On this date in 1939 the National Baseball Hall of Fame opened in Cooperstown, New York. They had elected the first class to the Hall of Fame in 1936 when it was announced that five players had received the necessary 75% of the vote and would be the inaugural class- Ty Cobb, Babe Ruth, Honus Wagner, Christy Mathewson and Walter Johnson. They would have four classes ready to be inducted once they were ready to open the Hall of Fame.
On that day in 1939 there were eleven living inductees and they all showed up at Cooperstown for the ceremony. In the picture above are ten of the eleven. Ty Cobb was a late arrival and missed being in the picture. Bottom left to right- Eddie Collins, The Babe, Connie Mack and Cy Young. Top row- Honus Wagner, Pete Alexander, Tris Speaker, Nap Lajoie, George Sisler and Walter Johnson.
My first visit to the Baseball Hall of Fame was in the spring of 1970 when my grandparents took me. I was nine and baseball crazy. Since then I have been back four more times, a couple of years ago the most recent trip. The Baseball Hall of Fame itself has changed a great deal since that first trip in 1970 for the better. The town of Cooperstown itself is the perfect spot for it. You feel as if you have gone back in time. Every baseball fan should try and make at least one pilgrimage to Cooperstown in their lifetime.