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What If… The Baseball Hall of Fame started up in 2021- who would get in?

My last baseball post was on the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York. One of my Mount Rushmore of favorite places. The first voting was in 1936 and five members were in the inaugural class- Ty Cobb, Babe Ruth, Honus Wagner, Christy Mathewson and Walter Johnson. In 1936 baseball was still young. Babe Ruth had just retired the year before he was elected into the Hall of Fame. Let’s say the Baseball Hall of Fame- didn’t get going until this year 2021- who would be in the inaugural class? Let’s say like in 1936 only five got the required 75% of the vote? Here would be my vote- if I could only elect 5. My 5ive- Babe Ruth/ Willie Mays/ Honus Wagner/ Ted Williams and Jackie Robinson. Note- I do not rank Jackie Robinson in my all -time top 10 players as far as performance. For one thing his career was too short- he didn’t get the opportunity to play until he was twenty- eight years old and his career was short- only eleven years. He gets my vote for historical significance.

Was Babe Ruth Black?
Red Sox could have signed Willie Mays before anyone else
Ninety-six years ago, Honus Wagner brought his all-stars to Georgetown
Ted Williams Dramatic Final At-Bat, September 28, 1960!
Jackie Robinson - The Official Licensing Website of Jackie Robinson


  1. Can’t go wrong with those picks and I guessed right about the picks I had that didn’t match. Since I’ve been reading books about the turn of the century…many do list Wagner as the best player they saw at that time.

    What 5 pitchers would you let in first?

    • A good case could probably be made for 15 players being in the first 5…… first 5 pitchers- Walter Johnson/ Lefty Grove/ Satchel Paige/ Pete Alexander and Warren Spahn…. again tough to pick 5 so many candidates- how about yours?

    • Walter Johnson, Paige, Christy Mathewson, Bob Gibson, and Maddux….but Hans ask me tomorrow and I might give you a couple different ones.

      You brought up Grove and Alexander…both worthy.

  2. Man, good question… be very easy to add 5 a year for first ten years or so. First 5 I’d pick… tough tough call but probably Babe Ruth, Hank Aaron, Lou Gehrig, Walter Johnson, Ted Williams. But you couldn’t go wrong with any of about 20 . Mind you, IF it were beginning today I wonder if some like Ty Cobb would make it or if their personal lives and attitudes would deter voters from letting them in?

    • I think unless someone violated baseball rules like Rose – if someone is super qualified they get in… Steve Carlton for example wasn’t a baseball writers favorite but they’d look like fools not electing him his first time up…. whereas a borderline guy- they can make wait if they wish…

    • one would hope so, but you never know these days. I wonder if reverse is true too – if guys like Harold Baines were super good guys and that got them nudged in.

    • with the veteran’s committee i think it helps if you have friends on the committee- LaRussa was on the committee when Baines got in- and I think someone else associated with the Sox was too….. and Bill Mazeroski- was also benefited by friends pushing him through.

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