Getting inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame is one of the greatest honors a professional baseball player can receive. Induction into the Hall of Fame is set aside for those individuals whose athletic achievements truly represent greatness and inspiration. These sports leaders are afforded a special place in history and not a just prestigious title, but a significant legacy.
The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum is an independent not-for-profit educational institution designed to foster an appreciation of the historical development of baseball and its impact on American culture. The clubhouse and museum are located in Cooperstown, New York, a tiny village in upstate New York that reminds passersby of an older era.
For many years the baseball truly was America’s pastime. This sport grew as an offshoot of the British sport cricket and quickly became a hobby and game in its own right. Young children would grow up playing on the nearest city sandlot or rural field, playing until dark every day after the chores were done. American baseball has historical roots as early as the 1700s, but regional and national associations did not form until the latter part of the 19th century. As America progressed from a regional, fractured country into a more federal unified nation, so did the sport. The World Series began in 1903 to allow competition between the best teams of the two major leagues of the time, and player’s salaries began to jump as the professional organizational structure of the game entrenched. The Hall was officially created in 1939 to honor those who excelled in playing, managing and serving the sport.
Heroes in The Making
The latter half of the 20th century and the modern era has become dominated with fantastic players and huge hype. The advent and improvement of communications technologies such as the television allowed folks to watch ballgames from home and increase fan participation dramatically. Great players and sports heroes become legends when inducted in, joining ranks with the likes of Babe Ruth, Joe DiMaggio and Hank Aaron. There are currently 292 elected members, including not just players, but executives, managers and umpires.
To get inducted potential members need to have a record of incredible sports achievement. Not only should his record be stellar, but he must have met certain criteria to demonstrate experience in excellence and significant time and contribution to the game.
Politics and Voting
Various subcommittees and a host of sports writers are included in the election process. Inductees must receive at least 75% of the vote or higher for election, totaling hundreds of needed votes from seasoned fan professionals. Although the stringent voting requirements and process tend to work very well in screening out undesirable favorites, sometimes the decisions are contested by fans. Many feel that personal likability and industry connections and other non-athletic considerations unduly sway the votes at times, rendering “political” decisions.
An important tenet of patriotic pride in every country involves the highest achievements of its most able citizens. The National Baseball Hall of Fame represents a truly magnificent honor to many Americans and a measuring instrument of greatness.
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