Jan 29, 2010, 2:50 PM EST
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.