Wednesday, June 20, 2012

If There Was a Hall of Fame Inner Circle

Graham Womack of Baseball: Past and Present is at it again. That is, he's introduced another interesting project for me and other like-minded types to obsess over.

This time around, he's asking us to name the 50 players we would choose to represent the Hall of Fame's "inner circle," you know the absolute elite of the elite.

Only current Hall of Famers are eligible, which quite honestly made a few decisions a little easier. Not that this was an easy exercise by any stretch of the imagination.

Well, the first 40 or so seemed pretty automatic, but after that it got difficult in a heartbeat.

Anyway, I decided there should at least be a little balance by position, and I mostly succeeded at that. I also felt, difficult as it is to make such comparisons, there should be at least a few Negro Leaguers, so I went with the three players who seem to be consensus legends.

I'm not going to bother discussing the guys who were most difficult to leave off. Feel free to ask me about so-and-so if you wish, though.

So, without further ado, here are my 50, organized by position:

Yogi Berra
Johnny Bench
Gary Carter
Josh Gibson

First Base
Cap Anson
Lou Gehrig
Jimmie Foxx

Second Base
Eddie Collins
Rogers Hornsby
Nap Lajoie
Joe Morgan
Jackie Robinson

Cal Ripken
Arky Vaughan
Honus Wagner

Third Base
Wade Boggs
George Brett
Eddie Mathews
Mike Schmidt

Hank Aaron
Oscar Charleston
Roberto Clemente
Ty Cobb
Joe DiMaggio
Rickey Henderson
Al Kaline
Mel Ott
Mickey Mantle
Willie Mays
Stan Musial
Frank Robinson
Babe Ruth
Tris Speaker
Ted Williams
Carl Yastrzemski

Pete Alexander
Steve Carlton
Bob Feller
Bob Gibson
Lefty Grove
Carl Hubbell
Walter Johnson
Christy Mathewson
Kid Nichols
Satchel Paige
Eddie Plank
Tom Seaver
Warren Spahn
Ed Walsh
Cy Young

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