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Elections to the Baseball Hall of Fame for 1955 followed a system established for odd-number years in 1953. The Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA) voted by mail to select from recent major league players and elected four: Joe DiMaggio, Gabby Hartnett, Ted Lyons, and Dazzy Vance. The Veterans Committee met in closed sessions to consider executives, managers, umpires, and earlier players. It selected two players, Frank Baker and Ray Schalk.

BBWAA election

Any candidate receiving votes on at least 75% of the ballots would be honored with induction to the Hall. Votes were cast for 65 players; a total of 251 ballots were cast, with 189 votes required for election. For the third and (as of 2009) most recent time, the election produced at least four inductees.

Candidates who were eligible for the first time are indicated here with a †. The four candidates who received 75% of the vote and were elected are indicated in bold italics; candidates who have since been elected in subsequent elections are indicated in italics.

Player Votes Percent
Joe DiMaggio 223 88.8
Ted Lyons 217 86.5
Dazzy Vance 205 81.7
Gabby Hartnett 195 77.7
Hank Greenberg 157 62.5
Joe Cronin 135 53.8
Max Carey 119 47.4
Ray Schalk 113 45.0
Edd Roush 97 38.6
Hank Gowdy 90 35.9
Hack Wilson 81 32.3
Lefty Gomez 71 28.3
Tony Lazzeri 66 26.3
Red Ruffing 60 23.9
Zack Wheat 51 20.3
Ross Youngs 48 19.1
Kiki Cuyler 35 13.9
Rube Marquard 35 13.9
Duffy Lewis 34 13.5
Waite Hoyt 33 13.1
Sam Rice 28 11.2
Red Faber 27 10.8
Jim Bottomley 26 10.4
Dickie Kerr 25 10.0
Chuck Klein 25 10.0
Babe Adams 24 9.6
Dave Bancroft 19 7.6
Jimmie Wilson 13 5.2
Wilbur Cooper 11 4.4
Muddy Ruel 11 4.4
Jesse Haines 10 4.0
Howard Ehmke 8 3.2
Eppa Rixey 8 3.2
Everett Scott 8 3.2
Goose Goslin 7 2.8
Art Nehf 7 2.8
Clyde Milan 6 2.4
Heinie Groh 5 2.0
Babe Herman 5 2.0
Travis Jackson 5 2.0
Bill Wambsganss 5 2.0
Chick Hafey 4 1.6
Arky Vaughan 4 1.6
Glenn Wright 4 1.6
Luke Appling 3 1.2
Burleigh Grimes 3 1.2
Cy Williams 3 1.2
Earl Averill 2 0.8
George Earnshaw 2 0.8
Joe Judge 2 0.8
Bob Meusel 2 0.8
Johnny Allen 1 0.4
Charlie Berry 1 0.4
Max Bishop 1 0.4
Earle Combs 1 0.4
Jake Daubert 1 0.4
Paul Derringer 1 0.4
Jimmy Dykes 1 0.4
Joe Gordon 1 0.4
Mule Haas 1 0.4
Sam Jones 1 0.4
Roger Peckinpaugh 1 0.4
Hal Schumacher 1 0.4
Joe Sewell 1 0.4
Bill Sherdel 1 0.4

Voting patterns

  • When there is an influx of qualified candidates, like there were for many years after the Hall was opened, voters tend to spread their votes out more. Joe DiMaggio's 88.8% is not an aberration of the time, and a player of his caliber would probably receive over 95% if voted on today (Ripken, Gwynn, Henderson, etc).
  • The only player who received at least 15% of the vote and has not, as of 2009, been elected is Hank Gowdy, at 35.9%. Gowdy fared reasonably well in these elections, primarily because of his defensive ability. However, as time passes, voters generally tend to focus more on offensive statistics. This may be the reason why Gowdy hasn't been elected and players like Arky Vaughan and Chuck Klein, with much lower vote totals, have.
  • Dickie Kerr's 10% vote total is very surprising in retrospect. His success is attributed to being one of the "clean" Sox of the 1919 World Series. The same can be said of Red Faber and Ray Schalk, who is probably the worst catcher to be elected into the Hall of Fame.[1]

References

  1. ^ James, Bill (1995). Whatever Happened to the Hall of Fame?. New York, NY: Free Press. ISBN 0684800888.  

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