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--Joe Garagiola, on Rick Burleson

 

1949 Hall of Fame Results

By Wikipedia

Charlie Gehringer was voted into National Baseball Hall of Fame by the writers for 1949, but only after a second ballot.

Voting by Year

The 1949 election to select inductees to the Baseball Hall of Fame proceeded using the same rules as the successful elections in the previous two years, with the Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA) again authorized to elect players retired less than 25 years.

The Old-Timers Committee, which had not met since 1946 to make further selections from among those players retired more than 25 years, finally responded to renewed calls for them to elect more of the game's earlier stars.

The Initial Ballot

The 10-year members of the BBWAA had the authority to select any players active in 1924 or later, provided they had not been active in 1948. 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. If no candidate received votes on 75% of the ballots, the top 20 candidates would advance to a runoff election.

A total of 153 ballots were cast, with 1409 individual votes for 98 specific candidates; 115 votes were required for election. The results were announced in February 1949. For the first time in three elections following the most recent format change, no candidate received 75% of the vote, and a runoff was necessary.

As had been true the previous year, a large number of players received votes, though few players were named who had not appeared in the 1948 vote apart from the newly eligible 1947 retirees (prominently, Mel Ott and Hank Greenberg); every still-eligible player who received more than 2 votes in 1948 was again named. 66 of those named received votes on less than 5% of the ballots, with 28 receiving only a single vote; every candidate had been eligible at some point in the past - for some, the 1936 election in which active players were eligible.

Greenberg's eligibility was questioned by some voters, as he had been listed on the Cleveland Indians' active roster for part of the 1948 season as a precautionary move against injuries to other players. However, he was removed from the active roster once it became clear that his position as an Indians executive precluded any playing role, and he did not appear in any games; nonetheless, some voters maintained that his inclusion on the roster made him an active player and thus ineligible for election in 1949.

Once again, the focus was now on the most recent players; those who had retired before 1932 receded even further in the voting. Only 2 of the top 22 candidates, and none of the top 15, had retired before 1932; 12 of the 20 players reaching the runoff had been active in 1941 or later. Of the 98 players named, only 24 retired before 1930; they received only 9% of the vote. Three players who had retired before 1924 (none earlier than 1921) and were officially ineligible nevertheless received a single vote each; this was a notable reduction from the previous year's total of 23 votes for such now-ineligible candidates. Votes for those best known as managers again appeared, though only for those who were eligible as players and not to the same extent as in 1948, perhaps due to an expectation of more selections from the Old-Timers Committee.

Chief Bender, who was technically eligible due to a single inning pitched in 1925, received only 2 votes - a continued drop from his past prominence on the ballot; as with the previous election, it seems either that most voters were unaware of his eligibility or that they viewed it as irrelevant to the spirit of the rules. There was also some confusion as to the cutoff year for eligibility; some writers believed it to be 1927 or 1928 rather than 1924. Dizzy Dean, whose eligibility in 1948 had been questioned due to a single appearance in a 1947 game, returned to the same level he had attained in the 1947 election. Unlike the 1948 election, no players active in the previous year received votes.

The top 20 candidates, who had each received 20 or more votes, advanced to the runoff election.

Votes by members of the BBWAA were tabulated by the National Baseball Hall of Fame. At least 115 votes were needed to be elected.

FIRST BALLOT...
NAME VOTES % CAT. TIMES
Charlie Gehringer 102 66.7% P 7th
Mel Ott 94 61.4% P 1st
Al Simmons 89 58.2% P 5th
Dizzy Dean 88 57.5% P 7th
Jimmie Foxx 85 55.6% P 5th
Bill Terry 81 52.9% P 9th
Paul Waner 73 47.7% P 3rd
Hank Greenberg 67 43.8% P 2nd
Bill Dickey 65 42.5% P 5th
Harry Heilmann 59 38.6% P 9th
Rabbit Maranville 58 37.9% P 10th
Gabby Hartnett 35 22.9% P 6th
Joe Cronin 33 21.6% P 3rd
Dazzy Vance 33 21.6% P 10th
Ted Lyons 29 19.0% P 4th
Ray Schalk 24 15.7% P 10th
Hack Wilson 24 15.7% P 5th
Red Ruffing 22 14.4% P 2nd
Tony Lazzeri 20 13.1% P 4th
Ross Youngs 20 13.1% P 10th
Lefty Gomez 17 11.1% P 5th
Pepper Martin 16 10.5% P 5th
Zack Wheat 15 9.8% P 9th
Edd Roush 14 9.2% P 10th
Max Carey 12 7.8% P 6th
Bucky Harris 11 7.2% M 4th
Hank Gowdy 10 6.5% P 8th
Charlie Grimm 10 6.5% P 5th
Chuck Klein 9 5.9% P 2nd
Jim Bottomley 8 5.2% P 2nd
Burleigh Grimes 8 5.2% P 5th
Stuffy McInnis 8 5.2% P 5th
Jimmie Dykes 7 4.6% P 2nd
Waite Hoyt 7 4.6% P 5th
Billy Southworth 7 4.6% P 3rd
Earle Combs 6 3.9% P 6th
Red Faber 6 3.9% P 6th
Travis Jackson 6 3.9% P 2nd
Steve O'Neill 6 3.9% P 2nd
Jimmie Wilson 6 3.9% P 2nd
Babe Adams 5 3.3% P 9th
Dave Bancroft 5 3.3% P 6th
Babe Herman 5 3.3% P 3rd
Wilbur Cooper 4 2.6% P 4th
Kiki Cuyler 4 2.6% P 2nd
Goose Goslin 4 2.6% P 2nd
Stan Hack 4 2.6% P 2nd
Mel Harder 4 2.6% P 1st
Rube Marquard 4 2.6% P 8th
Lefty O'Doul 4 2.6% P 2nd
Eppa Rixey 4 2.6% P 6th
Stan Coveleski 3 2.0% P 3rd
Bob Meusel 3 2.0% P 5th
Sam Rice 3 2.0% P 3rd
Everett Scott 3 2.0% P 7th
Casey Stengel 3 2.0% M 5th
Lloyd Waner 3 2.0% P 1st
Chief Bender 2 1.3% P 11th
Joe Dugan 2 1.3% P 4th
George Earnshaw 2 1.3% P 2nd
Freddie Fitzsimmons 2 1.3% P 2nd
Charlie Gelbert 2 1.3% P 2nd
Chick Hafey 2 1.3% P 2nd
Jesse Haines 2 1.3% P 4th
Billy Jurges 2 1.3% P 1st
Red Lucas 2 1.3% P 1st
Eddie Rommel 2 1.3% P 2nd
Urban Shocker 2 1.3% P 4th
Lon Warneke 2 1.3% P 1st
Cy Williams 2 1.3% P 4th
Earl Averill 1 0.7% P 1st
Ossie Bluege 1 0.7% P 2nd
Ping Bodie 1 0.7% P 2nd
George Burns 1 0.7% P 4th
Ben Chapman 1 0.7% P 1st
Spud Davis 1 0.7% P 2nd
Leo Durocher 1 0.7% M 2nd
Howard Ehmke 1 0.7% P 2nd
Wes Ferrell 1 0.7% P 2nd
Art Fletcher 1 0.7% P 6th
Joe Judge 1 0.7% P 3rd
George Kelly 1 0.7% P 3rd
Dickie Kerr 1 0.7% P 6th
Freddie Lindstrom 1 0.7% P 1st
Al Lopez 1 0.7% M 1st
Heinie Manush 1 0.7% P 2nd
Buddy Myer 1 0.7% P 1st
Art Nehf 1 0.7% P 4th
Roger Peckinpaugh 1 0.7% P 5th
Hub Pruett 1 0.7% P 1st
Jimmy Ring 1 0.7% P 1st
Charley Root 1 0.7% P 3rd
George Selkirk 1 0.7% P 2nd
Bill Sherdel 1 0.7% P 2nd
Fred Toney 1 0.7% P 1st
Billy Werber 1 0.7% P 1st
Whitey Witt 1 0.7% P 1st
Glenn Wright 1 0.7% P 2nd

Source: National Baseball Hall of Fame. Special thanks to Keith Hemmelman for compiling the data.

The Runoff Election

From the 20 final candidates listed on the ballot, voters were instructed to cast votes for five; they were aware of the totals from the first election. Any candidates receiving votes on at least 75% of the ballots would be elected and honored with induction to the Hall. A total of 187 ballots were cast, with 920 individual votes for the 20 candidates; 141 votes were required for election. The results were announced on May 5; exactly one player reached the threshold of 75% and was therefore elected.

The more recent players once again figured more prominently in the voting, with the top 6 candidates retired less than 7 years. There was much criticism from those who disliked the runoff process, believing it amounted to two virtually identical elections in a row; with the candidates finishing in roughly the same order both times, many voters felt they were essentially being encouraged to vote for the top candidates from the first ballot in order to ensure at least one selection. As a result, the rules were again revised by the Hall of Fame Committee, and the runoff procedure was eliminated after 1949; it would not be reinstated until after the 1960 election.

The induction ceremonies were held in Cooperstown on June 13, with Brooklyn Dodgers president Branch Rickey officiating. The two 1948 selectees being formally inducted as well; Pie Traynor was present. Charlie Gehringer, however, was unable to attend, as he was in California preparing for his wedding on June 18.

Charlie Gehringer was the sole candidate who received at least 75% of the vote and was elected; all the remaining candidates have since been selected in subsequent elections, with 16 of the 20 chosen by 1956, and the last (Tony Lazzeri) in 1991.

Votes by members of the BBWAA were tabulated by the National Baseball Hall of Fame. At least 141 votes were needed to be elected. (Winners in bold.)

RUN-OFF BALLOT ...
NAME VOTES % CAT. TIMES
Charlie Gehringer 159 85.0% P 8th
Mel Ott 128 68.4% P 2nd
Jimmie Foxx 89 47.6% P 6th
Dizzy Dean 81 43.3% P 8th
Al Simmons 76 40.6% P 6th
Paul Waner 63 33.7% P 4th
Harry Heilmann 52 27.8% P 10th
Bill Terry 48 25.7% P 10th
Hank Greenberg 44 23.5% P 3rd
Bill Dickey 39 20.9% P 6th
Rabbit Maranville 39 20.9% P 11th
Ray Schalk 17 9.1% P 11th
Joe Cronin 16 8.6% P 4th
Dazzy Vance 15 8.0% P 11th
Ted Lyons 14 7.5% P 5th
Hack Wilson 12 6.4% P 6th
Ross Youngs 11 5.9% P 11th
Gabby Hartnett 7 3.7% P 7th
Tony Lazzeri 6 3.2% P 5th
Red Ruffing 4 2.1% P 3rd

Source: National Baseball Hall of Fame. Special thanks to Keith Hemmelman for compiling the data.

Hall of Fame References

Baseball's Hall of Fame: Cooperstown--Where the Legends Live Forever by Lowell Reidenbaugh
A Legend for the Legendary: The Origin of the Baseball Hall of Fame by James A. Vlasich
The Politics Of Glory, How Baseball Hall Of Fame Really Works by Bill James
Whatever Happened To The Hall Of Fame? by Bill James

Out by a Step: The 100 Best Players Not in the Baseball Hall of Fame
by Mike Shalin
Total Baseball: The Ultimate Baseball Encyclopedia
by John Thorn, et al.
2006 ESPN Baseball Encyclopedia by Gary Gillette (Editor), Pete Palmer (Editor).

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HALL OF FAME

Charlie Gehringer as seen on his '61 Fleer card.

Total ballots cast: 187

Ballots necessary for election: 141


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