Two relative old-timers also deserve mention, although neither is likely to ever be inducted.
Paul Owens ran the Philadelphia Phillies front office from 1973 to 1983. In the 22 seasons prior to Owens’ arrival, Philadelphians enjoyed just eight winning seasons, the best of which ended in the collapse of 1964.
He inherited a roster that went 59-97 in 1972 and by 1976 built it into a three-time division champion. The Phillies won the 1980 World Series and the 1983 National League pennant, enjoying the best decade in the franchise’s history under Owens’ stewardship.
But the simple reality is that Owens, who died in 2003, has never drawn Hall of Fame consideration and, at this late stage, is probably too far off the radar screen to get the attention his record deserves.
The other old-time candidate is Al Campanis, who ran the Dodgers front office for two decades. The Campanis tenure encompassed the 1974, 1977, 1978, and 1981 National League pennants, that 1981 team winning the World Series.
But his Hall candidacy died during a 1987 televised interview regarding the absence of African-Americans from the game’s executive ranks. Campanis’ fumbling response came across as demeaning, and the resulting outcry got him fired within a short time. Despite his career .546 winning percentage (1,649-1,369), that interview is a shadow on the Campanis record that is not easily forgotten by electors.