Previewing the Hall of Fame's 2022 Golden Days era ballot

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On Sunday, the National Baseball Hall of Fame will announce results from its 2022 Era Committee elections. This year, ballots for the Early Baseball (for candidates whose primary contributions came before 1950) and Golden Days (1950-69) eras are considering players, managers, executives, pioneers, and umpires for election as part of the class of 2022.

The 16-person Golden Days committee is considering nine players and one manager this year. Here's a rundown of the candidates, along with our hypothetical ballot. You can read up on the Early Baseball candidates here.

Note: All WAR figures are Baseball Reference's version.

Dick Allen

Focus On Sport / Focus on Sport / Getty

Position: 1B/3B/LF
Years: 1963-1977
Teams: Philadelphia Phillies, St. Louis Cardinals, Los Angeles Dodgers, Chicago White Sox, Oakland Athletics
JAWS: 52.3 (17th at 3B)
WAR: 58.7
Last committee appearance: 2015 (11 of 16 votes)

1749 .292/.378/.534 1848 351 1119 156

One of the most dominant offensive players of his time, Allen won the 1972 AL MVP, 1964 NL Rookie of the Year, and made seven All-Star teams. He also led his league in homers twice, OPS four times, and had an OBP above .370 in 10 of his 15 seasons. Poor defense and a shorter career hurt him a bit in some aspects, but he clearly met Hall of Fame standards at the plate. Allen's 155 wRC+ ranks 13th among live-ball era hitters, according to FanGraphs, and only three players ahead of him on that list aren't in Cooperstown.

Ken Boyer

Louis Requena / Major League Baseball / Getty

Position: 3B
Years: 1955-1969
Teams: St. Louis Cardinals, New York Mets, Chicago White Sox, Los Angeles Dodgers
JAWS: 54.5 (14th at 3B)
WAR: 62.8
Last committee appearance: 2015 (less than three votes)

2034 .287/.349/.462 2143 282 1141 105 116

During his prime, Boyer was a rock at third base for the Cardinals. He was a five-time Gold Glove winner while averaging 24 homers and 93 RBIs over his first decade in the majors, a run that culminated in winning both the World Series and NL MVP in 1964. Back injuries after that season led to a steep decline, and he finished out as a below-average part-time player. Third base is the most underrepresented position in the Hall of Fame, and Boyer - who's only slightly below the positional average by JAWS - is among the position's best still left on the outside.

Gil Hodges

Hy Peskin / Sports Illustrated / Getty

Position: 1B/Manager
Years: 1943, 1947-1963 (Player); 1963-1971 (Manager)
Teams: Brooklyn/Los Angeles Dodgers, New York Mets (Player); Washington Senators, Mets (Manager)
JAWS: 38.8 (40th at 1B)
WAR: 43.9
Last committee appearance: 2015 (less than three votes)

2071 .273/.359/.487 1921 370 1274 120

Hodges was one of the most respected and beloved baseball men of his era, and a linchpin of the great "Boys of Summer" Brooklyn Dodgers. He surpassed 40 homers twice, had seven straight 100-RBI seasons, and was in the top 10 in extra-base hits seven times. He was also a great defender, winning three Gold Gloves and tallying 53 total zone runs, the second-most among first basemen of his era. Hodges then became an iconic manager by guiding the 1969 "Miracle Mets" to an improbable World Series title, three years before his sudden death at age 47. Hodges is the only player to receive more than 60% of the BBWAA vote without later being elected by a committee, but his overall body of work is being considered on this ballot.

Jim Kaat

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Position: LHP
Years: 1959-1983
Teams: Washington Senators/Minnesota Twins, Chicago White Sox, Philadelphia Phillies, New York Yankees, St. Louis Cardinals
JAWS: 44.3 (112th at SP)
WAR: 50.5
Last committee appearance: 2015 (10 of 16 votes)

898 283-237 3.45 2461 1.26

Kaat was as consistent as they come during his 25-year career on the mound. From 1961-75, he averaged 16 wins and 239 innings per year and posted double-digit win totals in 15 consecutive seasons. He's also one of the greatest defensive pitchers ever, winning 16 Gold Gloves. Kaat is known today for his broadcasting, and much like his on-air reputation, his Hall of Fame resume is rather traditional. Kaat's case rests largely on his 283 wins and overall longevity, not to be confused with productivity. The other numbers, both traditional and advanced, show a consistent pitcher whose prolonged coda dragged some of his overall totals down.

Roger Maris

Tony Triolo / Sports Illustrated / Getty

Position: RF
Years: 1957-1968
Teams: Cleveland Indians, Kansas City Athletics, New York Yankees, St. Louis Cardinals
JAWS: 35.3 (59th at RF)
WAR: 38.3
Last committee appearance: 2007 (15 of 82 votes)

1463 .260/.345/.476 1325 275 850 127

Maris is, of course, best known for breaking Babe Ruth's single-season home run mark in 1961. That was his second of two straight AL MVP campaigns for the Yankees, where he teamed with Mickey Mantle to form a powerful duo during the waning days of their dynasty. Maris was also a four-time All-Star and excellent defender in right field, winning a Gold Glove in 1960. He played in seven World Series - five with New York and two with the Cardinals - and won five titles before injuries forced him into retirement at age 33. Maris' No. 9 is retired by the Yankees, but his Hall of Fame case is thin. The only seasons in which he was worth more than 4.0 WAR were his two MVP campaigns. Maris was a good player who had a pair of spectacular seasons, one of them historic, and his place in baseball lore is secure forever. But that's not enough for a plaque.

Minnie Minoso

Ron Vesely / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Position: LF
Years: 1946-1964 (with cameos in 1976 and 1980)
Teams: New York Cubans, Cleveland Indians, Chicago White Sox, St. Louis Cardinals, Washington Senators
JAWS: 46.7 (18th at LF)
WAR: 53.8
Last committee appearance: 2015 (8 of 16 votes)

1946 .299/.387/.461 2110 195 1093 216 130

Hall of Famer Orlando Cepeda called Minoso "the Jackie Robinson of Latino players." Baseball's first Latin superstar, the seemingly ageless Minoso debuted in the Negro Leagues one year before Robinson broke the color line. He became the majors' first Black Cuban player in 1949 and then the first Black player on the White Sox in 1951. "The Cuban Comet" was a dynamic left fielder with a powerful arm who sparked the White Sox to contender status in the 1950s and was continuously among AL leaders in many offensive categories. Who knows what his numbers would look like had he not lost his early seasons to the color line and some later years to injury. Minoso is arguably the Hall's most glaring omission from both a statistical and historical standpoint.

Danny Murtaugh

Heinz Kluetmeier / Sports Illustrated / Getty

Position: Manager
Years: 1957-1964, 1967, 1970-1971, 1973-1976
Teams: Pittsburgh Pirates
Last committee appearance: 2010 (8 of 16 votes)

Beloved in Pittsburgh, Murtaugh compiled a .540 winning percentage over his 15 years managing the Pirates despite battling health issues that forced him to take several temporary leaves. He guided the Bucs to five 90-win seasons, nine winning records, five postseason berths (including a franchise-record four division titles), and two World Series titles. Murtaugh is one of just 12 big-league skippers who won at least 1,000 games while also losing fewer than 1,000. His teams spent 165 games above .500 - a mark that's better than several Hall of Fame managers, including Tommy Lasorda. He also made history in 1971 by fielding the majors' first all-Black or minority starting lineup. Two months after retiring for good in 1976, Murtaugh died at age 59.

Tony Oliva

Focus On Sport / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Position: RF/DH
Years: 1962-1976
Teams: Minnesota Twins
JAWS: 40.8 (34th at RF)
WAR: 43.0
Last committee appearance: 2015 (11 of 16 votes)

1676 .304/.353/.476 1917 220 947 131

Oliva was among the best in the business during his prime, with several bolded statistics on his Baseball Reference page to back that up. From 1964-71, he won three batting titles - including in his incredible rookie campaign - led his league in hits five times, and was an eight-time All-Star while averaging 199 hits and 24 homers per 162 games. Unfortunately, a knee injury in 1971 derailed Oliva's career at its peak, forcing him to finish out as a barely average DH and miss out on 2,000 career hits. That last number hurts because no expansion-era player with fewer than 2,000 hits has been elected to the Hall. But Oliva's prime was so strong that his seven-year peak WAR is higher than several Hall of Fame right fielders, including Dave Winfield. Though he may be a flawed candidate, it's easy to see why Oliva's still in this conversation.

Billy Pierce

Hy Peskin Archive / Archive Photos / Getty

Position: LHP
Years: 1945, 1948-1964
Teams: Detroit Tigers, Chicago White Sox, San Francisco Giants
JAWS: 45.6 (102nd at SP)
WAR: 53.4
Last committee appearance: 2015 (less than four votes)

585 211-169 3.27 1999 1.26

Pierce was the undersized ace of some excellent White Sox teams in the 1950s and still ranks among the franchise leaders in many categories. A seven-time All-Star, his best individual season came in 1955, when he led the majors with a 1.97 ERA one year before the Cy Young Award was created. He was a versatile southpaw who was also used regularly in relief, tallying 33 regular-season saves. Pierce's 119 ERA+ is tied for ninth among left-handers in his era (1947-68, minimum 1,000 innings). That's well behind Whitey Ford, his Hall of Fame rival and frequent mound opponent during the 1950s. Pierce's credentials are intriguing, but he's not even the best member from those White Sox teams up for election.

Maury Wills

Focus On Sport / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Position: SS
Years: 1959-1972
Teams: Los Angeles Dodgers, Pittsburgh Pirates, Montreal Expos
JAWS: 34.6 (48th at SS)
WAR: 39.6
Last committee appearance: 2015 (9 of 16 votes)

1942 .281/.330/.331 2134 20 458 586 88

Wills, who now ranks 20th all-time in stolen bases, won the 1962 NL MVP thanks to his then-record 104 steals for the Dodgers. He stole over 40 bases six times, got to 90 twice, and led his league in six straight seasons, all while helping the Dodgers win three World Series and four pennants before 1966. The steals helped make up for his offense, which was below average even by the standards of his era. Wills did get to 2,000 hits, but his OPS+ is just one point better than Ozzie Smith and equals that of Andrelton Simmons, Zack Cozart, and Jose Iglesias. Despite winning two Gold Gloves, his defense was average and doesn't help make up for his weak bat. But Wills helped revive the stolen base, and some may count that in his favor.

Our votes: Like on the Early Baseball ballot, this slate offers several opportunities for the Hall to fix some glaring omissions - most notably for Allen and Minoso, who were unfortunately denied their rightful plaques before their recent deaths. Boyer is another overdue candidate whose time should finally come. Our last vote goes to Murtaugh in a narrow choice over Oliva, the most difficult omission.

Previewing the Hall of Fame's 2022 Golden Days era ballot
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