Jack Morris has one last shot to make the Baseball Hall of Fame next year. The former Tigers ace will be in his 15th and final year of eligibility on the ballot for the Baseball Writers' Association of America. If he does not get the 75% of votes necessary for election, his only route to Cooperstown would be through the Veterans Committee. Yet there is hope for Morris, who received 67.7% of the vote last week, despite a 2014 ballot that will expand to include probable first-ballot electees Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine, both 300-game winners, and Mike Mussina. Just ask Jim Rice. Or Ralph Kiner. Both were elected to the Hall of Fame in their final year of eligibility. So was pitcher Red Ruffing, who played 22 seasons and allowed more runs than anyone in American League history. Rice, an outfielder and designated hitter for the Red Sox in 1974-89, got 76.4% of the vote in 2009, up from 72.2% the previous year. He was an eight-time All-Star with a career average of .298 and 382 home runs. "Be patient and wait until the last out," Rice said the day he was elected. "I guess everything was just timing, because my numbers have not changed over the last 14 years." Kiner, an outfielder for the Pirates, Cubs and Indians in 1946-55, was elected in 1975 after receiving 273 votes, one more than the minimum required. At 75.4%, it was the closest vote for any player elected by the writers. He received just 1.1% of the vote his first year, which under today's rules would have gotten him dropped from the ballot (at least 5% needed to stay on).
History shows Hall of Fame not out of reach for ex-Tiger Jack Morris
Detroit Free Press | Jan 14