SARASOTA, Fla. -- In his first year of eligibility, ex-Orioles manager Earl Weaver has made the Veterans Committee's short list of candidates for nomination to the Baseball Hall of Fame.
Weaver is one of 15 who will be considered in the non-playing category, which includes Negro League players. A like number of former players are on the ballot submitted by the screening committee.
A complete list of those who survived the nomination process was unavailable, but a committee member confirmed that Weaver is included. More than 100 former players, executives, managers, umpires and Negro League greats were recommended.
"I don't think there's any doubt that Earl will go in," said the committee member, "but I don't know whether he'll make it in his first year of eligibility.
"There is a little bit of prejudice about electing a guy in his first year. It seems to be there, not only with the veterans committee, but also with the Baseball Writers Association [of America]."
The BBWAA annually conducts an election of former players, who must survive a screening committee, a five-year waiting period and attract 75 percent of the vote. The same procedure holds for the veterans committee, which can elect no more than one each from the playing and non-playing categories. If they nominate anybody this year, those inductees would join Tom Seaver and Rollie Fingers for ceremonies in Cooperstown in July.
The veterans committee consists of six Hall Of Famers, six members of the media and six executives. The group is one below capacity because of the resignation of Birdie Tebbetts, a career baseball man who is a special assignment scout for the Orioles.
The voting, and announcement, is scheduled to take place March 17 in Tampa. If Tebbetts is not replaced as a voting executive, 13 votes will be needed for election. But if the committee agrees on a replacement, a Hall of Fame candidate would need 14 votes.
Weaver's lifetime record is 1,480-1,060, and his .583 winning percentage is the sixth highest in baseball history -- higher than seven of the 10 managers currently enshrined in the Hall Of Fame.