Introducing the Baseball Hall of Immortals

Hello – SS here. Dan Twohig will be doing a series which he kicks off below….I am excited about this one.  (And complain to Dan not me lol!)   Seriously, I love this…

The Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown is supposed to honor the best that baseball ever produced.  But does it really?  Can you really say that Harold Baines was one of the all-time greatest players?  Were Phil Rizzuto and Pee Wee Reese really among the absolutely best shortstops in baseball history?  And if the best of all-time are supposed to be there, where is the all-time hit king?  The all-time HR champ?  The man who won more Cy Young Awards than any other pitcher?

I love Cooperstown (have been there 5 times).  It’s an idyllic small town and the baseball museum is pretty cool.  But the whole concept of the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown is completely contrived, as is the selection process.  Many players have been selected by the various Veterans Committees because of relationships with committee members.  Others have been denied selection because of inconsistent policies related to behavior (it’s ok to be a racist, a womanizer, a drunk, etc., but not a gambler).  It’s time to create a new hall – one that honors the best players in history for what they accomplished on the field, regardless of anything else.  I give you, The Smithsonian Baseball Hall of Immortals to be located in Washington, DC.

The HoI will honor the 100 greatest players in baseball history.  No managers, executives, or any other non-players will be included.  The 100 players are not static – if a player comes along who is deemed to be one of the greats of all-time, they will be inducted.  However, in order for a new induction, another player gets eliminated.  The number of inductees can never surpass 100.

Players will be selected by a committee of baseball historians, journalists, and living members of the HoI.  Historians and journalists have to be active in their career.  Players become eligible 5 years after they have retired and are only eligible for 1 year.  In order to be inducted they must reach a 90% voting threshold.

Starting on Monday and continuing for the next 20 weeks we will present the inaugural 100 members of the Hall of Immortals.  The first 40 or so are not that hard.  The next 30 will probably cause some conversation.  The final 30 will be very tough, especially considering who will probably be left out.

Feel free to nominate players as we go along.