Jan 29, 2010, 2:50 PM EDT
BizOfBaseball.com’s Maury Brown notes that on this day in 1936 the Baseball Writers Association of America elected the first class into the Hall of Fame:
* Babe Ruth
* Ty Cobb
* Honus Wagner
* Walter Johnson
* Christy Mathewson
Not a bad little group, but amazingly none of those five players were picked unanimously. Cobb received the most votes at 98.2 percent, while one out of every 20 voters did not have Ruth on their ballot and Johnson received only 83.6 percent of the vote. Oh, and Cy Young actually had to wait until Year 2 to get into Cooperstown. Seriously.
In fairness to the voters, while Young is the winningest pitcher of all time it was another two decades until the pitching award was named after him and competition for space on that first ballot was kind of tough, as a whole bunch of future Hall of Famers received single-digit votes.
And it’s been all downhill from there, of course.
- Giants acquire Jake Peavy from Red Sox 15
- Maximum stay on Hall of Fame ballot changed from 15 to 10 years 46
- Jon Lester is willing to return to the Red Sox as a free agent even if they trade him 20
- Jose Abreu is third-fastest in MLB history to reach 30 career home runs 7
- Settling the Score: Friday’s results 24
- How’d he do that? Magician Maddux fooled hitters all the way to Hall 23
- And That Happened: Thursday’s scores and highlights 46
- MLBPA files grievance against Astros in regard to draft pick situation 35
- Expert’s Corner: How to troll fans of all 30 teams (200)
- Verducci: baseball should think about an “illegal defense” rule to combat shifts (162)
- Yankees acquire Chase Headley from Padres (108)
- Who is the next Face of Baseball? (97)
- David Ortiz passes Carl Yastrzemski on the all-time home run list — is he a Hall of Famer? (92)