Danny Ozark: Ex Phillies, Giants manager on 10 men who must be in Baseball Hall of Fame

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This column first was published in the Indian River Press Journal and distributed by the Scripps Howard News Service July 27, 1999. Danny Ozark died May 7, 2009, at age 75 in Vero Beach, Florida.

On Sunday, the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y., inducted Nolan Ryan, George Brett and Robin Yount. But there are plenty of players who some think should be in the Hall but for whatever reasons are not.

Danny Ozark, now 75 and living in Vero Beach, spent 45 years in baseball, including more than 19 as a major league coach and manager with the Los Angeles Dodgers, Philadelphia Phillies and San Francisco Giants before retiring in 1986.

He played against and managed some of the greats of the game. Here, he lists (in no particular order) 10 people he thinks should be in the Baseball Hall of Fame but aren't:

A portrait of Danny Ozark as the Philadelphia Phillies manager is shown at his funeral  in Vero Beach, Florida, May 13, 2009.
A portrait of Danny Ozark as the Philadelphia Phillies manager is shown at his funeral in Vero Beach, Florida, May 13, 2009.

1) Carlton Fisk, right-handed hitting catcher. 1969-93. Batted .269 in 2,499 games with 376 home runs, 128 stolen bases and 1,330 RBIs. Says Ozark: "Durable receiver; a good base stealer; played the games with good focus; strong arm; good percentage throwing runners out trying to steal bases; great pride and credit to baseball."

2) Bert Blyleven, right-handed pitcher. 1970-92. 692 games; 287 wins, 250 losses; 3.31 ERA; 3,701 strikeouts and 1,322 walks in 4,970 innings and 242 complete games. "With the number of wins plus the complete games he should be in the Hall of Fame without question. A credit to the game of baseball. He was in two World Series with two wins."

3) Tommy John, left-handed pitcher. 1963-89. 288 wins, 231 losses; 3.34 ERA; 2,245 strikeouts and 1,259 walks in 4,710 innings: "Number of wins and ERA should put him in Hall of Fame. Great competitor. After his operation on his left arm, he became a control pitcher with a very good sinking fastball. Gave up much of his time to children regardless of the sport they played. Reconstruction of his arm saved his career."

4) Jim Kaat, left-handed pitcher. 1959-83. 283 wins, 237 losses; 18 saves; 3.45 ERA, 2,461 strikeouts and 1,083 walks in 4,530 innings:

"Very competitive; fast-working pitcher; excellent fielder with 16 gold gloves; very good bunter; stole bases; hit 16 home runs. Did very well near the end of his career as a relief pitcher. Never refused to take the ball and pitch."

5) Larry Bowa, switch-hitting shortstop. 1970-85. Batted .260 with 2,191 hits, 318 stolen bases, 987 runs and 99 triples in 2,247 games. Made 211 errors. Won two gold gloves: "Outstanding defensive shortstop. He made 52 fewer errors than Phil Rizzuto who played three fewer years. Batting average is about the same. Very deserving to get in the Hall of Fame.

6) Pete Rose, switch hitter who played almost everywhere and managed. 1963-86. Holds Major League record with 4,256 career hits. Batted .303 with 2,165 runs, 1,314 RBIs, 746 doubles: "Played the game with energy and fun. Leader in base hits, which no one will pass. Ran to first on a base on balls. Never saw him walk to his position in the field. Loved to play the game. He did not have good talent but made himself an outstanding offensive player. Wherever he played he gave 100 percent of his abilities. Forget the past; forgive and forget. He has paid his dues."

7) Gil Hodges, right-handed hitting first-baseman who also managed. 1943-63. Batted .273 with 370 home runs and 1,274 RBIs: "One of the finest first-basemen in baseball, and being right-handed was no disadvantage. Overlooked by many because of (Roy) Campanella, (Duke) Snider, (Pee Wee) Reese, etc. Became a good manager with the Washington Senators and New York Mets, winning World Series in 1969."

8) Dick Williams, as a manager (he also played 1951-64) 1967-69, 71-88. Won 1,571 games, lost 1,451 for percentage of .520.Won 21 games in league championships and the World Series, lost 23. Won the World Series in 1972 and 1973 with the Oakland A's. "He got the most out of his players. A credit to the game.

Text: 2000.0723.10.1--HALL OF FAME--nikon digital image--From left, Tony Perez, Carlton Fisk and Sparky Anderson hold up their Hall of fame plaques at the Baseball Hall of Fame iduction ceremony in Cooperstown, NY Sunday. Photo by Craig Ruttle/Cincinnati Enquirer
Text: 2000.0723.10.1--HALL OF FAME--nikon digital image--From left, Tony Perez, Carlton Fisk and Sparky Anderson hold up their Hall of fame plaques at the Baseball Hall of Fame iduction ceremony in Cooperstown, NY Sunday. Photo by Craig Ruttle/Cincinnati Enquirer

9) Sparky Anderson, as a manager (he played one season in 1959) 1970-95. Had .545 winning percentage, with 2,194 wins and 1,834 losses. Won 34 games in league championship and World Series play, lost 21. Won World Series in 1975 and 1976 with Cincinnati Reds and 1984 with Detroit Tigers: "His wins and losses speak for themselves. Well respected by all. Let's not wait until it's too late."

10) Gary Carter, right-handed hitting catcher. Also played first base and outfield. 1974-92. Batted .262 with 324 home runs, 1,225 RBI and 2,092 hits. "Played the game having a fun time."

Contact Reisman via email: larry.reisman@tcpalm.com

This article originally appeared on Treasure Coast Newspapers: Danny Ozark's top 10 list of who's missing from Baseball Hall of Fame