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Saturday, November 7, 2015

2016 Baseball Hall of Fame Pre-Integration Committee Candidates Announced

Screenshot Taken From Baseballhall.org webpage
It is that time of year, again.  The two-month stretch where the Baseball Hall of Fame elections for the various "Veterans" committees and then the BBWAA ballot.  I use the term "Veterans" committees with quotes because that isn't what they are referred to anymore.  They are now a cyclical group that alternates between years and recently, the Hall has announced the selection of ten players, managers, umpires and executives who helped shape the game before 1946 that will be up for consideration this year.

This year's candidates are:

Former Players - Marty Marion, Wes Ferrell, Bill Dahlen, Doc Adams, Frank McCormick, Harry Stovey, Bucky Walters

Former Executives: Chris Von Der Ahe, Sam Breadon, Garry Herrmann

Here is a brief look at the candidates:

Walters - (b 1909 - d. 1991) played in the majors from 1934 to 1948 and 1950.  Compiled a record of 198-160 with a 3.30 ERA.  He was the 1939 NL MVP and won the World Series with the Reds in 1940.

Stovey - (b. 1956 - d. 1937) played from 1880 to 1893 when the game was very different than it was today.  He had 1,771 hits, 122 home runs and a .289 batting average.  He led the league in home runs five times.  His Hall of Fame scores on baseball-reference are really high for someone who only played 14 seasons.  Check here and take a look.

McCormick - (b. 1911 - d. 1982) played from 1934, 1937 to 1948.  Had 1,711 hits, 128 home runs and a .299 batting average.  He led the league in hits his first three full seasons.  He was the 1940 NL MVP and a member of the 1940 World Series Champion Reds.

Adams - (b. 1814 - d. 1899) was a member of the famed New York Knickerbocker Base Ball Club in the very early days of the game.  He is credited as the creator of the shortstop position, positioning himself so he could take short throws from outfielders.  He was the Knickerbocker president six times.  He also manufactured baseballs and oversaw bat production.  He was also a member of early league boards that saw a great number of rules and regulations be put into place.

Dahlen - (b. 1870 - d. 1950) played from 1891 to 1911.  Had 2,461 hits, 84 home runs and a .272 batting average.  He was a member of the 1905 World Series Champion New York Giants.

Ferrell - (b. 1908 - d. 1976) North Carolina's own, Wes Ferrell, played from 1927 to 1941 with a 193-128 record.  He pitched to a 4.04 career ERA.  Brother of Hall of Famer, Rick Ferrell, it has been said that he was the more deserving of the Ferrell brothers to be enshrined in Cooperstown.  If he were to get in, his 4.04 ERA would be the highest among pitchers in the HOF.

Marion - (b. 1917 - d. 2011) played from 1940-1950, 1952 and 1953.  Had 1,448 hits, 36 home runs and a .263 batting average.  He was the 1944 NL MVP and won the World Series with the Cardinals in 1942, 1944 and 1946.  He was also regarded as one of the best fielding shortstops of his era.

Breadon - (b. 1876 - d. 1949)  A former MLB executive who was the majority owner of the St. Louis Cardinals from 1920 to 1947, during which time they won six World Series (1926, 1931, 1934, 1942, 1944 and 1946) and appeared in three others (1928, 1930 and 1943).

Herrmann - (b. 1859 - d. 1931) Former president of the Cincinnati Reds from 1902 to 1927 and former president of the National Commission from 1903 to 1920.  His Reds won the World Series in 1919.

Von Der Ahe - (b. 1851 - d. 1913) Purchased the bankrupt St. Louis Brown Stockings in 1882 for $1,800 and joined the American Association.  Very much a showman, pre-dating te likes of Bill Veeck and Charles Finley, he is sometimes credited as the first to sell hot dogs at games (although this has been disputed) and is also credited with coining the term fanatics/fans.

The last time the Pre-Integration Committee was up for election, they chose Hank O'Day, Deacon White and Jacob Ruppert to enter the Hall.  It is difficult to predict which, if any, of these guys will get in.  If I had to guess, I would say that Stovey and Breadon had the best chances to get in.  Adams could get in, as well.  Walters has the better stats of the rest of the players, but I doubt he, or any of the others would have a shot at getting in.

That being said, I do have some hope that Marion would make it.  He passed away not too long ago, and was a really good TTM signer.  For my own selfish reasons (that would add a ball to my HOF collection), it would be cool for him to get in.  There are players with worse numbers than him in the Hall.

To be elected, a player must receive votes on at least 75% of the ballots cast from the 16-member electorate who will be determined later by the Hall of Fame.  The results will be announced during the Baseball Winter Meetings in Nashville, TN between December 6 and 7, 2015.

To read more about the candidates and rules for selection, check out the Baseballhall,org webpage.
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