Baseball Hall of Fame balloting, 1937

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The 1937 process of selecting inductees to the Baseball Hall of Fame was markedly different from the initial elections the previous year. As only half of the initial goal of 10 inductees had been selected in 1936, members of the Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA) were once again given authority to select any players active in the 20th century; but the unsuccessful 1936 Veterans Committee election for 19th-century players led to a smaller Centennial Commission choosing a handful of inductees whose contributions were largely as non-players.

In the BBWAA election, voters were again instructed to cast votes for 10 candidates, but were now discouraged from casting votes for active players (though some player-managers whose playing days were largely over, such as Rogers Hornsby, received votes). Any candidate receiving votes on at least 75% of the ballots would be honored with induction to the Hall upon its opening in the sport's supposed centennial year of 1939. Again, individuals who had been barred from baseball were not formally ineligible; Hal Chase received some votes, though Shoeless Joe Jackson did not.

The BBWAA vote[edit]

A total of 201 ballots were cast, with 1,949 individual votes for 113 specific candidates, an average of 9.70 per ballot; 151 votes were required for election. Selections were announced on January 19, 1937. The three candidates who received at least 75% of the vote and were elected are indicated in bold italics; candidates who have since been selected in subsequent elections are indicated in italics:

Tris Speaker, center fielder for the Boston Red Sox
Key to colors
     Elected to the Hall. These individuals are also indicated in bold italics.
     Players who were elected in future elections. These individuals are also indicated in plain italics.
Player Votes Percent
Nap Lajoie 168 83.6
Tris Speaker 165 82.1
Cy Young 153 76.1
Grover Cleveland Alexander 125 62.2
Eddie Collins 115 57.2
Willie Keeler 115 57.2
George Sisler 106 52.7
Ed Delahanty 70 34.8
Rube Waddell 67 33.3
Jimmy Collins 60 29.9
Ed Walsh 56 27.9
Rogers Hornsby 53 26.4
Frank Chance 49 24.4
Johnny Evers 44 21.9
Roger Bresnahan 43 21.4
John McGraw 35 17.4
Mordecai Brown 31 15.4
Rabbit Maranville 25 12.4
Ray Schalk 24 11.9
Eddie Plank 23 11.4
Fred Clarke 22 10.9
Johnny Kling 20 10.0
Hal Chase 18 9.0
Chief Bender 17 8.5
Lou Criger 16 8.0
Ross Youngs 16 8.0
Herb Pennock 15 7.5
Joe Tinker 15 7.5
Frank Baker 13 6.5
Rube Marquard 13 6.5
Smoky Joe Wood 13 6.5
Joe McGinnity 12 6.0
Addie Joss 11 5.5
Nap Rucker 11 5.5
Harry Heilmann 10 5.0
Edd Roush 10 5.0
Dazzy Vance 10 5.0
Babe Adams 8 4.0
Hugh Duffy 7 3.5
Jimmy Archer 6 3.0
Max Carey 6 3.0
Mike Donlin 6 3.0
Harry Hooper 6 3.0
Bill Bradley 5 2.5
Bill Carrigan 5 2.5
Sam Crawford 5 2.5
Miller Huggins 5 2.5
Wilbert Robinson 5 2.5
Fred Tenney 5 2.5
Zack Wheat 5 2.5
Earle Combs 4 2.0
Clark Griffith 4 2.0
Hughie Jennings 4 2.0
Nick Altrock 3 1.5
Dave Bancroft 3 1.5
George Burns 3 1.5
Wild Bill Donovan 3 1.5
Red Faber 3 1.5
Duffy Lewis 3 1.5
Art Nehf 3 1.5
Roger Peckinpaugh 3 1.5
Marty Bergen 2 1.0
Ping Bodie 2 1.0
Jack Coombs 2 1.0
Gavvy Cravath 2 1.0
Jake Daubert 2 1.0
Larry Doyle 2 1.0
Art Fletcher 2 1.0
Hank Gowdy 2 1.0
Hans Lobert 2 1.0
Sherry Magee 2 1.0
Ossee Schreckengost 2 1.0
Everett Scott 2 1.0
Ted Breitenstein 1 0.5
Jesse Burkett 1 0.5
Donie Bush 1 0.5
Jack Chesbro 1 0.5
Bill Cissell 1 0.5
Shano Collins 1 0.5
Red Dooin 1 0.5
Joe Dugan 1 0.5
Kid Elberfeld 1 0.5
Cy Falkenberg 1 0.5
Kid Gleason 1 0.5
Burleigh Grimes 1 0.5
Heinie Groh 1 0.5
Bill Hinchman 1 0.5
Joe Judge 1 0.5
Dickie Kerr 1 0.5
Tommy Leach 1 0.5
Sam Leever 1 0.5
Herman Long 1 0.5
Dolf Luque 1 0.5
Stuffy McInnis 1 0.5
Larry McLean 1 0.5
Bob Meusel 1 0.5
Hack Miller 1 0.5
Pat Moran 1 0.5
Danny Murphy 1 0.5
Red Murray 1 0.5
Dode Paskert 1 0.5
Bugs Raymond 1 0.5
Eppa Rixey 1 0.5
Dick Rudolph 1 0.5
Amos Rusie 1 0.5
Frank Schulte 1 0.5
Joe Sewell 1 0.5
Harry Steinfeldt 1 0.5
Gabby Street 1 0.5
Billy Sullivan 1 0.5
Bobby Veach 1 0.5
Bobby Wallace 1 0.5
Hack Wilson 1 0.5

The Centennial Commission[edit]

After the error-ridden 1936 Veterans election failed to select any 19th-century players, the Hall opted in 1937 to have a small committee select inductees "for outstanding service to base ball apart from playing the game." The Commission's members were: Commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis; National League president Ford Frick; American League president Will Harridge; Judge William G. Bramham, president of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues (the minor league overseeing body); former NL president John Heydler; and George Trautman, president of the minor league American Association and chairman of the National Association's executive committee. At the December 1937 major league winter meetings in Chicago, Frick announced that the Commission had elected:

Of the five selectees, only Mack was still living when the selections were made.

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