George Steinbrenner, Lou Piniella headline 'Today's Game' Hall of Fame ballot

Yahoo Sports
The Baseball Hall of Fame’s “Today’s Game” era ballot features ten names, including former <a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="/mlb/teams/nyy" data-ylk="slk:Yankees">Yankees</a> owner George Steinbrenner. (AP Photo/Chris O’Meara, File)
The Baseball Hall of Fame’s “Today’s Game” era ballot features ten names, including former Yankees owner George Steinbrenner. (AP Photo/Chris O’Meara, File)

The MLB offseason isn’t just hot stove season, it’s also Hall of Fame season. And while the main ballot is yet to be announced, the Baseball Hall of Fame released its 10-name “Today’s Game” era ballot on Monday, and it should give everyone plenty to talk about.

The committee that will vote on the ballot is called the Eras Committee, and it’s is essentially the renamed Veterans Committee. To properly examine and enshrine players over the long history of baseball, the Eras Committee now rotates between four baseball eras: early baseball (before 1950), golden days (1950-1969), modern baseball (1970-1987), and today’s game (1988-present). The committee considers players who are no longer eligible to be elected to the Hall in the traditional way, as well as managers, umpires, and executives.

Let’s get to the names:

  • Harold Baines, designated hitter and right fielder

  • Albert Belle, left fielder

  • Joe Carter, outfielder and first baseman

  • Will Clark, first baseman

  • Orel Hershiser, pitcher

  • Davey Johnson, manager

  • Charlie Manuel, manager

  • Lou Piniella, manager

  • Lee Smith, relief pitcher

  • George Steinbrenner, executive

The committee is considering six players, three managers, and one executive. For managers and executives, the Eras Committee is the only chance for them to get into the Hall of Fame, and they’re the cream of the crop. As owner of the New York Yankees, Steinbrenner’s impact on baseball, as well as his reputation, was immense. Johnson, Manuel, and Piniella all won World Series rings as managers, and are respected throughout the game.

The players who end up on these ballots are of a different sort, especially players from the last 30 years. They were not elected to the Hall of Fame in their time, but are now getting another chance. Belle, Clark, and Hershiser had short but brilliant peaks. Baines and Carter put up career numbers that are attractive to traditionalists. Smith retired as the all-time saves leader, and is still third on that list.

The members of the Eras Committee have some tough decisions to make before they vote on the ballot at the winter meetings in early December. The results will be announced in early 2019.

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Liz Roscher is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email her at lizroscher@yahoo.com or follow her on Twitter at @lizroscher.

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