The player who received the most votes the previous year without
getting the necessary 75% was, not surprisingly, voted in during the 1938
voting. The surprise was that no one else made the cut. Only Grover
Cleveland 'Pete' Alexander received enough support from the Baseball
Writers Association of America.
George Sisler, who finished seventh in '37, passed Wee Willie Keeler
and Eddie Collins for second and was seen as the front runner for 1939. Alexander
Cartwright and Henry
Chadwick were added by the "Centennial Committee" (Landis,
Frick and Harridge; see 1937).
Cartwright is credited with creating the first set of written rules for
baseball in 1845. That he, and not Abner Doubleday, was honored shows that
even as the museum was being built in Cooperstown, New York, baseball gave
little more than lip service to the Doubleday Myth.
Chadwick never believed the myth, though without his prodding, it might
never have been invented. It was the disagreement among friends between
Chadwick and Albert Spalding about whether or not baseball evolved from
British games or was purely and American sport that led the latter to form
a special commission whose task it was to find a plausible way of proving
baseball was American.
Chadwick is credited with devising the first baseball box score and was
covering the sport as a writer as early as 1860. He was known in later
years as the "Father of Baseball." Not bad for a lad from
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