SAN DIEGO -- Chicago White Sox chairman Jerry Reinsdorf expressed disappointment Monday that former team greats Minnie Minoso and Billy Pierce were not granted admission into the National Baseball Hall of Fame by the Golden Era Committee of voters.
Minoso and Pierce were among 10 candidates being considered by the committee of 16 members. Also under consideration was former White Sox standout Dick Allen, who fell just one vote short of induction, as did Tony Oliva.
Each player needed 12 votes to gain a permanent spot at Cooperstown.
Reinsdorf said he has been on Hall of Fame voting committees in the past and has enjoyed the process, knowing first-hand how much work goes into the task. But that doesn’t make him understanding to the results this time.
“Having said that, I’m very disappointed Minnie and Billy didn’t get in because they clearly deserve to get in,” said Reinsdorf, who attended the announcement in downtown San Diego. “I don’t know what player out of the era of the 1950s and early ’60s would be more deserving than Minnie.
“You look at the stats and the only people that did better than Minnie did in every category are already in the Hall of Fame. But having said that, I know these people are very sincere in their voting. I know they took it very seriously.”
Reinsdorf said he was understanding to Allen’s exclusion, even though Allen was the former White Sox player that came closest to induction.
“Dick Allen had kind of a checkered career,” Reinsdorf said. “If I had been on the committee, I wouldn’t have voted for him. He only really had six really good years. I don’t think he would rise to the standard of the others, in my opinion. But when he was with the White Sox he certainly had Hall of Fame years.”
Minoso not only delivered production on the field, he was a trailblazer by becoming the first player in White Sox history to break the color barrier and the ninth in baseball history.
After retiring after the 1964 season, Minoso returned to the major leagues on two occasions: 1976 and 1980. He was far from an impact player by then, but his five combined games in those returns made him the only player to ever see action in five decades.
In an ironic twist, Reinsdorf believes the gimmick actually hurt Minoso’s standing in the game instead of helping it.
“Yes, I think definitely because now he’s being considered by people that really didn’t see him play,” Reinsdorf said. “Not everybody saw him play (at his best) and I think coming back hurt his chances.”