Congratulations to the newest members of the Hall of Miller and Eric: Babe Ruth, Rogers Hornsby, Dazzy Vance, Jimmy Collins, and Stan Coveleski. With their 1941 induction, our HoME is now populated with 44 of the greatest players in the game’s history.
Per our rules, players have to be named on both ballots for induction. Here’s how we voted.
Miller Eric 1 Babe Ruth Babe Ruth 2 Rogers Hornsby Rogers Hornsby 3 Dazzy Vance Dazzy Vance 4 Pud Galvin Charlie Bennett 5 Jimmy Collins Elmer Flick 6 Red Faber Jimmy Collins 7 Stan Coveleski George Sisler 8 Mordecai Brown Vic Willis 9 Monte Ward Stan Coveleski 10 Jim McCormick
Babe Ruth: You know how announcers will sometimes, with the knowledge that they have nothing to add to the viewer’s experience, remain silent after a team has won the World Series to let the moment speak for itself?
Rogers Hornsby: Rajah’s list of accomplishments is as long as almost anybody’s. He won a pair of triple crowns, a pair of MVP Awards, nine OBP and SLG titles, seven batting crowns, and on and on. He’s second to Ty Cobb in career batting average, and he’s 12th on the all-time WAR list. He was decidedly disappointing in the World Series, but he did tag out fellow HoMEr, Babe Ruth, as the Bambino was attempting to steal to bring the 1926 Fall Classic to a close. Primarily a Cardinal, Hornsby was traded three times in his career and wound up having two of his best seasons outside of St. Louis, 1927 for the Giants, and 1929 for the Cubs.
Dazzy Vance: It’s quite possible that awkwardly raking in a pot during a poker game led Vance to a doctor, which led the doctor to clean out his elbow, which led the 31-year-old Vance to the big leagues, which led to Vance being inducted into the HoME. In a conflicting story, it’s told that Brooklyn, in need of a catcher, tried to get Hank DeBerry from the New Orleans Pelicans. DeBerry was available, but he wouldn’t go to Brooklyn without Vance. No matter which story is true, not really reaching the majors until age 31 didn’t hold back the righty from Iowa. He won a strikeout title in his rookie season and proceeded to win six more in a row after that. Vance was great, totaling 197 wins, adding a 1925 no-hitter, and striking out more NL batters in 1924 than the second and third best NL strikeout pitchers combined.
Jimmy Collins: There’s no doubt the Jimmy Collins was a fine hitter. He grabbed a home run title in 1898. He had a pair of 100-RBI seasons, and he scored 100 on four occasions. But it’s his defense that has him in the HoME. During an age when bunting was far more common, Collins would cheat in, and he’s be able to use his agility and baseball instinct to quell his opponents’ bunting game. A member of Boston franchises in first the National League and then the American, Collins was the first manager when in 1903, as player/manager, his Boston Americans defeated the National League’s Pittsburgh Pirates five games to three.
Stan Coveleski: There were no better pitchers in baseball from 1917-1926. Coveleski, a righty who spent most of his career with the Indians, owns a strikeout title, a pair of ERA titles, and five 20 win seasons. He became famous for his use of the spitball, and was one of seventeen pitchers whose use of the pitch was grandfathered in following its ban after the 1920 season. In the World Series that year, Covey dominated. He pitched three complete game victories, besting Rube Marquard in the first game, Leon Cadore in the fourth, and shutting out Burleigh Gromes and his Brooklyn mates in the seventh. Coveleski opposed Carl Mays on the day Mays struck and killed Ben Chapman with a pitch. And somewhat strangely, he married the sister of his dead wife only a couple of years after his wife passed away.
Each season, some guys are elected, while others receive votes from only one of us. Below we’ll explain our reasons for such votes
Pud Galvin: 365. That’s it, and that’s all.
Red Faber: Faber had a very big peak from 1921-1922. Throw in 1920, and he was the best pitcher in baseball over three years, not by a small margin. While that was it for his peak, he just kept producing solid seasons. His 12.3 WAR after age 40 is pretty impressive – it’s the kind of thing the career guy in me likes.
Mordecai Brown: From 1905-1911, he was more valuable than any pitcher in the game but Christy Mathewson and Ed Walsh. And he’s seventh in history in ERA+ among starting pitchers with at least ten full seasons in the majors.
Monte Ward: As a pitcher, he’s pretty much Johnny Podres or Eddie Lopat. As a hitter, we’re talking Cecil Cooper or Tommy Henrich. With the glove, think Ryne Sandberg or Jackie Robinson at second base, and think Alan Trammell or Pee Wee Reese at shortstop. We may well be looking at one of the 50 most valuable defenders as any position.
Charlie Bennett: The sound bite: He played more and played better at the game’s most grinding position in by far its most grueling era. The longer form: He had a good bat, outstanding defense, and more durability than any catcher in his era, and the shame of it is that because of the conditions he played in and perhaps his untimely demise, he’s a forgotten man in baseball history.
Elmer Flick: If you like sustained excellence, here’s a man to like. 10 years of excellence is a long time.
George Sisler: Sisler is a great what-if. Except that we actually know how great he was. His career is what a some really silly HOF voters think Mattingly’s was. Sisler blows Mattingly away. In reality, he’s a guy with an amazing peak and so much talent that after a beaning left him with double vision, he could still be an average player.
Vic Willis: In a tight-knit group that consists of Waddell, McGinnity, Coveleski, and Willis (and probably McCormick), Willis is the easy-to-overlook guy. No sexy strikeouts. No jillion-inning seasons. No spitball. His peak was a little longer but a little lower, and he spread a little more value into his less peaky seasons. He’s just another flavor of a type of pitcher we’ve already inducted twice.
Jim McCormick: McCormick : Coveleski :: Keefe/Radbourn : Vance
Please visit our Honorees page to see their plaques and to see more information about the HoME and those who have been elected.