The Hall of Fame for the Immortals of BaseballEstablished as a lasting tribute to our most illustrious players, based upon the judgments of the leading authorities of the nation's grandest sport, and maintained for the benefit of the many million ardent supporters of the greatest outdoor game in the history of the world. [January 1911]
Comprising the Greatest Players in the History of the Game
In its January 1911 number, three-year-old Baseball Magazine opined, "We believe that our magazine is peculiarly fitted to act in the general province of an umpire in such controversies." It asked readers to send "any scrap of information . . . especially about the older players" and "honest judgment" concerning who was deserving. "[W]e will try to mould from the general consensus of opinion . . . a list which shall stand the test of time as the roll of honor for the leading baseball players of history." In its next six monthly numbers, the magazine named eighteen players to the Hall of Fame.
January "The Hall of Fame for the Immortals of Baseball" February Adrian Anson Ed Delahanty Mike Kelly March John Ward Al Spalding Buck Ewing April George Wright Charles Ferguson Ed Williamson May Dan Brouthers Charlie Comiskey Charlie Bennett June Fred Pfeffer Jerry Denny James Fogarty July Nap Lajoie Honus Wagner Ty CobbPitchers. This Hall of Fame honors eighteen players including three pitchers (Ferguson, Spalding, Ward). Today, the Baseball Hall of Fame honors seven other 19th century pitchers, the 300-game winners.
Acknowledgments. R.J. Lesch reported the eighteen players selected. Dean Sullivan sent me his abridged version of the January 1911 introductory article (published in Dean Sullivan, Middle Innings: A Documentary History of Baseball, 1900-1948, Lincoln NE: U of Nebraska, p51-53.).