Former Mariners manager Maury Wills is one of 10 finalists on the Golden ERA (1947-72) ballot for election to the Hall of Fame.
Wills, 82, was the National League’s Most Valuable Player in 1962 when he stole a then-record 104 bases for the Los Angeles Dodgers. He managed the Mariners from Aug. 4, 1980 to May 5, 1981.
The Golden Era ballot is part of a revolving three-year cycle by which the Hall of Fame reviews players or personnel overlooked or not eligible for election in annual balloting by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America.
Third baseman Ron Santo was elected when the Golden Era Committee last convened in 2011.
Others on this year’s ballot: Dick Allen, Ken Boyer, Gil Hodges, Bob Howsam, Jim Kaat, Minnie Minoso, Tony Oliva, Billy Pierce and Luis Tiant.
The 16-member committee will convene and vote Dec. 8 at the Winter Meetings in San Diego. Finalists must receive 12 votes — 75 percent — for election to the Hall.
Wills played 14 seasons from 1959 to 1972, mostly with the Dodgers. He was a seven-time All-Star who won two Gold Gloves for defensive excellence at shortstop. He led the NL is steals for six straight seasons (1960-65).
The Mariners hired Wills to replace Darrell Johnson, who had managed the club from its inaugural 1977 season through Aug. 3, 1980.
Wills found little success in the role and lasted just 82 games. His record was 26-56, a .317 winning percentage that is the lowest among the 19 managers in franchise history.
Here are thumbnail bios on the 10 finalists as supplied by the Hall of Fame:
- Dick Allen played 15 seasons from 1963-77 for five teams, spending nine seasons with the Phillies, compiling 351 home runs, 1,119 RBI and a .292 career average. Was named the 1972 AL Most Valuable Player and the 1964 NL Rookie of the Year, with seven career All-Star selections.
- Ken Boyer played 15 seasons as a third baseman with the Cardinals, Mets, White Sox and Dodgers, earning seven All-Star Game selections and winning the 1964 National League Most Valuable Player Award en route to leading the Cardinals to a World Series championship.
- Gil Hodges was named to eight All-Star Games in an 18-year big league career as a first baseman with the Dodgers and Mets, winning three Gold Glove Awards and leading the Dodgers to seven National League pennants and two World Series titles. As a manager, Hodges led the 1969 Miracle Mets to the World Series title.
- Bob Howsam was the architect of the Big Red Machine Cincinnati Reds Championship teams, serving as General Manager from 1967-77. From 1947-62, Howsam led the minor-league Denver Bears and was a founder of the Continental League, making the push for baseball’s expansion into Colorado.
- Jim Kaat pitched 25 seasons with the Senators, Twins, White Sox, Phillies, Yankees and Cardinals, winning 283 games over the course of four different decades. Kaat was named to three All-Star Games and helped the Cardinals win the 1982 World Series.
- Minnie Minoso played 17 seasons with the Indians, White Sox, Cardinals and Senators, earning seven All-Star Game selections and three Gold Glove Awards as an outfielder. A native of Cuba, he blazed a trail for Latin American players in the big leagues starting in the 1950s.
- Tony Oliva played 15 seasons for the Twins, winning three batting titles and leading the American League in hits five times. He was named to eight All-Star Games and won the 1964 AL Rookie of the Year Award.
- Billy Pierce complied a 211-169 record with a 3.27 ERA in 18 seasons, 13 with the Chicago White Sox. A seven-time All-Star, he led the league in complete games three straight seasons, totaling 193 overall. Posted lowest ERA in the A.L. in 1955 (1.97).
- Luis Tiant won at least 20 games in four of his 19 big league seasons with the Indians, Twins, Red Sox, Yankees, Pirates and Angels, finishing his career with 229 wins and a 3.30 ERA while earning three All-Star Game selections. He won two American League ERA titles and led the league in shutouts three times.
- Maury Wills played 14 seasons from 1959-1972, 12 with the Los Angeles Dodgers, with a .281 lifetime average and 586 career stolen bases. The 1962 N.L. MVP was a seven-time All-Star and two-time Gold Glove Award winner.