Need a Baseball Expert!

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?

Mad at sucky DJs… :mad:

  • Jinx


Sutter elected to baseball Hall of Fame

Associated Press
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.

(bolding mine)

As far as pitchers, I would say that’s correct. Both Rollie Fingers and Hoyt Wilhelm who are the relievers to make it have started a game at some point in their careers.

Hoyt Wilhelm

Rollie Fingers

Cooperstown ceremony has been in midsummer (not sure if always August, but always when school is out, July or August) at least since the late 1950s, and maybe all the way back to the beginning.

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.

Just wanted to point out that the election is in January, but the induction is in August. Bruce Sutter was just elected to the Hall but has not yet been inducted.

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).

Zev Steinhardt

Nitpicking the nitpick: it was three seasons ago (June 11th, 2003), and not only did the starting pitcher not no-hit the Yankees (since it took 6 of 'em), he didn’t even get the decision.

They also waived the rule that you have to play ten years for Addie Joss who only had eight full years.

They did the same for Ross Youngs, who only played 9 years before Bright’s Disease killed him.

Did they have to waive it for Youngs? He played in ten season but two were abbreviated.

I assume they didn’t count the 17 games in 1917 because all accounts of his election state that he got a waiver due to his 9 years. That makes me assume that they mean full years.

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.

I think they’ve bent the rules for Rose, just that there’s so far to go :slight_smile:

The rule is not “ten full seasons”. It’s just playing in ten seasons.

Only so far? They bent over backwards to change the rules to make sure he wouldn’t get in.

One other point brought up by the OP which hasn’t been answered: Bruce Sutter is indeed from Lancaster, PA. I can’t answer about him being a yahoo, however.