1946 Hall of Fame Election

From BR Bullpen

The 1946 Hall of Fame Induction took place in two rounds, in order to address the problem of the writers' votes being spread over too many candidates, resulting in no one gaining election. The first round thus became a nominating vote, followed by a regular election with a ballot featuring the top twenty candidates from the nominating vote. Yet, in spite of this new procedure, the BBWAA once again failed to get anyone elected.

As had been the case the previous year, the Old Timers Committee stepped boldly into the breach and elected a batch of 11 candidates, including some selections that have since proven to be controversial, such as electing the entire "Tinker to Evers to Chance" infield in one fell swoop, or of the somewhat famous by rather mediocre 19th-century outfielder Tommy McCarthy. But more problematic than the individual names was that a majority of Hall of Fame members were now being elected through a mechanism different than the one originally envisaged by the Hall's creators.

BBWAA Vote[edit]

198 of 263 votes needed for election

Nominating Ballot

Player Votes Result
Frank Chance 144 Nominated
Johnny Evers 130 Nominated
Miller Huggins 129 Nominated
Rube Waddell 122 Nominated
Ed Walsh 115 Nominated
Frankie Frisch 104 Nominated
Carl Hubbell 101 Nominated
Mickey Cochrane 80 Nominated
Clark Griffith 73 Nominated
Lefty Grove 71 Nominated
Pie Traynor 65 Nominated
Mordecai Brown 56 Nominated
Joe Tinker 55 Nominated
Joe McGinnity 53 Nominated
Rabbit Maranville 50 Nominated
Charlie Gehringer 43 Nominated
Herb Pennock 41 Nominated
Dizzy Dean 40 Nominated
Bill Dickey 40 Nominated
Frank Baker 39 Nominated
Chief Bender 39 Nominated
Ray Schalk 36
Eddie Plank 34
Bill Terry 31
Dazzy Vance 31
Jimmie Foxx 26
Ross Youngs 25
Harry Heilmann 23
Johnny Kling 20
Addie Joss 14
Nap Rucker 13
Edd Roush 11
Sam Crawford 9
Babe Adams 6
Lou Criger 6
Rube Marquard 6
Zack Wheat 6
Joe Wood 5
Bill Donovan 4
Lefty Gomez 4
Paul Waner 4
Ted Lyons 3
Jesse Burkett 2
Donie Bush 2
Jack Coombs 2
Harry Davis 2
Gabby Hartnett 2
Joe Jackson 2
Bill McKechnie 2
Dave Bancroft 1
Ginger Beaumont 1
Bill Bradley 1
Jack Chesbro 1
John Clarkson 1
Gavvy Cravath 1
Bill Dineen 1
Jack Dunn 1
Eddie Grant 1
Charlie Grimm 1
Waite Hoyt 1
Fielder Jones 1
Bill Killefer 1
Otto Knabe 1
Herman Long 1
Sherry Magee 1
Pepper Martin 1
Kid Nichols 1
Deacon Phillippe 1
Muddy Ruel 1
Jimmy Sheckard 1
Al Simmons 1
Billy Southworth 1
Tully Sparks 1
Billy Sullivan 1
Jesse Tannehill 1
Fred Tenney 1

Regular Ballot

Player Votes Result
Frank Chance 150
Johnny Evers 110
Miller Huggins 106
Ed Walsh 106
Rube Waddell 87
Clark Griffith 82
Carl Hubbell 75
Frankie Frisch 67
Mickey Cochrane 65
Lefty Grove 61
Pie Traynor 53
Mordecai Brown 48
Joe McGinnity 47
Dizzy Dean 45
Joe Tinker 45
Frank Baker 36
Chief Bender 35
Bill Dickey 32
Rabbit Maranville 29
Charlie Gehringer 23
Herb Pennock 16

Old Timers Committee[edit]

The ancestor of today's Veterans Committee once again stepped into the breach left wide open by the Baseball Writers' inability to get anyone elected and selected another large class of individuals, composed of both players whose candidacy was already being considered by the writers, and others from the 19th Century who were not. The eleven persons selected were the following: Jesse Burkett, Frank Chance, Jack Chesbro, Johnny Evers, Clark Griffith, Tommy McCarthy, Joe McGinnity, Eddie Plank, Joe Tinker, Rube Waddell and Ed Walsh.

Chance, Evers, Walsh, Waddell and Griffith were five of the top six vote-getters from the 20-name ballot submitted to the writers in the second round of voting, so in selecting these men, the Old Timers were in effect usurping the writers' prerogative. McGinnity and Tinker were also on that ballot, although finishing lower down the order. Plank had failed to make the first cut, while Chesbro had also been under consideration by the writers, but had hardly received any support. That left two names in the committee's proper purview: 19th Century outfielders Burkett and McCarthy. The former was a worthy selection, but McCarthy has since been derided as one of the committee's worst choices ever, which is particularly egregious since 19th Century players should have been its area of focus and expertise. And contrary to the writers' vote, where vote totals were released and some sense of the prevailing thinking was apparent, the Committee was acting with a complete lack of transparency and in a manner that can only be described as power-drunk.

Induction Ceremony[edit]

For the first time since the regular class of 1939 (excluding Lou Gehrig, who went through a special election) a proper induction ceremony was held in Cooperstown, NY for the 11 new members - although only Ed Walsh showed up of the four inductees who were still alive. Former Commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis was also inducted at that time, after having been elected in a special election in 1944 - but Gehrig and 11 other players who had been elected in recent years and had not received a proper induction ceremony - were not. This oversight would not be remedied until 2013.