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Tony Oliva falls 1 vote shy of Hall of Fame; Kaat by 2 votes


Former Twins greats Tony Oliva and Jim Kaat have to wait for another chance to join Major League Baseball's exclusive Hall of Fame. The Golden Era Committee passed on all ten of the names on this year's Golden Era ballot.

Twelve of 16 votes were needed to get elected. Oliva fell one vote shy; Kaat missed by two.

The Golden Era is defined as the period of time from 1947-1972. Dick Allen, Ken Boyer, Gil Hodges, Bob Howsam, Minnie Minoso, Billy Pierce, Luis Tiant and Maury Wills are on the ballot, too.

Tiant, a right-hander, played one season with the Twins in 1970.

The Golden Era ballot debuted in 2011. Oliva and Kaat were on the original ballot but neither received more than 10 votes.

Oliva, the 1964 American League Rookie of the Year, played 15 seasons with the Twins, won three batting titles and was named an All-Star eight times. He posted a career average of .304 with 220 home runs and 329 doubles.

Kaat played 25 seasons and won 283 games as a starting pitcher. His best season came in 1965, when he led the Twins with a 25-win season, finishing fifth in the MVP vote, according to Baseball Reference. He was a three-time All-Star and won 16 Gold Gloves.

The Star Tribune's La Velle Neal III notes that Oliva's supporters point to the fact that he put up great numbers during a relatively short career that was ended by knee injuries. Oliva finished in the Top 10 vote for MVP five times.

Former Twins first baseman Kent Hrbek and television announcer Dick Bremer voiced their displeasure with Monday's decision.

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Oliva, Kaat fall short in Hall of Fame bid

Former Twins Jim Kaat and Tony Oliva fell short in their bid to enter baseball's Hall of Fame. Kaat was two votes short of entering. Oliva was off by four votes. A special Veterans Committee voted in former Chicago Cubs star Ron Santo.