Monday, July 24, 2006

HOF made attempt to include variety of positions & champions

  1. The committee apparently made an attempt to elect players at positions which were not yet represented in the Hall;by 1945, the BBWAA had elected 20th century players at every position except catcher, third base and left field. The committee's election of Jimmy Collins corrected the absence of a third baseman, as he was generally regarded as the game's greatest player at the position to that time and had consistently finished first among third basemen in the BBWAA voting, usually outpolling the combined totals of all others at the position. His career spanned the years 1894 to 1908, easily allowing him to be considered a star in both centuries. The committee's choices at the other two positions also followed the BBWAA vote closely. Catcher Roger Bresnahan had finished first among catchers in most of the BBWAA elections, with only the recently retired Mickey Cochrane competing for the top spot. In the voting since 1937, Fred Clarke had trailed only Ed Delahanty - who died in 1903 - among left fielders. Both Bresnahan and Clarke were stars of the 1900s who had made their major league debuts in the 1890s, making them eligible for selection by the Old-Timers.
  2. Among most of those following the elections, there was very strong sentiment to choose players who had remained in the sport as managers, coaches or executives after retiring. Eight of the selections were major league managers at some point, with five (Clarke, Collins, Jennings, King Kelly and Robinson) leading their teams to pennants. Bresnahan, Jennings and Robinson each served at least five seasons as coaches in the major leagues, and Duffy worked as a scout for many years. With the elections of Clarke, Robinson and Jennings, 5 of the 9 retired managers with over 1000 wins were now in the Hall (as well as the still-active Connie Mack), with Clark Griffith's candidacy deferred. There were 14 managers with at least 1000 wins before 1945; all have since been elected, the last being Frank Selee in 1999.
  3. There was a strong emphasis on those who had played central roles on championship teams, particularly the three-time champion Baltimore Orioles of 1894-95-96 which were regarded by many as the greatest baseball dynasty of the 19th century; Dan Brouthers, Jennings and Robinson were all regulars on that team, with Jennings also playing for a later Brooklyn champion and Brouthers starring for 3 earlier champions. Bresnahan had starred on the 1905 New York Giants; Collins was the playing manager of the 1903 Boston Americans, and a star player for two NL champions of the late 1890s; Duffy starred on 5 pennant winners in Boston in the 1890s; and Clarke was the playing manager of 4 pennant winners in Pittsburgh. Kelly and Jim O'Rourke each starred on several pennant winners in the era before 1893. Of the 10 selections, 8 had been a starting player and/or manager on at least four pennant winners.

2 Comments:

At 9:12 PM, Blogger steelboy28 said...

Keep up the good work. thnx!
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At 10:48 AM, Blogger dronbyfoto said...

Really amazing! Useful information. All the best.
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