Monday, Sept. 1, 2014

BYU alum Jack Morris misses Baseball Hall of Fame

Compiled by Carter Williams, Deseret News

Published: Thu, Jan. 9 4:43 p.m. MST

 Former Minnesota Twins pitcher Jack Morris, left, and Atlanta Braves pitcher John Smoltz, right, pose for this 2007 photo. Smoltz's former teammates Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine were among the three elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame on Wednesday. Morris was not. Smoltz will be come eligible next year.

Former Minnesota Twins pitcher Jack Morris, left, and Atlanta Braves pitcher John Smoltz, right, pose for this 2007 photo. Smoltz's former teammates Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine were among the three elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame on Wednesday. Morris was not. Smoltz will be come eligible next year.

(Jim Mone, Associated Press)

Wednesday marked the last chance Jack Morris had at getting into the National Baseball Hall of Fame by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America, and for the 15th and final time, Morris fell short.

The BYU alumnus, who won 254 games in his 18-year career for the Detroit Tigers, Minnesota Twins, Toronto Blue Jays and Cleveland Indians, fell shy of the 75 percent vote requirement by 78 total votes, or 13.5 percent of the BBWAA votes.

Morris’s name has been thrown around as a possibility of reaching the Hall of Fame the past few seasons.

Though eligible voters can select up to 10 players on their respective ballot, MLB.com’s Dodgers beat writer Ken Gurnick received attention Tuesday when MLB.com released 17 of their writer’s ballots because he voted solely for Morris.

“He gets my vote for more than a decade of ace performance that included three 20-win seasons, Cy Young Award votes in seven seasons and Most Valuable Player Award votes in five,” Gurnick wrote in the MLB.com article. “As for those who played during the period of PED use, I won’t vote for any of them.”

Morris received 67.7 percent of votes in 2012 and 66.7 percent the year before that. His name first appeared on the Hall of Fame ballot in 2000, where he received 22.2 percent of the vote that year.

Once eligible, an MLB player has 15 years to reach the Hall of Fame through BBWAA voting. Morris may still be elected to the Hall of Fame, if selected by the MLB Veterans Committee.

Morris has kept mum about his last year of eligibility. However, his former teammate Alan Trammell spoke to the Associated Press about Morris’s chances.

“Going back to our era, I think he was as good as there was for that period of time,” Trammell told the Associated Press. “And I think those are the kinds of qualifications that get people into the Hall of Fame.”

Morris pitched for BYU in 1975 and 1976. He compiled a 4.89 ERA in his college career before the Tigers selected him in the fifth round of the 1976 MLB player draft. The righty appeared in 21 games over two seasons with the Cougars, finishing with 10 wins, 106 strikeouts in his collegiate career.

Pitchers Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine, and first baseman Frank Thomas all made the 2014 Hall of Fame class Wednesday. Second baseman Craig Biggio finished just two votes shy of reaching the Hall of Fame.

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1. NevadaCoug
Overton, NV,
Jan. 8, 2014

As well he should not have been. Jack Morris was a good pitcher, but he does not belong in the Hall of Fame. Not with a 3.90 career ERA.

2. WSUfan
Farmington, UT,
Jan. 8, 2014

Specialty pitching lowers ERAs, limits innings, a pitcher's ability to finish games, and ability to both win and lose games late. No pitcher in the future is getting accepted in Hall, if the old standards continue to be held. Morris was a warhorse. He averaged 242 innings a year for his career. He threw 175 complete games! Averaged 11 complete games a year with a high of 20. Max Scherzer, the 2014 AL Cy Young, had exactly zero complete games this year, Kershaw had 3. He dominated the AL in 80's. He is #44 on the list of wins at 254 (only two current pitchers have barely more than 200 -- Sabathia and Hudson). 200 wins is going to be the high water mark for pitchers soon. Finally, his seventh game 10-inning 1-0 complete game win for the Twins over the Braves in 1991 is considered by many (count me among them) as the greatest pitched World Series game of all time. He’s was ‘give me the ball and don’t take it from me’ old school. Veteran’s committee (the guys who played the game) will put him in at their first chance.

3. Common-Tator
Saint Paul, MN,
Jan. 9, 2014

Definitely agree with WSUfan's assessment. While one game does not a Hall of Famer make, that game 7 was the best WS pitching performance I have ever seen, with the possible exception of Koufax's '65 game 7 against the Twins with only a couple days' rest. Regardless, Morris' body of work, and "old school" approach are beyond compare. I'd take him to build an all-star team (career work, and "when they were young") any day.

4. DodgerDoug
Salem, UT,
Jan. 9, 2014

It is a shame Jack Morris is not in the HOF. He was THE dominant pitcher of his era and he rose even more to the occasion when he was in the World Series! Those who only look at his ERA and not the whole package have never watched Jack Morris pitch. Jack will be a HOF'er when he is eligible for the expansion era committee ballot.

5. Mike in Sandy
Sandy, UT,
Jan. 9, 2014

That's because he isn't near good enough.