100 Years of Hall of Famers (and Snubs), Part I
So, I wanted to try a little baseball experiment: I wanted to look back at the last 100 years and see how many Hall of Famers were born in each year and if there are any obvious snubs in a given year. I don’t know if this will lead to any compelling insights, but it was just something that I thought could be interesting. Sometimes, you just start a project and hope for the best.
By the way, I’m italicizing all the first-ballot Hall of Famers.
1923 (3): Larry Doby, Minnie Miñoso, Red Schoendienst. Snubs: 0.
I’m glad I started 100 years ago, because this way I’m dealing entirely with players who played after Jackie Robinson. I think Miñoso might be the best player born in ’23, and for a long time he was the most obvious snub of them all, but he’s in now.
1924 (1): Gil Hodges. Snubs: 0.
Some very good players — such as Al Rosen and Ted Kluszewski — were born this year, but I don’t think there’s a Hall of Famer among them. Hodges himself had a long road to the Hall of Fame, and probably would not have gotten there if not for him managing the 1969 Mets.
1925 (1): Yogi Berra. Snubs: 0.
It remains one of the more astonishing Hall of Fame facts that Yogi Berra was not elected to the Hall of Fame on the first ballot. Nobody was elected on Yogi’s first ballot — not Early Wynn, not Johnny Mize, not Pee Wee Reese, not Duke Snider, not anybody. The voters were, er, pretty tough in those days.
1926 (2): Duke Snider, Robin Roberts. Snubs: 0.
You certainly could make an argument for Don Newcombe as a Hall of Famer because of his role as a pioneer, but I think calling him a snub might be a bit too strong.
1927 (2): Richie Ashburn, Nellie Fox. Snub: Billy Pierce.
I’ve not been a particularly big advocate of Pierce’s, but I think you can fairly call him a snub — he was almost certainly the best pitcher in the American League in the 1950s. I’d say he has a better Hall of Fame case than his longtime teammate (and 1927 birthmate) Nellie Fox.
1928 (1): Whitey Ford. Snubs: 0.
Junior Gilliam was probably the best position player born this year. Whitey Ford, by the way, was also not elected on the first ballot. By the way, here is the WAR comparison between Ford and Billy Pierce:
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