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Coordinates: 42°42′01″N 74°55′25″W / 42.700322°N 74.92369°W / 42.700322; -74.92369

National Baseball Hall of Fame
and Museum
Established 1936 (dedicated June 12, 1939)
Location Cooperstown, New York
Type Professional sports hall of fame
Visitor figures 350,000/year (average as of 2007)[1]
Director Jeff Idelson (since 2008)
Website http://www.baseballhalloffame.org/

The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum is an American history museum and hall of fame, located at 25 Main Street in Cooperstown, New York, operated by private interests serving as the central point for the study of the history of baseball in the United States and beyond, the display of baseball-related artifacts and exhibits, and the honoring of persons who have excelled in playing, managing, and serving the sport. The Hall's motto is "Preserving History, Honoring Excellence, Connecting Generations".

The word Cooperstown is often used as shorthand (or a metonym) for the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, just as the expression "Hall of Fame" is understood to mean the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

Contents

History

The Entrance to the Baseball Hall of Fame.

The Hall of Fame was dedicated on June 12, 1939[2] by Lee Ferrick Andrews, grandson of Edward Clark, who was a founder of the Singer Sewing Machine Company. Stephen C. Clark was owner of a local hotel and sought to bring tourists to Cooperstown, which had been suffering economically when the Great Depression significantly reduced the local tourist trade and Prohibition devastated the local hops industry. His granddaughter, Jane Forbes Clark, is the current Chairman of the Board of Directors. The erroneous claim that U.S. Civil War hero Abner Doubleday invented baseball in Cooperstown, a claim made by former National League president Abraham G. Mills and his 1905 Mills Commission, was instrumental in the early marketing of the Hall.

An $8 million library and research facility opened in 1994. Dale Petroskey became the organization's president in 1999.

In 2002, Baseball As America was launched, a traveling exhibit that toured ten American museums over six years. The Hall of Fame has also sponsored educational programming on the Internet to bring the Hall of Fame to schoolchildren who might not visit. The Hall and Museum completed a series of renovations in spring 2005. The Hall of Fame also presents an annual exhibit at FanFest at the Major League Baseball All-Star Game.

Jeff Idelson replaced Petroskey as president on April 16, 2008.[3][4] He had been acting as president since March 25, 2008, when his predecessor was forced to resign for "fail[ing] to exercise proper fiduciary responsibility" while making "judgments that were not in the best interest of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum."[5]

Inductees

Among baseball fans, "Hall of Fame" means not only the museum and facility in Cooperstown, but the pantheon of players, managers, umpires, executives, and pioneers who have been enshrined in the Hall. The first five men elected were Ty Cobb, Babe Ruth, Honus Wagner, Christy Mathewson and Walter Johnson, named in 1936. As of January 2010, 292 individuals had been elected to the Hall of Fame, including 203 former Major League players, 35 Negro Leaguers, 19 managers, 9 umpires, and 26 pioneers, executives, and organizers. The newest members are Joe Gordon, Jim Rice and Rickey Henderson; the induction class of 2010 will consist of player Andre Dawson, umpire Doug Harvey and manager Whitey Herzog. In addition to honoring Hall of Fame inductees, the National Baseball Hall of Fame has presented 30 men with the Ford C. Frick Award for excellence in broadcasting,[6] and 57 with the J. G. Taylor Spink Award for excellence in baseball writing.[7] While Frick and Spink Award honorees are not members of the Hall of Fame, they are recognized in an exhibit in the Hall of Fame's library.[8]

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Selection process

Plaques of the First Class of Inductees

Players are currently inducted into the Hall of Fame through election by either the Baseball Writers Association of America (or BBWAA), or the Veterans Committee,[9] which is now composed of living Hall of Famers; additional special committees, some including recipients of the two major awards, are also regularly formed to make selections. Five years after retirement, any player with 10 years of major league experience who passes a screening committee (which removes from consideration players of clearly lesser qualification) is eligible to be elected by BBWAA members with 10 years' membership or more. From a final ballot typically including 25–40 candidates, each writer may vote for up to 10 players; until the late 1950s, voters were advised to cast votes for the maximum 10 candidates. Any player named on 75% or more of all ballots cast is elected. A player who is named on fewer than 5% of ballots is dropped from future elections. In some instances, the screening committee had restored their names to later ballots, but in the mid-1990s, dropped players were made permanently ineligible for Hall of Fame consideration, even by the Veterans Committee. A 2001 change in the election procedures restored the eligibility of these dropped players; while their names will not appear on future BBWAA ballots, they may be considered by the Veterans Committee.

Under special circumstances, certain players may be deemed eligible for induction even though they have not met all requirements. This resulted in the induction of Addie Joss, who was elected in 1978 despite only playing in nine seasons due to his death from meningitis. Additionally, if an otherwise eligible player dies before his fifth year of retirement, then that player may be placed on the ballot at the first election at least six months after his death. Roberto Clemente's induction in 1973 set the precedent when the writers chose to put him up for consideration after his death on New Year's Eve, 1972.

Lineup for Yesterday

Z is for Zenith
The summit of fame.
These men are up there.
These men are the game.

Ogden Nash, Sport magazine (January 1949)[10]

The five-year waiting period was established in 1954 after an evolutionary process. In 1936 all players were eligible, including active ones. From the 1937 election until the 1945 election, there was no waiting period, so any retired player was eligible, but writers were discouraged from voting for current major leaguers. Since there was no formal rule preventing a writer from casting a ballot for an active player, the scribes did not always comply with the informal guideline; Joe DiMaggio received a vote in 1945, for example. From the 1946 election until the 1954 election, an official one-year waiting period was in effect. (DiMaggio, for example, retired after the 1951 season and was first eligible in the 1953 election.) The modern rule establishing a wait of five years was passed in 1954, although an exception was made for Joe DiMaggio because of his high level of previous support, thus permitting him to be elected within four years of his retirement. Contrary to popular belief, no formal exception was made for Lou Gehrig, other than to hold a special one-man election for him. There was no waiting period at that time and Gehrig met all other qualifications, so he would have been eligible for the next regular election after he retired during the 1939 season, but the BBWAA decided to hold a special election at the 1939 Winter Meetings in Cincinnati, specifically to elect Gehrig (most likely because it was known that he was terminally ill, making it uncertain that he would live long enough to see another election). Nobody else was on that ballot, and the numerical results have never been made public. Since no elections were held in 1940 or 1941, the special election permitted Gehrig to enter the Hall while still alive.

If a player fails to be elected by the BBWAA within 20 years of his retirement from active play, he may be selected by the Veterans Committee, which now holds elections for players only for induction in odd-numbered years. However, only players whose careers began in 1943 or later will be eligible for election by the main Veterans Committee, in accordance with changes to the voting process for that body instituted in July 2007. These changes also established three separate committees to select other figures:

  • One committee votes on managers and umpires for induction in every even-numbered year. The first vote by this committee was conducted in 2007 for induction in 2008.
  • One committee votes on executives and builders for induction in every even-numbered year. This committee also conducted its first vote in 2007 for induction in 2008.
  • The pre-World War II players committee votes every five years on players whose careers began in 1942 or earlier. It conducted its first vote as part of the election process for induction in 2009.[11]

Players of the Negro Leagues have also been considered at various times, beginning in 1971. In 2005 the Hall completed a study on African American players between the late 19th century and the integration of the major leagues in 1947, and conducted a special election for such players in February 2006; seventeen figures from the Negro Leagues were chosen in that election, in addition to the eighteen previously selected.

Predictably, the selection process catalyzes endless debate among baseball fans over the merits of various candidates. Even players already elected remain for years the subjects of discussions as to whether their elections were deserved or in error. For example, Bill James' book Whatever Happened to the Hall of Fame? goes into detail about who he believes does and does not belong in the Hall of Fame.

Changes to Veterans Committee process

The actions and composition of the Veterans Committee have been at times controversial, with occasional selections of contemporaries and teammates of the committee members over seemingly more worthy candidates.[12][13][14][15][16]

In 2001, the Veterans Committee was reformed to comprise the living Hall of Fame members and other honorees.[17] The revamped Committee held three elections—in 2003 and 2007 for both players and non-players, and in 2005 for players only. No individual was elected in that time, sparking criticism among some observers who expressed doubt whether the new Veterans Committee would ever elect a player. The Committee members – most of whom were Hall members – were accused of being reluctant to elect new candidates in the hope of heightening the value of their own selection. After no one was selected for the third consecutive election in 2007, Hall of Famer Mike Schmidt noted, "The same thing happens every year. The current members want to preserve the prestige as much as possible, and are unwilling to open the doors."[18] In 2007, the committee and its selection processes were again reorganized; the main committee now includes all living members of the Hall, and will vote on a reduced number of candidates from among players whose careers began in 1943 or later. Separate committees, including sportswriters and broadcasters, will select umpires, managers and executives, as well as players from earlier eras.

In the first election to be held under the 2007 revisions, two managers and three executives were elected in December 2007 as part of the 2008 election process. The next Veterans Committee elections for players were held in December 2008 as part of the 2009 election process; the main committee did not select a player, while the panel for pre-World War II players elected Joe Gordon in its first vote. The main committee will vote as part of the election process for inductions in odd-numbered years, while the pre-WWII panel will vote every five years, and the panel for umpires, managers, and executives votes as part of the election process for inductions in even-numbered years.

Players with multiple teams

While the text on a player's plaque lists all of teams for which the player was a member, inductees are depicted wearing the cap of a specific team, or, in some cases, wearing a cap without a logo. The Hall selects the logo "based on where that player makes his most indelible mark."[19] Although the Hall always made the final decision on which logo was shown, until 2001 the Hall deferred to the wishes of players whose careers were linked with multiple teams. Some examples of honorees associated with multiple teams are the following:

  • Frank Robinson: Robinson chose to have the Baltimore Orioles cap displayed on his plaque, although he had played ten seasons with the Cincinnati Reds and six seasons with Baltimore. Robinson won four pennants and two World Series with the Orioles and one pennant with Cincinnati. His second World Series ring came in the 1970 World Series against the Reds. His numbers with the Orioles and the Reds were very good and he won an MVP award while playing for each team.
  • Catfish Hunter: When elected to the Hall of Fame in 1987, Hunter declined to choose between the teams for which he played — the Oakland Athletics and New York Yankees — as he had been successful with both teams and maintained good relations with both teams and their respective owners (Charles Finley and George Steinbrenner). His plaque shows him wearing a cap without a logo.
  • Nolan Ryan: Born and raised in Texas, Ryan entered the Hall in 1999 wearing a Texas Rangers cap on his plaque, although he spent only five seasons with the Rangers, while having longer and more successful tenures with the Houston Astros (nine seasons, 1980–88 and his record-setting fifth career no-hitter) and California Angels (eight seasons, 1972–79 and the first four of his seven career no-hitters). Ryan's only championship was as a member of the New York Mets in 1969. Ryan finished his career with the Rangers, reaching his 5000th strikeout and 300th win, and throwing the last two of his seven career no-hitters.
  • Reggie Jackson: Jackson chose a New York Yankees cap over an Oakland Athletics cap. As a member of the Kansas City/Oakland A's, Jackson played ten seasons (1967–75, '87), winning three World Series (1972, 1973, 1974) and the 1973 AL MVP Award. During his five years in New York (1977–81), Jackson won two World Series (1977-78), with his crowning achievement occurring during Game 6 of the 1977 World Series, when he hit three home runs on consecutive pitches.
  • Carlton Fisk: Fisk went into the hall with a Boston Red Sox cap on his plaque in 2000 despite playing with the Chicago White Sox longer and posting more significant numbers with the White Sox. Fisk's choice of the Red Sox was likely because of his being a New England native, as well as his famous walk-off home run in Game Six of the 1975 World Series with which he is most associated.
  • Dave Winfield: Winfield had spent the most years in his career with the Yankees and had had great success there, but chose to go into the Hall as a Padre due to his feud with Yankees owner George Steinbrenner.

In 2001, the Hall of Fame decided to change the policy on cap logo selection, as a result of rumors that some teams were offering compensation, such as number retirement, money, or organizational jobs, in exchange for the cap designation. (For example, though Wade Boggs denied the claims, some media reports had said that his contract with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays required him to request depiction in the Hall of Fame as a Devil Ray).[20] The Hall decided that it would no longer defer to the inductee, though the player's wishes would be considered, when deciding on the logo to appear on the plaque. Newly elected members affected by the change include the following:

  • Gary Carter: Inducted in 2003, Carter was the first player to be affected by the new policy. Carter won his only championship with the 1986 New York Mets, and wanted his induction plaque to depict him wearing a Mets cap, even though he had spent twelve years (1974–84, 1992) with the Montreal Expos and only five (1985–89) with the Mets. The Hall of Fame decided that his plaque would instead show Carter with an Expos cap.
  • Wade Boggs: Boggs's only championship was as a member of the 1996 New York Yankees, for whom he played from 1993–97, but his best career numbers were posted during his eleven years (1982–92) wearing the Boston Red Sox uniform. Boggs would eventually be depicted wearing a Boston cap for his 2005 induction, despite his acrimonious relationship with Red Sox management.

The museum

According to the Hall of Fame, approximately 350,000 visitors enter the museum each year[1], and the running total has surpassed 14 million. These visitors see only a fraction of its 35,000 artifacts, 2.6 million library items (such as newspaper clippings and photos) and 130,000 baseball cards.

First floor

Plaque Gallery in 2001. The central pillar is for the newest (2000) inductees at the time.
Gallery during 2007 HOF induction weekend
  • Baseball at the Movies houses baseball movie memorabilia while a screen shows footage from those movies.
  • The Bullpen Theater is the site of daily programming at the museum (trivia games, book discussions, etc.) and is decorated with pictures of famous relief pitchers.
  • The Halper Gallery contains rotating exhibits.
  • Induction Row contains artifacts pertinent to the most recent inductees and photos of past Hall of Fame Weekends.
  • The Perez-Steele Art Gallery features art of all media related to baseball.
  • The Plaque Gallery, the most recognizable site at the museum, contains induction plaques of all members.
  • The Sandlot Kids Clubhouse has various interactive displays for young children.
  • Scribes and Mikemen honors J. G. Taylor Spink Award and Ford C. Frick Award winners with a photo display and has artifacts related to baseball writing and broadcasting. Floor-to-ceiling windows at the Scribes and Mikemen exhibit face an outdoor courtyard with statues of Johnny Podres and Roy Campanella (representing the Brooklyn Dodgers 1955 championship team), and an unnamed AAGPBL player. A Satchel Paige statue was unveiled and dedicated during 2006 Induction Weekend.

Second floor

  • The Grandstand Theater features a 12 minute multimedia film. The 200 seat theater, complete with replica stadium seats, is decorated to resemble old Comiskey Park.[21]
  • The Game is the major feature of the second floor. It is where the most artifacts are displayed. The Game is set up in a timeline format, starting with baseball's beginnings and culminating with the game we know today. There are several offshoots of this meandering timeline:
    • The Babe Ruth Room
    • Diamond Dreams (women in baseball)
    • Viva Baseball! (celebrates baseball in the Carribean Basin)
    • Pride and Passion (Negro Leagues exhibit)
    • Taking The Field (19th century baseball)
  • The Today's Game exhibit is built like a baseball clubhouse, with 30 glass-enclosed locker stalls, one for each Major League franchise. In each stall there is a jersey and other items from the designated big league team, along with a brief team history. A center display case holds objects donated to the Hall of Fame from the past year or two. Fans can also look into a room designed to look like a manager's office. Outside is a display case with rotating artifacts. Currently the space is devoted to the World Baseball Classic.

Third floor

The display of Ichiro Suzuki
  • Autumn Glory is devoted to post-season baseball and has, among other artifacts, replicas of World Series rings.
  • Hank Aaron: Chasing the Dream
  • An Education Gallery hosts school groups and, in the summer, presentations about artifacts from the museum's collection. In the gallery foyer is a TV that continually plays baseball bloopers and the popular Abbott and Costello routine "Who's on First?" and a display case with rotating exhibits.
  • The Records Room has charts showing active and all-time leaders in various baseball statistical categories. The statistics charts are posted on the walls, leaving the center space for other purposes:
    • BBWAA awards: Replicas of various awards distributed by the BBWAA at the end of each season, along with a list of past winners.
    • A case dedicated to Ichiro Suzuki setting the major league record for base hits in a single season, with 262 in 2004.
    • A case full of World Series Rings from prior years from the 1900s to present.
    • An inductee database touch-screen computer with statistics for every inductee.
    • Programs from every World Series.
  • Sacred Ground is the newest museum section, opened after the 2003–05 renovation. It is devoted entirely to ballparks and everything about them, especially the fan experience and the business of a ballpark. The centerpiece is a computer tour of Boston's old South End Grounds, Comiskey Park, and Ebbets Field.

Unauthorized sale of items in collection

A controversy erupted in 1982, when it emerged that some historic items given to the Hall had been sold on the collectibles market. The items had been lent to the Baseball Commissioner's office, gotten mixed up with other property owned by the Commissioner's office and employees of the office, and moved to the garage of Joe Reichler, an assistant to Commissioner Bowie Kuhn, who sold the items to resolve his personal financial difficulties. Under pressure from the New York Attorney General, the Commissioner's Office made reparations, but the negative publicity damaged the Hall of Fame's reputation, and made it more difficult for it to solicit donations.[22]

Non-induction of banned players

Following the banning of Pete Rose from baseball, the selection rules for the Baseball Hall of Fame were modified to prevent the induction of anyone on MLB's permanent suspension list, such as Rose or Shoeless Joe Jackson. Many others have been barred from participation in MLB, but none have Hall of Fame qualifications on the level of Jackson or Rose. A select few, such as Hal Chase and Eddie Cicotte, would be reasonable candidates had they not been banned.[citation needed]

Jackson and Rose were both banned from baseball for life for actions related to gambling on their own teams—Jackson was determined to have cooperated with those who conspired to lose the 1919 World Series intentionally, and Rose voluntarily accepted a permanent spot on the ineligible list in return for MLB's promise to make no official finding in relation to alleged betting on the Cincinnati Reds when he was their manager in the 1980s. (Baseball's Rule 21, prominently posted in every clubhouse locker room, mandates permanent banishment from the sport for having a gambling interest of any sort on a game in which a player or manager is directly involved.) Baseball fans are deeply split on the issue of whether these two should remain banned or have their punishment revoked. Writer Bill James, though he advocates Rose eventually making it into the Hall of Fame, compared the people who want to put Jackson in the Hall of Fame to "those women who show up at murder trials wanting to marry the cute murderer".[23]

Confirmed and suspected users of performance-enhancing drugs

The usage of performance-enhancing drugs in Major League Baseball became a controversial issue starting in the 1990s. As players who competed from that period have become eligible for the Baseball Hall of Fame, the BBWAA have had to vote on players whose careers may be worthy of induction but have been accused of using steroids or other performance-enhancing drugs. For example, Mark McGwire became eligible for induction in 2007 but less than 25 percent of the BBWAA voted for him. Many believe McGwire didn't receive the votes he needed because of suspicions of steroid use during his playing career, and his subsequent confirmation in January 2010 of drug use.

Several other prominent players who have testified about their non-use of illegal performance-enhancing drugs, will become eligible for the Hall of Fame in coming years, including Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, and Rafael Palmeiro, who several months after his testimony was suspended by MLB for steroids.

See also

Notes and references

  1. ^ a b "President of the National Baseball Hall of Fame". National Baseball Hall of Fame. http://web.baseballhalloffame.org/museum/president.jsp. Retrieved 2009-04-14. 
  2. ^ National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum (2009). "History of the Hall of Fame and Museum". National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. http://web.baseballhalloffame.org/museum/history.jsp. Retrieved 2009-10-07. 
  3. ^ Associated Press (2008-04-16). "Jeff Idelson named Hall of Fame president". USA Today. http://www.usatoday.com/sports/baseball/hallfame/2008-04-16-idelson-president_N.htm. Retrieved 2008-11-30. 
  4. ^ National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, Inc. (2008). "President of the National Baseball Hall of Fame". National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, Inc.. http://web.baseballhalloffame.org/museum/president.jsp. Retrieved 2008-11-30. 
  5. ^ The Official Site of Major League Baseball: News: HOF president Petroskey resigns from the Major League Baseball website
  6. ^ National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum (2008). "National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum: Ford C. Frick Award". National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. http://web.baseballhalloffame.org/hofers/frick.jsp. Retrieved 2008-08-21. 
  7. ^ National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum (2008). "National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum: J.G. Taylor Spink Award". National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. http://web.baseballhalloffame.org/hofers/spink.jsp. Retrieved 2008-08-21. 
  8. ^ National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum (2008). "What is the difference between a Hall of Famer and an honoree?". National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum: Hall of Famers FAQ. National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. http://web.baseballhalloffame.org/hofers/faq.jsp#hofer_honoree. Retrieved 2008-08-21. 
  9. ^ The official name is "Committee on Baseball Veterans", but the short form is regularly used by the Hall itself, and is universally used by baseball media.
  10. ^ "Baseball Almanac". http://www.baseball-almanac.com/poetry/po_line.shtml. Retrieved 2008-01-23. 
  11. ^ National Baseball Hall of Fame (2009). "Rules for election of pre-World War II players". National Baseball Hall of Fame. http://community.baseballhall.org/Page.aspx?pid=391. Retrieved 2009-12-23. 
  12. ^ Chass, Murray (2001-08-07), "More Vets Eligible For Hall In Baseball", The New York Times, http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9902E7D71E3CF934A3575BC0A9679C8B63&sec=&spon=&partner=permalink&exprod=permalink, retrieved 2008-09-20 
  13. ^ Enders, Eric (2001-08-08). "Same Old Story". Baseball Think Factory. http://www.baseballthinkfactory.org/files/primate_studies/discussion/eric_enders_2001-08-08_0/. Retrieved 2008-09-20. 
  14. ^ Traven, Neal (2003-01-14). "A Brief History of the Veterans Committee". Baseball Prospectus. http://www.baseballprospectus.com/news/20030114traven.shtml. Retrieved 2008-09-20. 
  15. ^ Leo, John (1988-01-24), "Housecleaning Plan for the Hall of Fame", The New York Times, http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=940DE5DE103DF937A15752C0A96E948260&sec=&spon=&partner=permalink&exprod=permalink, retrieved 2008-09-20 
  16. ^ Jaffe, Jay (2008-06-02). "Marvin Miller". Prospectus Q&A. Baseball Prospectus. http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=7608. Retrieved 2008-09-20. 
  17. ^ ""Changes to Veterans Committee Procedures"". baseballhalloffame.org. National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. http://www.baseballhalloffame.org/hofers_and_honorees/veterans/veterans_changes.htm. Retrieved 2007-01-06. 
  18. ^ Walker, Ben (2007-02-28). "Vets committee throws another shutout at Hall of Fame". Associated Press. http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/news?slug=ap-halloffame&prov=ap&type=lgns. Retrieved 2007-02-28. 
  19. ^ "Who decides what team logo will be used on Hall of Fame plaques?". Hall of Famers: FAQ. National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, Inc.. 2009. http://web.baseballhalloffame.org/hofers/faq.jsp#logo. Retrieved 2009-07-20. 
  20. ^ ""Boggs, Sandberg field queries as new Hall of Famers"". www.usatoday.com. USA Today. http://www.usatoday.com/sports/baseball/hallfame/2005-01-06-boggs-sandberg-questions_x.htm. Retrieved 2008-05-21. 
  21. ^ National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum: Hall of Fame News
  22. ^ James, Bill (1994). The Politics of Glory. New York: Macmillan Publishing Company. pp. 295–298. ISBN 0-02-510774-7. 
  23. ^ James (1995:358)

External links


Simple English


The Baseball Hall of Fame is a museum in Cooperstown, New York that shows the history of baseball and some of the most famous baseball players and other people, especially in North America.

Contents

Opening

The Hall of Fame opened in 1939. It was started by the Clark Foundation. The Hall of Fame was started to help bring visitors to Cooperstown which had been poor for a long time. Some people tell a story that Abner Doubleday invented baseball in Cooperstown, but the story is not true. But the baseball leagues and teams decided that it did not matter, and helped make the Hall of Fame popular.

The museum has a lot of information on the history of baseball, and a lot of old baseball things, like bats, balls, and uniforms of famous baseball players or important baseball games. It also has a baseball art collection and a library.

Next to the museum is Doubleday Field, where a baseball game is played every year as part of a party about adding new people to the museum's stories.

Hall of Fame list

When someone is "in the Hall of Fame," it means they have a story of their life in baseball shown in the museum. Every year new people are chosen to be added to the Hall of Fame. These people can be baseball players, baseball team managers, and other people who work with the game of baseball. Awards are also given for baseball sports reporters. In 2005 there are a total of 260 people in the Hall of Fame.

Two groups pick people to add to the Hall of Fame. One group is the Baseball Writers Association of America. This group can pick people who have stopped having a job in pro baseball for five years, and were in baseball for at least 10 years. Each member of the group writes down their 10 top choices, and anyone who is on more than three-fourths of the members' lists is added to the Hall of Fame.

The other group that chooses people to add to the Hall of Fame is called the Veteran's Committee, which is made of people who are in the Hall of Fame themselves. This group can vote for anyone who has stopped working in baseball for 20 years. They vote every two years for baseball players, and every four years for other baseball people.

Disagreement and problems

Some people do not like how the Veteran's Committee picks people for the Hall of Fame. For a while, it seemed like the Committee liked to only pick people who they had worked with before. This meant some people who might have been good enough for the Hall of Fame were missed, because they never worked with the people on the Committee. Since then, the Veteran's Committee has been changed, but so far this new committee has not picked anyone.

In 1982, some of the museum's collection of baseball items were loaned to the head of the American baseball leagues, and one of his workers sold them for money. Even though the money was paid back, it made the Hall of Fame look bad.

There are some players who are not allowed to work in baseball anymore because they broke some very important rules, but were still very good players. The Hall of Fame does not allow people who were kicked out of baseball to be in its museum. But some people think that some of those players were so good that they should be in the Hall of Fame anyway. Players such as Pete Rose. While other people think that for the integrity of the game that it is important that those players not be in the Hall of Fame regardless of how good they were.

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