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Baseball Hall of Fame balloting, 1955

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Baseball Hall of Fame balloting, 1955

Elections to the Baseball Hall of Fame for 1955 followed a system established for odd-number years in 1953. The eligibility of retired players was extended; previously, a player could not be on the BBWAA ballot if he had retired more than 25 years prior. The ballot could now include those who had been retired for up to 30 years.

The Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA) voted by mail to select from recent major league players and elected four: Joe DiMaggio, Gabby Hartnett, Ted Lyons, and Dazzy Vance.

The Veterans Committee met in closed sessions to consider executives, managers, umpires, and earlier players. It selected two players, Frank Baker and Ray Schalk.

BBWAA election

The BBWAA was authorized to elect players active in 1925 or later, but not after 1949. All 10-year members of the BBWAA were eligible to vote.

Any candidate receiving votes on at least 75% of the ballots would be honored with induction to the Hall. Votes were cast for 65 players; a total of 251 ballots were cast, with 189 votes required for election. A total of 2,391 individual votes were cast, an average of 9.53 per ballot. For the third and (as of 2009) most recent time, the election produced at least four inductees.

The four candidates who received 75% of the vote and were elected are indicated in bold italics; candidates who have since been elected in subsequent elections are indicated in italics.

Key to colors
     Elected to the Hall. These individuals are also indicated in bold italics.
     Players who were elected in future elections. These individuals are also indicated in plain italics.
Player Votes Percent
Joe DiMaggio 223 88.8
Ted Lyons 217 86.5
Dazzy Vance 205 81.7
Gabby Hartnett 195 77.7
Hank Greenberg 157 62.5
Joe Cronin 135 53.8
Max Carey 119 47.4
Ray Schalk 113 45.0
Edd Roush 97 38.6
Hank Gowdy 90 35.9
Hack Wilson 81 32.3
Lefty Gomez 71 28.3
Tony Lazzeri 66 26.3
Red Ruffing 60 23.9
Zack Wheat 51 20.3
Ross Youngs 48 19.1
Kiki Cuyler 35 13.9
Rube Marquard 35 13.9
Duffy Lewis 34 13.5
Waite Hoyt 33 13.1
Sam Rice 28 11.2
Red Faber 27 10.8
Jim Bottomley 26 10.4
Dickie Kerr 25 10.0
Chuck Klein 25 10.0
Babe Adams 24 9.6
Dave Bancroft 19 7.6
Jimmy Wilson 13 5.2
Wilbur Cooper 11 4.4
Muddy Ruel 11 4.4
Jesse Haines 10 4.0
Howard Ehmke 8 3.2
Eppa Rixey 8 3.2
Everett Scott 8 3.2
Goose Goslin 7 2.8
Art Nehf 7 2.8
Clyde Milan 6 2.4
Heinie Groh 5 2.0
Babe Herman 5 2.0
Travis Jackson 5 2.0
Bill Wambsganss 5 2.0
Chick Hafey 4 1.6
Arky Vaughan 4 1.6
Glenn Wright 4 1.6
Luke Appling 3 1.2
Burleigh Grimes 3 1.2
Cy Williams 3 1.2
Earl Averill 2 0.8
George Earnshaw 2 0.8
Joe Judge 2 0.8
Bob Meusel 2 0.8
Johnny Allen 1 0.4
Charlie Berry 1 0.4
Max Bishop 1 0.4
Earle Combs 1 0.4
Jake Daubert 1 0.4
Paul Derringer 1 0.4
Jimmy Dykes 1 0.4
Joe Gordon 1 0.4
Mule Haas 1 0.4
Sam Jones 1 0.4
Roger Peckinpaugh 1 0.4
Hal Schumacher 1 0.4
Joe Sewell 1 0.4
Bill Sherdel 1 0.4

Voting patterns

  • When there is an influx of qualified candidates, like there were for many years after the Hall was opened, voters tend to spread their votes out more. Joe DiMaggio's 88.8% is not an aberration of the time, and a player of his caliber would probably receive over 95% if voted on today (Ripken, Gwynn, Henderson, etc.).
  • The only player who received at least 15% of the vote and has not, as of 2009, been elected is Hank Gowdy, at 35.9%. Gowdy fared reasonably well in these elections, primarily because of his defensive ability. However, as time passes, voters generally tend to focus more on offensive statistics. This may be the reason why Gowdy hasn't been elected and players like Arky Vaughan and Chuck Klein, with much lower vote totals, have.
  • Dickie Kerr's 10% vote total is very surprising in retrospect. His success is attributed to being one of the "clean" Sox of the 1919 World Series.[1]

References

  1. ^ James, Bill (1995). Whatever Happened to the Hall of Fame?. New York, NY: Free Press.  

External links

  • 1955 Election at www.baseballhalloffame.org
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