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Deadball Honor Roll

The Deadball Era Committee honors fifty players of the Era, judged by their 1901-19 contributions. There was a two-stage election. First, each voter submitted a free-form ranking; that yielded the Top 24 players and nominated many also-rans to the second ballot. Second, each voter selected 26 of the listed players (or write-ins); that yielded the next 26 players by a simple count of votes.

Within fielding position, players are ranked by number of votes, and those elected in the first stage are named in bold.

Pitcher                         First base                      Outfield
        Walter Johnson                  Frank Chance                    Ty Cobb                
        Christy Mathewson               Jake Daubert                    Tris Speaker           
        Grover Alexander                Stuffy McInnis                  Sam Crawford           
        Mordecai Brown                  Hal Chase                       Joe Jackson        
        Cy Young                                                        Sherry Magee       
        Ed Walsh                Second base                             Fred Clarke        
        Eddie Plank                                                     Gavy Cravath              
        Rube Waddell                    Nap Lajoie                      Zack Wheat                
        Addie Joss                      Eddie Collins                   Harry Hooper                  
        Chief Bender                    Johnny Evers                    Max Carey                     
        Joe McGinnity                   Larry Doyle                     Elmer Flick                   
        Joe Wood                                                        Tommy Leach (listed twice)
        Eddie Cicotte           Shortstop                               Cy Seymour                
        Ed Reulbach                                           
        Jack Chesbro                    Honus Wagner         
        Babe Ruth                       Bobby Wallace        
        Hippo Vaughn                    Joe Tinker                  
        Sam Leever                      George Davis                
        Doc White                                             
                                Third base           
                                        Frank Baker          
        Roger Bresnahan                 Jimmy Collins                
        Johnny Kling                    Heinie Groh                 
        Chief Meyers                    Tommy Leach (listed twice)

Era. Some of the best players of the Deadball Era are not on the Honor Roll. Rogers Hornsby and Carl Mays were not nominated; George Sisler was nominated but not elected. The focus on the Deadball Era demanded that survey participants compare full careers of some players with part careers of others --at two stages, nomination and election. People differ concerning full careers and part careers; that is well known from debates about the merit of long careers and high peaks. The outcome here? Babe Ruth had the shortest Deadball-Era career among our Honorees.

(No one played in every season, 1901-1919. Bobby Wallace played in all but 1919. Eddie Plank, Sam Crawford and Honus Wagner, but not Wallace, were regulars 1901-1917. Red Ames and Terry Turner also played in 17 of the 19 seasons.)

Fielding Position. Right and left handed pitchers were distinguished in the first round; left, center, and right fielders in the second round. Here all pitchers and all outfielders are listed together. Except in the number of pitchers (19 of 50, and 11 of the 24 men elected in the first round), the Honor Roll is well balanced by fielding position, perhaps because some participants deliberately voted for balance.

Playing Time. The Honor Roll players are identified on each list of Era-leaders, games played by fielding position. Most of the Honorees are among those leaders.

Acknowledgments. Steve Constantelos conducted the survey, in consultation with a subcommittee at the nominating stage. Notes by Paul Wendt.

Last modified: 2004-11-09 (columns)
Paul Wendt
© Society for American Baseball Research, 2002, 2004