Gil Hodges and Maury Wills will get another shot at making the National Baseball Hall of Fame, two of 10 folks on the Golden Days Era committee ballot for induction to Cooperstown in 2022.
A pair of 16-member committees will vote for induction on December 5. In addition to the Golden Days Era committee — which honors those who primarily played from 1950-69 — there is also an Early Baseball Era ballot that includes 10 candidates, seven of which played in the Negro Leagues or pre-Negro Leagues.
Hodges is second in Dodgers history in both home runs (361) and RBI (1,254), and ranks third in total bases (3,357), part of an 18-year career that saw the first baseman hit .273/.359/.487, a 120 OPS+.
Wills is the Dodgers’ all-time stolen base leader (490), leading the league in steals for six straight seasons (1960-65), including an MLB-record 104 swipes in his MVP season of 1962. The switch-hitting shortstop hit .281/.330/.331, an 88 OPS+ in 14 seasons, ranking 20th all-time with 586 steals.
Both Hodges and Wills spent a full 15 years on the BBWAA Hall of Fame ballot. Hodges got up to 50 percent by his third year on the ballot (1971), and reached 60.1 percent in his eighth year (1976), but maxed out at 63.4 percent in 1983, his final year under consideration, falling well short of the 75-percent induction requirement. Wills peaked at 40.6 percent in 1981, his fourth year on the ballot, but never cracked 30 percent in his final 11 years on the ballot.
Seventy-five percent is still the requirement for induction under what used to be the Veterans Committee, now split off into different eras. But this is a smaller group of electors, with 16 voters deciding things at the winter meetings. Results from both committees will be announced on MLB Network on December 5.
Others on the Golden Days Era ballot are Dick Allen, Ken Boyer, Jim Kaat, Roger Maris, Minnie Miñoso, Danny Murtaugh, Tony Oliva, and Billy Pierce. Allen (1971) and Boyer (1968-69) briefly played for the Dodgers. The Hall of Fame has more on all the candidates on both ballots.
Both Hodges and Wills have been on Veterans Committee ballots in some form or another for decades. Most recently, Hodges came closest on the 2011 Golden Days Era ballot, receiving nine of 16 votes, three days shy of induction. On the 2014 ballot, Hodges received less than three votes while Wills got nine votes, behind Allen (11), Oliva (11), and Kaat (10).
On the Golden Days Era ballot, only Wills, Oliva, and Kaat are still alive.
Hodges and his former Dodgers teammate Carl Erskine were inducted to the New York State Baseball Hall of Fame in August.
“It is the recognition of a man from Indiana who became so loved in New York during his playing days with Brooklyn and the Mets, and then as manager of the Mets,” Gil Hodges Jr. told Steve Dittmore at the time. “We are getting much closer [to Cooperstown] geographically.”