The 1942 election to select inductees to the Baseball Hall of Fame was
the first to be conducted in three years, and the only regular election in
the years 1940 to 1944; in 1939 the Baseball Writers Association of
had moved to hold elections every three years rather than annually, now
that the Hall had opened. This was a widely criticized move, as observers
generally agreed that electing 3 players per year - the pace established
from 1936 to 1939 - was an ideal number for annual induction.
After the Old-Timers Committee made its six
selections in 1939 from among the figures of the 19th century era,
Mountain Landis completely revised the committee's membership,
establishing it as the Hall of Fame Committee and designating it as the
Hall's permanent governing body; from 1939 to 1944, its four members were:
Athletics owner/manager Connie Mack; Yankees president Ed Barrow; Braves
president Bob Quinn; and sportswriter Sid Mercer. This committee was
responsible, in its function as the Old-Timers Committee, for selecting
additional worthy candidates from the 19th century; however, the committee
never convened during this 5-year period, and made no selections -
creating greater complaints that the stars of the 1880s and 1890s were
Members of the BBWAA again had the authority to select any players
active in the 20th century, provided they had been retired for one year.
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.
A total of 233 ballots were cast, with 2328 individual votes for 72
specific candidates; 175 votes were required for election. Players of the
1900s and 1910s, who many voters felt should be given priority, dominated
the voting to an even greater extent than they had in 1939. Of the top 22
candidates in the voting, 17 had not seen any substantial play since 1917;
only 3 of the top 32 had played their final season anytime between 1918
and 1933. Players who had been retired over 24 years - 42 of the 72 named
- received 66% of the votes. The results were announced in January 1942.
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