Former Mariners general manager Pat Gillick was voted into the Baseball Hall of Fame by the Expansion Era committee.
While Seattle fans will remember him as the man, who helped build a team that made postseason appearances in 2000 (wild card) and 2001 - the team that won 116 games and the AL West 2001, his best success came with the Blue Jays and Phillies, who helped build into World Series winners.
He took the Blue Jays, Orioles, Mariners and Phillies to the postseason.
In four seasons with the Mariners, Gillick's teams won 393 games.
“Pat Gillick’s election to the hall of fame is well earned and richly deserved, " Mariners president Chuck Armstrong said. "He seemed to have a gift for putting together rosters. During the four years Pat was our GM from 2000 to 2003, the Mariners had the very best record of any team in baseball, so I think that’s quite remarkable."
Indeed, Gillick kept Edgar Martinez a Mariner and he added Ichiro and Bret Boone. But it was lesser guys that Mark McLemore and Stan Javier that seemed to work too.
"What comes to mind is he got a fist full of plane tickets and would go around and personally interview or talk with prospective players," Armstrong said. "He’d call me to say, 'Arthur Rhodes has a good face and he understands what it means to be a Mariner.' He told me what he wanted to do to get Arthur and he did the same thing with Mark McLemore. He’d call and say I thought I was going to like this guy until I met with him. And he’d always refer to our organization. Pat understood our culture. Because of our geography and so forth, we think it’s inclusive and collegial and convivial. We think it takes a special payer to really know what it means to be a Mariner and he put together great roster in that time."
He stepped down after the 2004 season taking a lesser role in the orgnaization, saying at the time: "I've had four chances at the brass ring here and I think maybe it's time for someone else to take a shot at taking this team to a higher level."
Armstrong said they tried to convince him to change his mind.
"We tried very hard," Armstrong said. "We hadn’t made the playoffs. He’s a very sensitive guy. He was sensitive to the fact that even though we won 93 games that he received some criticism in the media about not going to the playoffs. We tried very hard. But that seemed to have been his pattern. He left Baltimore after a few years, and going to Philadelphia after a few years. It’s such an intense undertaking when you do it the way Pat did it."
From the release ...
Gillick was the lone candidate to garner the necessary 75% of votes cast by the 16-member Expansion Era Committee, which considered a ballot of eight former players, three executives and one manager whose contributions to the game were most significant from 1973 through the present. The Expansion Era Committee held meetings on Sunday in Orlando, site of the baseball winter meetings.
Gillick becomes the 32nd executive to be elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame and just the fourth individual elected whose career has been defined nearly exclusively as a team architect, joining Ed Barrow, Branch Rickey and George Weiss in Cooperstown. Gillick will be joined by any electees who emerge from the Baseball Writers’ Association of America voting, which will be announced on January 5, 2011.
“We are thrilled to have Pat as the newest member of the Baseball Hall of Fame, and we welcome him into the Hall of Fame family,” said Hall of Fame Chairman of the Board Jane Forbes Clark. “Pat’s consistent excellence as a talent evaluator and team builder has been evident at every step throughout his brilliant career, constructing three World Series champions with his teams making 11 postseason appearances.”
Gillick presently serves as senior adviser to the Philadelphia Phillies and has spent nearly 50 years in Major League Baseball, with 27 seasons as a major league general manager. Gillick, who built playoff teams with the Blue Jays, Orioles, Mariners and Phillies, began his major league career with the Houston Colt .45s/Astros from 1963-73, before joining the New York Yankees as scouting director from 1974-76. Gillick joined the expansion Toronto Blue Jays in 1977, building five division winners from 1985-93 and consecutive World Series championships in 1992-93. In three seasons with Baltimore from 1996-98, the Orioles made two postseason appearances. In four seasons shaping the Mariners from 2000-2003, the Mariners won 90 games each season, including an American League record 116 in 2001, with two postseason appearances. In building the Phillies from 2006-2008, Philadelphia won the AL East twice and the 2008 World Series. Beginning in 1983, teams under Gillick’s direction as general manager posted winning records in 20 of 22 seasons.
The 16-member Expansion Era Committee was comprised of Hall of Fame members Johnny Bench, 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 veteran media members Bob Elliott (Toronto Sun), Tim Kurkjian (ESPN), Ross Newhan (retired, Los Angeles Times) and Tom Verducci (Sports Illustrated).
The Results of the Expansion Era Ballot (12 votes needed for election): Pat Gillick (13 votes, 81.25%); Marvin Miller (11 votes, 68.75%); Dave Concepcion (8 votes, 50%); Ted Simmons, Vida Blue, Steve Garvey, Ron Guidry, Tommy John, Billy Martin, Al Oliver, Rusty Staub and George Steinbrenner each received less than eight votes.
The Expansion Era Committee will next consider candidates in 2013 for the 2014 Induction year, as the process to consider candidates by era repeats on a three-year cycle. In 2011, the Golden Era Committee will meet for the first time to consider managers, umpires, executives and long-retired players whose most impactful contributions came between 1947 and 1972. In 2012, the Pre-Integration Era Committee will consider candidates whose main career contributions came from 1871-1946. Committees will continue to meet at the Winter Meetings.