Old News: Original Hall of Fame Announcement

Below these words — and craftily procured from an unnamed library database — is the announcement of the first Hall of Fame ballot, courtesy of the December 24, 1935 edition of the New York Times.

As the reader can see, this was a bit of an exciting notion at the time — and free of the armchair philologizing that comes with many contemporary discussions of the Hall and candidacy for same (i.e. “It’s the hall of fame, therefore it makes sense to pick the most famous players”).

Below are the five players ultimately selected. One weird thing is how much talk there is of an “immortal ten” when, in fact, only five players were selected.

Name		Votes	% of Ballots
Ty Cobb		222	98.2
Babe Ruth	215	95.1
Honus Wagner	215	95.1
Chri. Mathewson	205	90.7
Walter Johnson	189	87.6

Now here’s the article:

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Carson Cistulli has just published a book of aphorisms called Spirited Ejaculations of a New Enthusiast.

4 Responses to “Old News: Original Hall of Fame Announcement”

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  1. Steve Ryan says:

    On the original Hall of Fame ballot there were 11 writers who didn’t think Babe Ruth should be in. At that point, there should have been a movement to figure out another way to elect Hall-of-Famers!

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  2. heinie groh says:

    The Babe was called a big “N……” throughout his career. There were many who thought he was black. Whether he was or not, he was subject to some of the same prejudices. It is the only explanation. Either that, or some of the voters considered hot dogs performance enhancing.

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  3. Or they didn’t elect him because he didn’t “meet moral standards.” He publicly drank during prohibition, after all.

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