Maris, Reynolds not among 6 HOF selections

December 6th, 2021

and , a pair of history-making contributors to separate Yankees championship squads, landed on the outside looking in as the Eras Committee welcomed six new members to the National Baseball Hall of Fame on Sunday.

Gil Hodges, Jim Kaat, Minnie Miñoso and Tony Oliva were elected by the Golden Days Era Committee (1950-69), while Bud Fowler and Buck O’Neil were chosen by the Early Baseball Era Committee (pre-1950), as announced on MLB Network. Kaat pitched briefly for the Yankees in 1979 and ’80, then won seven Emmy Awards in the Yankees broadcast booth for MSG Network and the YES Network.

Maris received three or fewer votes from the 16-member committee appointed by the Hall of Fame to review a 10-candidate Golden Era ballot. A two-time Most Valuable Player (1960, ’61) and seven-time All-Star, Maris starred from 1957-68 with the Indians, Athletics, Yankees and Cardinals.

A Gold Glove recipient in 1960, Maris’ career is best remembered for hitting 61 home runs in 1961, shattering a single-season home run record previously held by Babe Ruth. Maris’ pursuit enthralled a generation as he and teammate Mickey Mantle -- “The M&M Boys” -- spent a summer aiming for what was then considered to be an unbreakable mark.

While fans largely celebrated Mantle, Maris received hate mail and threats from fans who thought he was unworthy of the Great Bambino’s record. The introverted outfielder dealt with such stress that his hair began to fall out. Controversy also stemmed from a newly expanded 162-game regular season, eight games longer than the schedule played in 1927 when Ruth hit 60.

Maris’ two MVP seasons were part of a six-year stretch (1959-64) in which he produced 198 home runs, 549 RBIs and an .890 OPS (142 OPS+) over 807 games.

He played his final Major League game at age 34, retiring with a career .260/.345/.476 slash line. Over 1,463 games, Maris logged 195 doubles, 42 triples, 275 home runs and 850 RBIs. In 15 years on the Baseball Writers' Association of America ballot, Maris peaked at 43.1% of the vote in 1988, his 15th and final year of BBWAA eligibility.

Reynolds, a standout hurler for the Indians and Yankees from 1942-54, received six votes from the 16-member electorate charged with reviewing the Early Baseball Era ballot. Twelve votes were necessary for induction.

Known as “Superchief,” Reynolds was the Yankees’ best pitcher of the late 1940s and early 1950s. Over his career, Reynolds posted a 182-107 record and 3.30 ERA in 434 career games (309 starts), logging 2,492 1/3 innings, 137 complete games and 36 shutouts.

Acquired by the Yankees in October 1946, Reynolds flourished in New York, as he was a five-time All-Star and a six-time World Series champion over his eight seasons with the Yanks. His best showings came in the 1949 and '50 Fall Classics.

Reynolds pitched a two-hit shutout in Game 1 of the 1949 World Series against the Brooklyn Dodgers in a 1-0 Yankees win. He then returned in Game 4 to pitch 3 1/3 perfect innings of relief to record the save before New York went on to win the Series in Game 5.

In 1950, the Yankees swept the Phillies in four games. Reynolds pitched 10 dominant innings of one-run ball in Game 2, lifting New York to a 2-1 victory. Then, he came back to close out Game 4, striking out Stan Lopata to record the save and secure the Yanks' 13th World Series title in franchise history.

Reynolds also became the first pitcher in AL history to toss two no-hitters in the same season in 1951. With the Yankees, Reynolds went 131-60 with a 3.30 ERA in 295 regular-season games (209 starts), going 7-2 with a 2.79 ERA in 15 postseason games (nine starts).

His strongest showing on the BBWAA ballot was in 1968, when he received 33.6 percent of the vote. Reynolds was honored with a plaque in Yankee Stadium's Monument Park in '89.