Golden Era Committee Considers Big Red Machine Architect Bob Howsam for Hall of Fame


Mar 31, 2014; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Reds former player Joe Morgan brings out the game ball prior to the game against the St. Louis Cardinals at Great American Ball Park. Mandatory Credit: Frank Victores-USA TODAY Sports

On November 29, 1971, Joe Morgan was traded from the Houston Astros to the Cincinnati Reds, a move that jump-started Morgan’s Hall-of-Fame career and set the stage for Cincy’s World Series championships in 1975 and 1976.   Today, Morgan has a chance to repay the architect of The Big Red Machine for bringing him to the Riverfront: Morgan will participate in the Golden Era vote to determine whether or not former Reds’ GM Bob Howsam gains entrance into the Hall of Fame.    

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The Golden Era, as defined by the Hall of Fame, covers the years from 1947-1972 and considers baseball luminaries whose careers were at their peak during those years. Joining Howsam on the ballot this year are Dick Allen, Ken Boyer, Gil Hodges, Jim Kaat, Minnie Minoso, Tony Oliva, Billy Pierce, Luis Tiant and Maury Wills.

Those are some big baseball names to be sure, and it’s always surprising that some of them aren’t already in the Hall of Fame.  The competition will be stiff, then, but Howsam is helped by the fact that he is the only executive on the ballot and that he has a ringer in Morgan on the voting committee.

Along with Morgan, those voting include, according to the Hall’s website:

"Hall of Famers Jim Bunning, Rod Carew, Pat Gillick, Ferguson Jenkins, Al Kaline, Joe Morgan, Ozzie Smith and Don Sutton; baseball executives Jim Frey, David Glass, Roland Hemond and Bob Watson; and veteran media members Steve Hirdt, Dick Kaegel, Phil Pepe and Tracy Ringolsby."

Before coming to Cincinnati, Howsam helped to build the St. Louis Cardinals teams of the 1960s that re-established the Redbirds as a powerhouse and also led to two World Series wins.  He switched NL clubs in 1967, bringing his savvy to Cincinnati.  His moves included trading fro Morgan and leftfielder George Foster and signing Sparky Anderson as his manager in 1969.

The concoction that Howsam brewed up was like a winning potion, and the Reds dominated the baseball world in the middle of the 1970s and are still revered as one of the greatest teams of all time.

Results of the Golden Era vote will be announced this afternoon.