New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner missed out on election to the Baseball Hall of Fame in Expansion Era committee balloting announced Monday morning. The Expansion Era committee is a newly-formed group of 16 members.
"Some people thought it was too early (for Steinbrenner to be elected),'' Johnny Bench said. "I believe he certainly will be (elected at some point).''
Bench, a Hall of Fame catcher, was one of the committee members. Others were Hall of Famers Whitey Herzog, Eddie Murray, Jim Palmer, Tony Perez, Frank Robinson, Ryne Sandberg and Ozzie Smith; major league executives Bill Giles (Phillies), David Glass (Royals), Andy MacPhail (Orioles) and Jerry Reinsdorf (White Sox); and media members Bob Elliott (Toronto Sun), Tim Kurkjian (ESPN), Ross Newhan (retired, Los Angeles Times) and Tom Verducci (Sports Illustrated).
Twelve votes, of 75 percent, were needed to gain election to the Hall from the 16-member committee. Here is how the voting broke down.
Personally, I believe Steinbrenner eventually deserves to be enshrined. The Yankee franchise was at a low point when he purchased the team in 1973. Even if you hate Steinbrenner you have to credit him with being the biggest reason for the team's return to the prominent -- and hated in many quarters -- status that the Yankees had enjoyed before falling on hard times in the late 1960s and early '70s. The Yankees won 11 pennants and seven World Series between the time The Boss bought the team in 1973 and his death in July.