Baseball Hall of Fame balloting, 1938

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The 1938 elections to select inductees to the Baseball Hall of Fame were conducted along much the same lines as the 1937 vote. Toward the goal of 10 initial inductees from the 20th century, 8 had now been selected; members of the Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA) were once again given authority to select any players active in the 20th century, excepting active players. The Centennial Commission retained the responsibility of selecting inductees whose contributions were largely as non-players.

In the BBWAA election, 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 upon its opening in the sport's supposed centennial year of 1939. Individuals who had been barred from baseball, though not formally ineligible, no longer received even the minimal support given them in the two prior elections.

As the obvious stars had already been elected, only pitcher Grover Cleveland Alexander made it out of this ballot.

The BBWAA vote[edit]

A total of 262 ballots were cast, with 2,474 individual votes for 119 specific candidates, an average of 9.44 per ballot; 197 votes were required for election. The balloting was dominated by players of the 1900s and 1910s, rather than those of the more recent two decades; the results were announced in January 1938. The sole candidate who received at least 75% of the vote and was elected is indicated in bold italics; candidates who have since been selected in subsequent elections are indicated in italics:

Grover Cleveland Alexander
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
Grover Cleveland Alexander 212 80.9
George Sisler 179 68.3
Willie Keeler 177 67.6
Eddie Collins 175 66.8
Rube Waddell 148 56.5
Frank Chance 133 50.8
Ed Delahanty 132 50.4
Ed Walsh 110 42.0
Johnny Evers 91 34.7
Jimmy Collins 79 30.2
Rabbit Maranville 73 27.9
Roger Bresnahan 67 25.6
Fred Clarke 63 24.0
Mordecai Brown 54 20.6
Miller Huggins 48 18.3
Rogers Hornsby 46 17.6
Ray Schalk 45 17.2
Ross Youngs 40 15.3
Eddie Plank 38 14.5
Herb Pennock 37 14.1
Joe McGinnity 36 13.7
Chief Bender 33 12.6
Frank Baker 32 12.2
Johnny Kling 26 9.9
Hugh Duffy 24 9.2
Hughie Jennings 23 8.8
Addie Joss 18 6.9
Wilbert Robinson 17 6.5
Joe Tinker 16 6.1
Harry Heilmann 14 5.3
Nap Rucker 12 4.6
Babe Adams 11 4.2
Sam Crawford 11 4.2
Lou Criger 11 4.2
Clark Griffith 10 3.8
Rube Marquard 10 3.8
Dazzy Vance 10 3.8
Edd Roush 9 3.4
Hank Gowdy 8 3.1
Amos Rusie 8 3.1
Fred Tenney 8 3.1
Nick Altrock 7 2.7
Jimmy Archer 7 2.7
Earle Combs 7 2.7
Bill Terry 7 2.7
Bobby Wallace 7 2.7
Zack Wheat 7 2.7
Max Carey 6 2.3
Smoky Joe Wood 6 2.3
Mike Donlin 5 1.9
Duffy Lewis 5 1.9
Art Nehf 5 1.9
Bill Carrigan 4 1.5
Bill Dinneen 4 1.5
Larry Doyle 4 1.5
Harry Hooper 4 1.5
Stuffy McInnis 4 1.5
Jack Barry 3 1.1
George Burns 3 1.1
Art Fletcher 3 1.1
Heinie Groh 3 1.1
Dickie Kerr 3 1.1
Kid Nichols 3 1.1
Pie Traynor 3 1.1
Dave Bancroft 2 0.8
Bill Bradley 2 0.8
Jesse Burkett 2 0.8
Jack Chesbro 2 0.8
Jack Coombs 2 0.8
Gavvy Cravath 2 0.8
Kid Elberfeld 2 0.8
Eddie Foster 2 0.8
Joe Judge 2 0.8
Sherry Magee 2 0.8
Roger Peckinpaugh 2 0.8
Eppa Rixey 2 0.8
Ossee Schreckengost 2 0.8
Everett Scott 2 0.8
Casey Stengel 2 0.8
Ginger Beaumont 1 0.4
Marty Bergen 1 0.4
Ray Chapman 1 0.4
Andy Coakley 1 0.4
Wilbur Cooper 1 0.4
Stan Coveleski 1 0.4
Doc Crandall 1 0.4
Walton Cruise 1 0.4
Bill Dahlen 1 0.4
Jake Daubert 1 0.4
Wild Bill Donovan 1 0.4
Red Dooin 1 0.4
Joe Dugan 1 0.4
Howard Ehmke 1 0.4
Red Faber 1 0.4
Elmer Flick 1 0.4
Kid Gleason 1 0.4
Eddie Grant 1 0.4
Burleigh Grimes 1 0.4
Bucky Harris 1 0.4
Buck Herzog 1 0.4
Charlie Irwin 1 0.4
Arlie Latham 1 0.4
Hans Lobert 1 0.4
Herman Long 1 0.4
Dolf Luque 1 0.4
Firpo Marberry 1 0.4
Bob Meusel 1 0.4
Clyde Milan 1 0.4
Pat Moran 1 0.4
Red Murray 1 0.4
Hub Perdue 1 0.4
Sam Rice 1 0.4
Jimmy Sheckard 1 0.4
Urban Shocker 1 0.4
Jake Stahl 1 0.4
Gabby Street 1 0.4
Ira Thomas 1 0.4
Cy Williams 1 0.4
Chief Zimmer 1 0.4

The Centennial Commission[edit]

Once again, the Hall opted to have this small committee of six members select inductees "for outstanding service to base ball apart from playing the game." After selecting five individuals in 1937, the Commission chose two inductees at the major league winter meetings in New York City in December 1938, though the choices were not announced until the following month:

  • Alexander Cartwright, who had been instrumental in organizing some of the game's first teams in the 1840s and had moved to establish the game's first consistent playing rules; and
  • Henry Chadwick, a sportswriter who had tirelessly promoted the game in the late 19th century and had been a major force in revision of the rules through several decades. To date he is the only sportswriter (or commentator) to be inducted into the real Hall of Fame (as opposed to the writers' and commentators' "wings").

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