NEW YORK - Joe Gordon - 66 years after being named the American League's most valuable player - has been elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in voting announced yesterday.
For the likes of Tony Oliva, Jim Kaat and Ron Santo, it was another shutout.
Gordon, who died in 1978, was elected by a 12-member Veterans Committee composed of Hall members and historians who studied pre-1943 players. A nine-time all-star, the second baseman won five World Series titles with the New York Yankees and Cleveland Indians.
He got 10 votes, one more than he needed. Pitcher Allie Reynolds, traded from Cleveland to the Yankees for Gordon after the 1946 season, fell one vote short. Marcus Hook native Mickey Vernon drew five votes, Philadelphia native and former Phillies pitcher Bucky Walters four, and former Phils outfielder Sherry Magee three.
A second panel, made up of the living 64 Hall of Famers, didn't come close to picking anyone who started after World War II.
It took 75 percent - 48 votes - for election, and Santo did the best with 39. The former Cubs third baseman led Kaat (38), a former Phillies pitcher; Oliva (33); Gil Hodges (28) and Joe Torre (19). Former Phillies slugger Dick Allen was 10th out of 10 candidates on that ballot, with seven votes.
This marked the fourth straight time that nobody was chosen from the newer group.
"It's not our job to vote someone in," Hall of Fame manager Dick Williams said by phone from Las Vegas, where the results were announced at baseball's winter meetings. "It's our job to consider the candidates."
Among modern candidates, Rickey Henderson is the leading candidate in the upcoming Hall election by the Baseball Writers' Association of America. Results will be announced Jan. 12. Induction ceremonies in Cooperstown, N.Y., are July 26.
Gordon won World Series in 1938, 1939, 1941 and 1943 with the Yankees and 1948 with Cleveland, the last Indians team to take the World Series. For his career, he hit .268 with 253 home runs and 975 RBIs; he was the first AL second baseman to hit 20 homers in a season.
"To me, he was a major Hall of Famer," Indians teammate Bob Feller, 90, said by telephone. "He was an acrobat around the bag. He was all over the place in the field."