As the DoU Hall of Greatness voting moved into the 1970s, the first three ballots cast unexpectedly included ten players, and it quickly became apparent this 1970s ballot would yield more than one inductee. Such liberalness in the voting surprised me. In fact, I specifically added a point about possible blank ballots prior to opening this specific voting period. I voted for exactly one individual — George Scott — and legitimately thought some readers would be even more harsh.
Not only did we not receive a single blank ballot, but readers (and staff) voted three more players into the DoU Hall of Greatness. George Scott, Don Money, and Mike Caldwell all received the requisite 65% for induction.
George Scott played first base for the Milwaukee Brewers for five seasons between 1972 and 1976, earning a Gold Glove in each of those seasons, and he was named to the 1975 All-Star Team. Among first basemen across Major League Baseball, only Willie Stargell of the Pittsburgh Pirates accumulated more wins above replacement (WAR) than Scott’s +23.3 WAR in the years he played in Milwaukee. Much of his value came via his glove — which he named “black beauty” — but Scott also slugged 115 home runs with the Brewers. That powerful bat helped him earn the nickname “Boomer.” His best year came in 1975, when he led the American League in home runs (36) and runs batted in (106). He ultimately ended stint in Milwaukee with a .283/.342/.456 slash line and a 129 wRC+.
Third baseman Don Money became a household name among Brewers fans during the ’70s and early ’80s. He played 12 seasons in Milwaukee and has the fifth-highest cumulative WAR (+28.3) for position players in Brewers history. Though never a dominant player in his career, Money was a four-time All Star and posted eight double-digit home run seasons. Unlike many of the Brewers players who received votes on this ballot, his productive career is defined by his longevity, rather than a two- or three-year spurt of elite performance. Money further cemented his place in organizational history by becoming a minor-league manager with multiple Brewers’ affiliates. In 2007, he was voted Manager of the Year in the Southern League (Double-A) before accepting a promotion to Nashville. Most recently, the Brewers took Money away from the managerial ranks and named him Special Instructor of Player Development within the organization.
Mike Caldwell is the only pitcher to be inducted on this ballot. The left-hander is best remembered for his magical 1978 season, in which he posted a 2.36 ERA over 293.1 innings and finished second in the Cy Young Award voting. He also led the American League in complete games that season with 23 — including six complete-game shutouts. Caldwell followed up that incredible season with a solid 3.29 ERA over 235 innings and was once again one of the best pitchers in the American League. Such elite performance is rarely sustainable, however, and he spent his last five seasons in Milwaukee being a one- to two-win player. Caldwell rarely walked opposing hitters, finishing his Brewers career with a 1.98 BB/9 walk rate, and that stinginess helped him overcome an inability to strikeout hitters. Sorted by WAR, Caldwell is the fifth-best starting pitcher in franchise history.
Just missing the cut, Jim Slaton and Sixto Lezcano will be the top-returning candidates in next season’s voting period. Unfortunately, Larry Hisle, Charlie Moore, and Eduardo Rodriguez were unable to garner enough of the vote to remain eligible for the DoU Hall of Greatness going forward.
Here are the total voting percentages:
|Player||% of Vote|
Check back on Wednesday, as we move to the 1980s, which will surely be a very popular (and difficult) ballot for many readers. Greats such as Robin Young, Paul Molitor, and Cecil Cooper will be candidates for induction, and arguments can be made for numerous other players and baseball personnel throughout the 1980s.
See you Wednesday for more DoU Hall of Greatness action!