This afternoon, the Baseball Hall of Fame announced its eight nominees for the 2024 Era Committee. Previously known as the Veterans Committee, the Era Committee is a 16-person panel that considers nominees outside the purview of induction for players via the Baseball Writers Association of America.
The 2024 class concerns managers, executives and umpires whose primary contributions to the game have come since 1980. Last year’s committee focused on players within that same timeframe and elected Fred McGriff. Next winter’s nominees will be individuals who most impacted the sport before 1980.
Here are the candidates this winter:
- Cito Gaston (manager)
- Davey Johnson (manager)
- Jim Leyland (manager)
- Ed Montague (umpire)
- Hank Peters (executive)
- Lou Piniella (manager)
- Joe West (umpire)
- Bill White (executive)
The managers are likely most familiar to recent fans. Gaston led the Blue Jays for 13 seasons over two stints. His first stretch at the helm, spanning 1989-97, was very successful. Gaston first took over in May ’89 when the club dismissed Jimy Williams after a 12-24 start. They finished with a 77-49 record under Gaston’s watch, claiming the AL East title. That kicked off a stretch of four division wins in a five-year span. While they were bounced in the ALCS in 1989 and ’91, the Jays won back-to-back World Series in 1992 and ’93.
Johnson managed almost 2500 games in 17 seasons between 1984-2013. He began with the Mets, leading them to 108 wins and their dramatic World Series victory over the Red Sox by his third season. While that was the only title of his managerial career, Johnson led the Mets to six straight winning campaigns. He led the Reds (1993-95), Orioles (1996-97) and Dodgers (1999-2000) during the following decade. Johnson concluded his career with three seasons at the helm of the Nationals from 2011-13. He led at least one playoff team in four of his five stops. His teams won 56.2% of their regular season contests.
Leyland had a 22-year career as a big league skipper. He managed just under 3500 games between the Pirates, Marlins, Rockies and Tigers. He led Pittsburgh to three straight division titles between 1990-92 as part of an 11-year run in the Steel City. During his first season managing in Florida, Leyland led a 92-win team from a Wild Card berth to a championship in just the fifth season in Marlins history. He didn’t find success during a lone season in Colorado but led the Tigers to a pennant in 2006, his first season at the helm in Detroit. Leyland managed through 2013, winning three straight division titles from 2011-13 and claiming another AL pennant in 2012. He’s 18th in career wins with 1,769 regular season victories.
Piniella is just ahead of him on that leaderboard, ranking 17th with 1,835 wins. The fiery skipper had a 23-year managerial career between the Yankees, Reds, Mariners, Devil Rays and Cubs. He led the Reds to the 1990 World Series during his first season in Cincinnati. While that was the only time that one of his teams would play in the Fall Classic, he had multiple playoff appearances in Seattle and Chicago. Piniella was at the helm for the ’01 Mariners team tied for the all-time wins record (116) and led consecutive division winners with the Cubs in 2007-08.
Peters was a high-ranking executive for the A’s, Indians and Orioles between 1965-91. He helped construct the farm system for the A’s teams that won three World Series in the 1970’s, although he was no longer with the organization when the major league team blossomed. Peters was at the helm with Baltimore for their 1979 pennant and 1983 World Series victory. He led Cleveland in the late-’80s, helping set the stage for the Indians’ run of success the following decade.
White, a former star first baseman, served as president of the National League from 1989-94. He also had a lengthy broadcasting run as part of a career that spanned five decades. As a player, he finished in third place in 1964 NL MVP balloting for the Cardinals’ World Series winner and is part of the team’s Hall of Fame.
Montague managed over 4,000 MLB games from 1974-2009. West, one of the sport’s most famous umpires, officiated a record 5,460 contests between 1976 and his retirement in February 2022.
Nominees need 12 of 16 votes to gain induction. The voting will take place during December’s Winter Meetings.