Do pro baseball players ever get inducted into the Hall of Fame any other time of year than ~August, IIRC? Also, of all pitchers in the Hall of Fame, has there ever been a pitcher to NEVER start a game???
My local DJ claims some yahoo originally from Lancaster just got inducted into the Hall of Fame, and he is the first pitcher to NEVER have started a game. Sounds like BS to me, and this DJ has a history of delivering BAD info. Could it have been a nomination, instead?
NEW YORK – Bruce Sutter was elected to the Hall of Fame on Tuesday, just the fourth relief pitcher given baseball’s highest honor.
Sutter, the first pitcher elected to the Hall with no career starts, was listed on 76.9 percent of the ballots cast by 10-year members of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America. The split-finger pioneer collected 400 of a record 520 ballots.
Dennis Eckersley is the other reliever elected to the Hall of Fame, and he was a superb starter for several years, too.
Hoyt Wilhelm not only began as a starter, he was the last starting pitcher to no-hit the Yankees. And that was back when no-hitting the Yankees was a hell of an accomplishment!
(The losing pitcher for the Yanks, incidentally, was Don Larsen.)
The next reliever in the Hall may be Goose Gossage… who also started a lot of games, when he was a young pitcher with the White Sox. Lee Smith, another possibility, started a few games in his youth, too. I’m not sure who the next PURE reliever in the Hall will be.
And while the official induction ceremony for the Hall of Fame is always in August… it could be my imagination, but I thought they waived a lot of the formalities (like waiting for 5 years) and inducted Roberto Clemente into the Hall very shortly after his death in a plane crash.
They did. He died on December 31, 1972 and was elected in 1973. It was also waived for Lou Gehrig, who was elected in 1939 (two years before his inevitable death). In addition, Babe Ruth was on the very first ballot in 1936, and he had played until 1935.
The Hall is flexible with their rules when they have to be, just not with Pete Rose.
After Clemente’s election they put a new rule in that says, basically, that if you die then you get considered for induction the next year, rather than having to wait 5 years. A couple guys have been considered until that rule (Thurman Munson comes to mind), but none made it in.
As to the actual induction ceremonies, the HOF website has a list of dates of each induction ceremony. It looks like they’ve always been held between June and August.
If you want to be technical, Wade Boggs (one of last year’s inductees) could be considered a pitcher who’d never started. He was inducted as a third baseman, but he also had 2 relief pitching appearances during his career.
Well, not to nitpick, but the Astros (by comittee) no-hit the Yankees this past season.
The eligibility rules for the Hall have changed over the years. Heck, Gehrig received votes in 1936, when he was still active! Joe DiMaggio was elected in 1955, only four years after retirement. Ruth, as was noted, was elected the year after he retired (in the Hall’s first ballot).
As an aside, the Hall will waive the five-year rule for players who die while active, provided it’s been at least six months since their death. They did so for Clemente (who made it) and for Thurman Munson and Daryl Kile (who didn’t make it).
Continuing the nitpick tradition, it’s not really a matter of waiving the five-year rule, since the rules for eligibility explicitly provide for players who die within five years of ending their career (including those who die while active) to become eligible six months after their death. Rule 3 D:
In the case of Clemente, it was a waiver of the rules at the time, but the rules have subsequently been amended to include this provision.