Cooperstown Crier - Your Source for Hometown News - Cooperstown, Baseball Hall of Fame

Local Sports

June 20, 2013

A look back: How elections came about

Baseball Mecca not built in one day


“No player will be awarded a place in the Hall of Fame unless he polls at least 75 percent of the votes,” Edwards said.

The players from 1900 through 1935, 33 in total, included pitchers Christy Mathewson, Grover Cleveland Alexander, Cy Young, Ed Walsh, Rube Waddell, Walter Johnson, Mordecai Brown, Rube Marquard, Chief Bender and Lefty Grove; catchers Roger Bresnahan, Mickey Cochrane and Lou Criger; first basemen George Sisler, Lou Gehrig and Jimmie Foxx; second basemen Napoleon Lajoie, Eddie Collins, Rogers Hornsby, Johnny Evers and Frankie Frisch; shortstop Honus Wagner; third basemen Jimmy Collins, William Bradley and Pie Traynor; and outfielders Ty Cobb, Babe Ruth, Tris Speaker, Willie Keeler, Ed Delahanty, Ross Youngs, Ed Roush and Al Simmons.

Edwards also explained that the list was not a mandatory one, and that a number of young stars of the day, including Dizzy Dean, Gabby Hartnett, Hank Greenberg, Lefty Gomez and Paul Waner, were left off on the theory that they would get their chance at a later date.

The 26 diamond stars from the 19th century named by Edwards included pitchers Candy Cummings, Lee Richmond, Mat Kilroy, A.G. Spalding, John Clarkson, Charles Radbourne and Amos Rusie; catchers Buck Ewing, Charley Bennett, Wilbert Robinson, Silver Flint and Mike Kelly; first basemen Cap Anson and Charles Comiskey; second basemen Ross Barnes and Fred Dunlap; third basemen Jerry Denny and John Montgomery Ward; outfielders Fred Clarke, Hugh Duffy and Jesse Burkett; and shortstops George Wright, Herman Long, Bobby Wallace, Hughie Jennings and John McGraw.

While the press and the public seemed content with the list of 19th century players, the omissions for players from the previous 36 years caused such an uproar that by January 1936 Edwards had amended his original 33-man ballot to also include the names of Johnny Kling, Ray Schalk, Gabby Hartnett, Billy Sullivan Sr., Dazzy Vance, Lefty Grove, Bill Terry and Charlie Gehringer.

Text Only
Local Sports

New Today!