The Call to Cooperstown


Braden Hamelin, Staff Writer

For every MLB player that has passed through the league over baseball’s over 170 year history, their sole goal is to reach the Hall of Fame (HOF).  The most prestigious title any player can be given to be a Hall of Fame member. Especially for the MLB’s youth fanbase , Hall of Famers are idolized and even mimicked by their most supportive fans.

For me it was practicing Babe Ruth’s signature swing and the slick fielding skills and throws of future HOF Derek Jeter in the backyard.  Growing up, I thought the coolest thing was to be like an MLB superstar, past or present. While I know now that my HOF shots are a little slim, the one thing I dreamed of as a kid was to get into the Hall of Fame as the world’s greatest player. These players fuel the dreams of kids across the world just like they did mine.

The HOF was created in 1939, in Cooperstown, New York, but the first HOF class was selected in 1936. This class included superstars like Ty Cobb, Babe Ruth and Honus Wagner. They were selected by members of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America (BBWAA). During the early period of the Hall, selection restrictions that are now in place, like the fact that members cannot be inducted while still playing, and a ban on players not retired for more than five years were not in place.

Every year, 25-40 players are put up on the BBWAA ballot, and every writer gets 10 votes to share between the nominees. Any player that gets 75% of the vote or higher is inducted into the Hall, while any players with less than 5% are removed from any future ballots. Any nominee that falls into the middle of the two requirements is put back on the ballot for a maximum of 10 years of eligibility. There are two categories, players and executives/managers that writers can vote in.

This year the lucky few included Jeff Bagwell, Tim Raines, Ivan Rodriguez, John Schuerholz, and Bud Selig. In the players category there was Bagwell, Raines, and Rodriguez while Schuerholtz and Selig were voted in on the executives/managers side of the ballot. A few new men to be forever enshrined in the halls of Cooperstown, their careers on the diamond, the lasting legacies for sports fans of the future to discover and enjoy.