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1939 Hall of Fame Class

1939 Hall of Fame Class

1939 Hall of Fame - Cy Young, Babe Ruth, Ty Cobb, Lou Gehrig

The 1939 elections to select inductees to the Baseball Hall of Fame were the last ones conducted prior to the Hall's opening that year. Needing just one addition to complete the initial goal of 10 inductees from the 20th century, members of the Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA) were once again given authority to select any players active in the 20th century, excepting active players. Difficulties in convening the Centennial Commission of the previous two years led to an even smaller Old-Timers Committee selecting inductees from the 19th century - a cause of particular urgency to many who had been anticipating the five promised but unfulfilled selections in that area for over three years.

In the BBWAA election, voters were instructed to cast votes for 10 candidates; any candidate receiving votes on at least 75% of the ballots would be honored with induction to the Hall upon its opening in Cooperstown, New York on June 12 of that year. After the Hall's opening, a special election was also held in December. Because the initial goal for the Hall's opening of selecting 10 players from the 20th century had now been met, it was further decided to delay the next election until 1942, even though observers widely believed that electing three players per year (12 had been elected in four regular BBWAA elections) had turned out to be an ideal rate.

1939 Induction Class included BBWAA selections Eddie Collins, Lou Gehrig, Willie Keeler, and George Sisler were inducted. The Veterans Committee elected Cap Anson, Buck Ewing, Candy Cummings, Charles Radbourn along with manager/executives Charles Comiskey and Al Spalding.

 

By Tom Hannon

 

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