Writing often about Cooperstown the past couple years, I’ve come to favor a large Hall of Fame. I don’t apologize for this, nor do I think there’d be anything wrong with a museum that would honor the likes of Dwight Evans, Alan Trammell, or Smoky Joe Wood. That being said, I understand one reason people decry the inductions of players like Travis Jackson, Tommy McCarthy, and Eppa Rixey. There isn’t much delineation in the players’ wing at Cooperstown, nothing to separate the Jacksons, McCarthys, and Rixeys of the museum from players like Babe Ruth, Ted Williams, and Willie Mays. Every member gets the same plaque. By standards of Cooperstown, all enshrined players are, in effect, equal. Should this be so?
I’ve devised a new project to challenge this paradigm. As founder and editor of this site, I’m pleased to kick off voting on the Hall of Fame Inner Circle Project.
The past two offseasons, I’ve run a project through this website having people vote on the 50 best players not in the Hall of Fame. The project that I’m kicking off today could perhaps be called the 50 best players in the Hall of Fame. This is about identifying the best of the best and giving them their due, their own special level of recognition. I don’t know if anyone’s devised an inner circle before, though I know there’s nothing like it at the Hall of Fame itself. Let’s build something together. I’ve created a ballot of the 237 men who’ve been voted into Cooperstown as players, counting Negro Leaguers, and I invite anyone who’s interested to vote for the 50 best of the best. Please vote via this Google Document.
As usual, there are few rules with voting. I welcome people using whatever system they’d like for voting, and as always, all votes count equally and rankings will be determined by number of votes. The only requirements are that people vote for 50 players and that all votes be submitted no later than Friday, July 6 at 5 p.m. Pacific Standard Time. I’ll unveil results on July 17, just ahead of the annual induction weekend at Cooperstown. On a related note, if anyone is interested in writing about a player for the final results post, please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I can also be reached for questions or feedback via this email. All this being said, thanks, and I look forward to seeing how everyone votes.