The Cubs and White Sox are well-represented on the laest ballot for National Baseball Hall of Fame consideration.
Harold Baines, Lou Piniella, Albert Belle, Lee Smith and Joe Carter are among the 10 candidates who will be considered by the Today’s Game Era Committee to be elected to the Hall of Fame Class of 2019, the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum announced Monday. The other six contenders are Will Clark, Orel Hershiser, Davey Johnson, Charlie Manuel and George Steinbrenner.
Baines, whom the White Sox drafted first overall in the 1977 MLB Amateur June Draft, served three stints on the South Side, starting and ending his career in a White Sox uniform.
The six-time All-Star is one of only 33 players to drive in at least 1,628 runs throughout their careers.
Although Piniella helped the Yankees win the World Series in 1977, the former Cubs skipper is one of the three candidates up for election as a manager. During his 23-season managerial career, Piniella won 1,835 games — good for 16th on the all-time list. He last served as the manager of the Cubs and was replaced 51 games into the 2010 season with Mike Quade.
While Belle’s career abruptly ended in 2000 due to a hip injury, what he accomplished over 12 seasons shouldn’t be overlooked. The five-time All-Star and five-time Silver Slugger award winner was the first player ever to post 50 doubles and 50 home runs in one season (1995). Belle also played two seasons with the White Sox, hitting .301 with 79 home runs and 268 RBIs in 324 games.
The Cubs drafted Smith second overall in 1975. Smith, a seven-time All-Star, played the first eight of his 18 major-league seasons on the North Side. During that time, he went 40-51 with a 2.92 ERA.
Carter was drafted second overall of the 1981 MLB Amateur June Draft by the Cubs. He made his major-league debut two years later in 1983.
Carter’s success didn’t come until after his rookie season with the Cubs in which he hit .176 with only one RBI in 23 games. After his lone season on the North Side, Carter went on to become a five-time All Star and two-time Silver Slugger award winner. In 10 of his 15 seasons he played for the Indians, Padres, Blue Jays, Orioles and Giants, Carter drove in at least 100 runs.
The committee will review and vote on the candidates at the Winter Meetings in Las Vegas on Dec. 9. Each candidate whose ballot receives at least 75 percent of the votes casted will automatically earn an election to the Hall of Fame and will be inducted in Cooperstown on July 21.