Blogs > Gil Troy > Baseball’s First Naughty Hall of Famers

Feb 2, 2016

Baseball’s First Naughty Hall of Famers

tags: baseball,Gil Troy

On January 29, 1936, members of the Baseball Writers’ Association selected the first five superstars to be installed three years later in the Hall of Fame. The writers chose well: in selecting Ty Cobb, Babe Ruth, Walter Johnson, Christy Mathewson, and Honus Wagner they were confirming athletic immortality more than conferring it. The founders of baseball’s Pantheon acted intelligently too. By establishing this iconic institution they used its colorful history to stake baseball’s claim as America’s national pastime.

Eighty years later, the founding five remain among baseball’s greatest players. A brilliant hitter and ruthless base runner most associated with the Detroit Tigers, Cobb retired with 43 major league regular season records. A legendary slugger and charismatic New York Yankee—after the Boston Red Sox sold him—Ruth helped popularize the game. Even though both of his biggest records have been broken, 60 homers a season and 714 in a career remain among baseball’s most magical numbers. A fastballer for the Washington Senators, Walter Johnson won 417 times, pitched 531 complete games and struck batters out 3509 times. A New York Giant who was more a crafty screwballer than a power pitcher, Christy Mathewson won 37 games one season, and pitched three shutouts during the 1905 World Series. And although today he is most famous for the million plus dollars one of his baseball cards fetches, Honus Wagner, of the Pittsburgh Pirates, was a master fielder as well as an extraordinary runner and hitter, who won the National League battle title eight times.

Read entire article at - The Daily Beast

comments powered by Disqus