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Veteran’s committee elects Hank O’Day, Jacob Ruppert, and Deacon White into Hall of Fame

Dec 3, 2012, 11:17 AM EDT

deacon white

Cooperstown just added three new Hall of Famers, as umpire Hank O’Day, executive Jacob Ruppert, and catcher/third baseman Deacon White have been elected by the veteran’s committee that this year was tasked with evaluating candidates from the “pre-integration” era of 1876-1946.

O’Day had a 40-year umpiring career that began in 1888, also playing and managing during that time.

Ruppert owned the Yankees from 1915-1939, during which time they made 11 trips to the World Series and won eight championships. Oh, and he’s the guy who got Babe Ruth from the Red Sox.

White played from 1871-1890 and his 20-year career is made even more remarkable by the fact that he was one of the first bare-handed catchers. He hit .312, winning two batting titles, and as you can see in the picture to the right he also had a helluva mustache.

Candidates the veteran’s committee did not elect this year: Marty Marion, Bucky Walters, Bill Dahlen, Wes Ferrell, Tony Mullane, Samuel Breadon, Alfred Reach.

  1. mybrunoblog - Dec 3, 2012 at 11:25 AM

    I fancy myself a pretty knowledgeable guy concerning baseball history and don’t ever recall hearing about Deacon White or Hank O’Day. Ruppert’s story is pretty well known especially to Yankee fans. These guys died so long ago I wonder if they even have any living descendents to accept their HOF plaques.

  2. raysfan1 - Dec 3, 2012 at 11:34 AM

    Ruppert was a no-brainer, only question is why it took 73 years after selling the team.

    • paperlions - Dec 3, 2012 at 12:23 PM

      Meh, I feel like far too many owners/commissioners are in the HOF already….many of which were actually BAD for the game of baseball and for MLB. There have been precious few owners that were better than the average owner in the way that HOF players are better than average players to make them noteworthy in baseball history. Contributions of long-time owners can be recognized just fine in the history/museum portion of the building without doing something silly like inducting them into the HOF.

      • historiophiliac - Dec 3, 2012 at 12:37 PM

        Or, they could totally give the shitty ones an asterisk.

      • paperlions - Dec 3, 2012 at 1:02 PM

        It would be more economical to give * to good ones.

        For example, during Ruppert’s entire 25 year tenure of ownership he was part of a cadre that colluded to keep player’s salaries down via the reserve clause and that conspired to ban black ball players from playing in MLB via a “gentleman’s agreement”.

        The most egregious steroid user was a saint compared to such men.

  3. Paul White - Dec 3, 2012 at 11:38 AM

    I’ve heard of O’Day, but can’t claim to be an authority on the quality of umpires in the pre-integration era, so I’ll defer to the committee. And Ruppert, of course, deserved to be elected if you believe owners belong in the Hall.

    But White sort of baffles me. He was mostly a third baseman, but of all players who played at least 1000 games and logged over half of them at third base, he’s just 23rd in career WAR at 44.2, behind the likes of Toby Harrah and Heinie Groh and Bob Elliott, and well behind guys like Graig Nettles, Buddy Bell and Ken Boyer. If he was actually a catcher most of the time he’d rank better, 12th all-time, but he’d still be behind Gene Tenace and Ted Simmons and not much better than Wally Schang. But that doesn’t matter because he wasn’t primarily a catcher. If you narrow it down to just guys who played before 1900 he’d rank 10th, which is certainly fine, but then why didn’t the committee elect Pebbly Jack Glasscock, who had 59.2 WAR, 4th in that era, in addition to a both a glorious mustache and a kick-ass name?

    Just seems like a funky choice.

    • pmcenroe - Dec 3, 2012 at 11:43 AM

      Seems even more strange considering Dahlen didn’t make it in

    • shynessismyelguapo - Dec 3, 2012 at 12:18 PM

      Hey Paul, I think you kind of misconstrued WAR for Deacon White.

      The problem with WAR for 1800′s players is that they didn’t play 144, 154 or 162 games a season. In fact, Deacon White lead the league in games played in 1873 with 60. Therefore, a 2.9 WAR in 60 games is actually hella-impressive.

      • Paul White - Dec 3, 2012 at 2:43 PM

        Nope, I didn’t misconstrue it. I even specifically noted where his stands against his peers in the 1800′s. Like I said earlier, he was 10th, which is impressive. The problem is he has peers who ranked higher that were passed over, like Jack Glasscock, who I mentioned. And I find that odd.

      • shynessismyelguapo - Dec 3, 2012 at 3:07 PM

        God, why do people do this?

        “but of all players who played at least 1000 games and logged over half of them at third base, he’s just 23rd in career WAR at 44.2, behind the likes of Toby Harrah and Heinie Groh and Bob Elliott, and well behind guys like Graig Nettles, Buddy Bell and Ken Boyer. If he was actually a catcher most of the time he’d rank better, 12th all-time, but he’d still be behind Gene Tenace and Ted Simmons and not much better than Wally Schang.”

        You are clearly comparing his WAR based on players on a 162 game schedule. You add in further that he ranked 10th in pre-1900 players (which is pretty impressive by the way) and say it was a “funky choice”. You spend a majority of you post making a direct 1 to 1 WAR comparision with people like Buddy Bell Toby Harrah, etc.

        Just…come on people. We’re all wrong sometimes. It’s okay. It’s just extraordinarily irritating when someone feels the need to change their argument and claim they didn’t say something they clearly said just to avoid being wrong. Come on man, that’s what politicians do. If you can’t display some level of intellectual honesty on an basically anonymous comments section of a sports blog, then where can you?

  4. sportsdrenched - Dec 3, 2012 at 12:09 PM

    When is Old Hoss Radbourn’s Twitter account eligible for the HOF?

    • mkd - Dec 3, 2012 at 12:33 PM

      Five years after it retires.

  5. Detroit Michael - Dec 3, 2012 at 12:12 PM

    Yes, I also thought Dahlen was the cream of this crop among the players.

    White was inducted 122 years after he retired. That’s probably a record.

  6. historiophiliac - Dec 3, 2012 at 12:40 PM

    BTW, I’m kinda surprised this off-season hasn’t already seen a “Best Mustache in MLB” debate on here. My FB baseball group is already on that. It’s early in the off-season yet, though.

  7. natsattack - Dec 3, 2012 at 4:34 PM

    O’Day was the Merkle game ump, he probably got some consideration just for that.

  8. simon94022 - Dec 3, 2012 at 8:49 PM

    Yes, O’Day is the man whose bold but technically correct decision to call Fred Merkle out enabled the Cubs to win the 1908 NL pennant.

    Which led to their second, and so far final, world championship.

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