McFeely Blog: Husbands, Wills and Donaldson are not in the Baseball Hall of Fame


Fargo’s favorite athlete, who set the one-season record with 61 home runs in 1961 when playing for the New York Yankees, failed to garner a single vote from the 16 committee members of the golden era. He and others on the 10-person ballot needed 12 votes (75%) to be entered into the Hall of Fame.

The former Los Angeles Dodgers base, which robbed wizard Maury Wills, who had a long association with the independent Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks, also did not get a vote from the Golden Era committee.

John Donaldson, a former Negro Leagues player who played for more than 30 years for independent and barnstorming teams across Minnesota, North Dakota and Minnesota, was not elected on the Early Baseball Era Committee ballot. Donaldson, who featured Bertha, Minn., And other small town teams, garnered eight votes.

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It wasn’t all bad news for baseball fans in the area. Former Minnesota Twins greats Tony Oliva and Jim Kaat were both elected to the Hall of Fame in the Golden Era ballot. They were joined by Gil Hodges and Minnie Minoso in the Golden Era poll. Former Negro Leaguers Buck O’Neil and Bud Fowler were elected in the Early Baseball ballot.

All six will be inducted into the Hall of Fame on July 24, 2022.

Maris was a Fargo Shanley graduate who played American Legion baseball for Fargo’s Post 2. He spent 12 years in the major leagues with the Cleveland Indians, the Kansas City Athletics, the New York Yankees and the St. Louis.

His most famous feat, of course, was to beat 61 home runs in 1961 with the Yankees to break Babe Ruth’s record of 60. Maris won his second straight American League MVP award this season. He ended his career in 1968 with 275 home runs and a .260 batting average, considered not convincing enough to warrant a Hall of Fame induction.

The hope was that Maris’ 61 homers would trigger another look, given the players ahead of him on the single-season homerun roster – Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa, and Barry Bonds – have all been linked with enhancing drugs. the performance. But Maris’ legacy seems to have taken no momentum. The Golden Era committee will meet next time in 2027, and without a vote this year, it looks like Maris’ last best chance of winning the Hall has passed.

Maris died in 1985.

Wills spent most of his 14-year career with the Dodgers, stealing a record 104 goals in 1962. He won the National League MVP that season. He led the league in stealing bases for six consecutive seasons. He retired after the 1972 seasons with 586 goals stolen and a career batting average of 0.281.

Willis was a longtime part-time broadcaster with the RedHawks and briefly led the team during the franchise’s early years in the Northern League.


John Donaldson, who has played baseball in over 130 towns in Minnesota, could be a Hall of Fame selection.  The Donaldson Network Photo

John Donaldson, who has played baseball in over 130 towns in Minnesota, could be a Hall of Fame selection. The Donaldson Network Photo

Donaldson played in the Black Leagues, but was best known for a career that spanned 1908-1940. He was primarily devoted to barnstorming the country, pitching and playing on the field for all small town teams. who would pay it.

His opponents were independent or minor league teams whose owners were looking to make a few bucks on the attraction of “the greatest colored baseball player of today and of all time,” as at least one called him. local journal.

Donaldson’s case was pushed by The Donaldson Network, a collection of researchers and lawyers who scoured old newspapers and historical societies to find left-handed pitcher Donaldson’s verified numbers included 422 wins, 5,181 strikeouts, 14 no hitting and two perfect matches. He pitched 30 straight innings in a row in 1915 and struck out at least 30 batters in a single game on two occasions.


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