I hoped that Cito Gaston would make it into the Hall of Fame tonight, but looking at some of the other managers on the ballot, I could see it was a long shot.
Jim Leyland was elected by the whatever-they-are-calling-the-Veteran’s-Committee these days. Leyland managed for 22-years in the majors. He led teams that made it to the World Series three times, winning one World Series ring (with the Marlins). He had a 1769-1728 record.
Lou Pinella came up one vote short of making the Hall. He managed for 23 seasons, won one World Series and had a 1835-1713 record. He also played for 18 seasons, hitting .291/.333/.409 with 102 home runs and a 12.4 bWAR.
Cito managed for 12 seasons, and, of course, won the two World Series rings. He had a 894-837 record. And he played 11 seasons in the MLB, hitting .256/.298/.397 with 91 home runs and a -0.8 bWAR.
Unfortunately Cito didn’t get the chance to build up the bulk numbers that voters like. I know he felt snubbed for not getting more chances to manage. And he did stop going for interviews for manager jobs, feeling he was a token candidate, just invited to interview so teams could say, ‘Hey, we interviewed a minority candidate’. He was likely right, but sometimes I had the voice in my head saying ‘But if you want a job, you have to play the game’. But then Cito knows a lot more about racism than I ever will.
I thought the Committee would vote more than one person into the Hall, but no such luck.
Sorry Cito, I would have voted for you.