NASHVILLE — Davey Johnson, the manager of the iconic ’86 champion Mets, got eighty-sixed by the Hall of Fame on Sunday night for the second time in five years.
Only Jim Leyland made the cut, receiving 15 votes (93.8%) from the 16-member Contemporary Baseball Era committee, a group assembled to consider eight candidates based on their accomplishments as managers, executives or umpires.
Leyland, 78, managed 22 seasons in the majors, winning six division titles, three pennants and the 1997 World Series with the Marlins. His 1,769 wins rank second in MLB history among managers who never played in the big leagues, trailing only Hall of Famer Joe McCarthy.
Lou Piniella, 80, won two World Series rings playing for the Yankees, managed the Reds to the 1990 title, led the 2001 Mariners to an American League-record 116 victories and earned three Manager of the Year awards but again fell one vote short of the 12 required for Hall of Fame induction (75% is the threshold).
Piniella also got to a dozen in 2019 on the Today’s Game ballot, the same year that Lee Smith was a unanimous pick and Harold Baines received 75%, a controversial election that created some blowback for Cooperstown.
“I would like to thank the Baseball Hall of Fame for considering me for this prestigious honor,” Piniella said in a statement to the Tampa Bay Times. “Although I did not get inducted this year, I am very proud of my 40-plus years of MLB service and have accomplished more than I could ever have dreamed of.
“For those who did not know, I have been battling cancer for the past few years and recently received some positive news.
“Although I did not make the Hall of Fame, I am so grateful to God for everything He has blessed me with, and I will be celebrating with my family and friends. Thank you again for considering me and God bless.”
Bill White, a five-time All-Star who became a broadcasting pioneer and president of the National League, jumped up to 11 votes (68.8%) after getting fewer than three from his last appearance on the 2010 Veterans Committee ballot. Johnson, former Blue Jays manager Cito Gaston, front-office architect Hank Peters and umpires Ed Montague and Joe West each received fewer than five votes.
Johnson twice won Manager of the Year honors during his 17 years in that position for the Mets, Reds, Dodgers and Nationals and never finished worse than second during his 14 full seasons. He led six division champs and also guided the Nationals to their first-ever playoff appearance in 2012.
The Contemporary Baseball Era ballot was voted on by a special 16-member committee that operates separately from the annual election conducted by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America every December (with the results to be announced on Jan. 23). This year’s Contemporary Baseball Era committee was composed of Hall of Fame members Jeff Bagwell, Tom Glavine, Chipper Jones, Ted Simmons, Jim Thome, Joe Torre and Bud Selig; MLB executives Sandy Alderson, Bill DeWitt, Michael Hill, Ken Kendrick, Andy MacPhail and Phyllis Merhige, and media members/historians Sean Forman, Jack O’Connell and Jesus Ortiz.