Contemporary Era Baseball Committee shows no love to former Blue Jays manager Cito Gaston

Tyson Shushkewich
4 months ago
Yesterday, the 16-person Contemporary Era Baseball committee voted on the eight nominees on the ballot regarding managers, umpires, and executives who were looking to earn their place in the Hall of Fame.
To reach Cooperstown, the individual had to receive at least 75% of the votes (at least 12 of 16 votes), similar to the threshold players require on the normal yearly Hall of Fame ballot, and the only name on the ballot to meet the minimum threshold was former big league manager Jim Leyland, while Lou Pinella received 11 votes, one shy of the needed amount.
Former Blue Jays manager Cito Gaston was also on the ballot but the Texas product and the organization’s longest-tenured manager failed to secure more than five votes from the committee, an incredibly disappointing figure for a manager that holds a few impressive distinctions both with the Jays and in MLB history.

Former Blue Jays manager Cito Gaston falls short in Hall of Fame bid

Gaston took over the club from Jimy Williams early in the 1989 season and helped the team make the postseason during his first year, taking the Blue Jays to the ALCS before falling to Oakland, who later won the World Series. Fast forward to 1992 and it was the Blue Jays’ turn, as the club became the first team outside of the United States to win the World Series while Gaston became the first African-American manager to lead a team to a World Series win as well. The club didn’t stop there, as the Blue Jays repeated as champions in 1993, led by their WAMCO batting order and one of the biggest home runs in MLB history off the bat of Joe Carter in the World Series with Gaston at the helm.
Across two separate managerial stints and 12 seasons, Gaston sported an 894-837 record and managed two All-Star games during his time with the Blue Jays. He did not manage any other team and instead worked in other capacities with the Jays organization, with the club also electing Gaston to the Level of Excellence in 1999, becoming the first and only manager to receive such an honour from the franchise.
Regarded as a “player’s manager” early in his managerial career, Gaston was a successful hitting coach in his early days with the club and as a manager, had to navigate through troubled waters such as the Interbrew ownership change, front office departures (both Pat Gillick and Paul Beeston leaving), the 1994 labour strike, and an aging roster following the World Series years. In his second tenure, he inherited the club after John Gibbons was axed and led the Blue Jays to three consecutive fourth-place finishes within the AL East before retiring after the 2010 season.
Unfortunately for Gaston, the Contemporary Era Baseball committee cast their votes elsewhere and the Blue Jays winningest manager will need to wait another three years for a potential crack at the Hall of Fame ballot once again, although there is no guarantee he will be a finalist again.



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