall, that he was not elected long ago. Too many baseball ‘purists’ stuck in their statistical calculations who unable to appreciate the dominance of the Mighty Mouse. Wills was the offense dynamism behind three world championships, four pennants and a couple of near misses in 1961 and 1962 His era was as great as the ‘Boys of Summer’.. We was also an incredible defensive shortstop who made Koufax, Drysdale and Osteen more successful pitchers.

  2. I’m so disappointed in The HOF Group on the Golden committee. I mean I knew it was going to be tough for some of those guys, but to not vote in one is criminal. Wills was the first guy to steal 100 bases in a season, but not to let Richie Allen in Is shocking. I remember that first time I saw Richie Allen hit a Home run at Dodger stadium , a laser shot out of Dodger Stadium over the UNion Oil 76 sign in Left field Pavillion, Wow that guy was strong. I had a Rawlings Glove with Richie Allen signature growing up in the early 60s when he was a Philly player IMO, They need to step up the amount of enrollee per year. its getting too big of a backlog.

  3. ….It has been some time since I had faith in the baseball HOF. Not sure what their problem is. Perhaps a lack of intelligence…

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