The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum is the actual title of the place to which this node refers.

The Hall is located in scenic Cooperstown, New York (which is in the central region of the state). It was dedicated in 1939.

It's quite large and one can easily spend a whole day inside. There's numerous exhibits, as well as plaques of all inductees.

Hall of Fame Weekend occurs sometime in July or August, when the actual inductions of new members in the Hall takes place. One of my favorite memories of my childhood was being on the streets of Cooperstown during Hall of Fame Weekend and getting all these autographs of former New York Yankees that my father had seen play in his youth.

Unfortunately, in recent years, Cooperstown has become more commercialized. While the whole town is really a tourist site to begin with, everything's become a bit more expensive and there's more "tourist traps". The town (which is located on Lake Otsego) used to be more quaint and friendly (gosh, I'm sounding like my father now...)

For more info (including hours and cost), the official website is http://baseballhalloffame.org/

Baseball Hall of Famers:

Hank Aaron, RF, 1982
Grover Cleveland Alexander, P, 1938
Roberto Alomar, 2B, 2011
Walter Alston, manager, 1983
Sparky Anderson, manager, 2000
Cap Anson, 1B, 1939
Luis Aparicio, SS, 1984
Luke Appling, SS, 1964
Richie Ashburn, CF, 1995
Earl Averill, CF, 1975
Home Run Baker, 3B, 1955
Dave Bancroft, SS 1971
Ernie Banks, SS, 1977
Al Barlick, umpire, 1989
Ed Barrow, executive, 1953
Jake Beckley, 1B, 1971
Cool Papa Bell, CF, 1974
Johnny Bench, C, 1989
Chief Bender, P 1953
Yogi Berra, C, 1972
Bert Blyleven, P, 2011
Wade Boggs, 3B, 2005
Jim Bottomley, 1B 1974
Lou Boudreau, SS 1970
Roger Bresnahan, C 1945
George Brett, 3B 1999
Lou Brock, LF, 1985
Dan Brouthers, 1B 1945
Mordecai Brown, P, 1949
Ray Brown, P, 2006
Willard Brown, 2006
Morgan Bulkeley, executive, 1937
Jim Bunning, P, 1996
Jesse Burkett, LF, 1946
Roy Campanella, C, 1969
Rod Carew, 2B, 1991
Max Carey, CF, 1961
Steve Carlton, P, 1994
Gary Carter, C, 2003
Alexander Cartwright, executive, 1938
Orlando Cepeda, 1B, 1999
Henry Chadwick, executive, 1938
Frank Chance, 1B, 1946
Happy Chandler, executive, 1982
Oscar Charleston, 1B-CF, 1976
Jack Chesbro, P, 1946
Nestor Chylak, umpire, 1999
Fred Clarke, LF, 1945
John Clarkson, P, 1963
Roberto Clemente, RF, 1973
Ty Cobb, CF, 1936
Mickey Cochrane, C, 1947
Eddie Collins, 2B, 1939
Jimmy Collins, 3B, 1945
Earle Combs, CF, 1970
Charlie Comiskey, executive, 1939
Jocko Conlan, umpire, 1974
Tom Connolly, umpire, 1953
Roger Connor, 1B, 1976
Andrew Cooper, P, 2006
Stan Coveleski, P, 1969
Sam Crawford, RF, 1957
Joe Cronin, SS, 1956
Candy Cummings, executive, 1939
Kiki Cuyler, RF, 1968
Ray Dandridge, 3B, 1987
George Davis, SS, 1998
Andre Dawson, OF, 2010
Leon Day, P-2B-OF, 1995
Dizzy Dean, P, 1953
Ed Delahanty, LF, 1945
Bill Dickey, C, 1954
Martin Dihigo, P-OF, 1977
Joe DiMaggio, CF, 1955
Larry Doby, CF, 1998
Bobby Doerr, 2B, 1986
Don Drysdale, P, 1984
Hugh Duffy, CF, 1945
Leo Durocher, manager, 1994
Dennis Eckersley, P, 2004
Billy Evans, umpire, 1973
Johnny Evers, 2B, 1946
Buck Ewing, C, 1939
Red Faber, P, 1964
Bob Feller, P, 1962
Rick Ferrell, C, 1984
Rollie Fingers, P, 1992
Carlton Fisk, C, 2000
Elmer Flick, RF, 1963
Whitey Ford, P, 1974
Bill Foster, P, 1996
Rube Foster, P, manager, 1981
Nellie Fox, 2B, 1997
Jimmie Foxx, 1B, 1951
Ford Frick, executive, 1970
Frankie Frisch, 2B, 1947
Pud Galvin, P, 1965
Lou Gehrig, 1B, 1939
Charlie Gehringer, 2B, 1949
Bob Gibson, P, 1981
Josh Gibson, C, 1972
Warren Giles, executive, 1979
Tom Glavine, P, 2014
Lefty Gomez, P, 1972
Goose Goslin, LF, 1968
Rich Gossage, P, 2008
Hank Greenberg, 1B, 1956
Clark Griffith, executive, 1946
Burleigh Grimes, P, 1964
Lefty Grove, P, 1947
Tony Gwynn, RF, 2007
Chick Hafey, LF, 1971
Jesse Haines, P, 1970
Billy Hamilton, CF, 1961
Ned Hanlon, manager, 1996
Will Harridge, executive, 1972
Bucky Harris, manager, 1975
Gabby Hartnett, C, 1955
Doug Harvey, umpire, 2010
Harry Heilmann, RF, 1952
Rickey Henderson, LF, 2009
Billy Herman, 2B, 1975
Whitey Herzog, manager, 2010
Harry Hooper, RF, 1971
Rogers Hornsby, 2B, 1942
Waite Hoyt, P, 1969
Cal Hubbard, umpire, 1976
Carl Hubbell, P, 1947
Miller Huggins, manager, 1964
William Hulbert, executive, 1995
Catfish Hunter, P, 1987
Monte Irvin, LF, 1973
Reggie Jackson, RF, 1993
Travis Jackson, SS, 1982
Fergie Jenkins, P, 1991
Hugh Jennings, SS, 1945
Ban Johnson, executive, 1937
Judy Johnson, 3B, 1975
Walter Johnson, P, 1936
Addie Joss, P, 1978
Al Kaline, RF, 1980
Tim Keefe, P, 1964
Willie Keeler, RF, 1939
George Kell, 3B, 1983
Joe Kelley, LF, 1971
George Kelly, 1B, 1973
King Kelly, RF, 1945
Harmon Killebrew, 1B, 1984
Ralph Kiner, LF, 1975
Chuck Klein, RF, 1980
Bill Klem, umpire, 1953
Sandy Koufax, P, 1972
Nap Lajoie, 2B, 1937
Kenesaw Mountain Landis, executive, 1944
Tommy Lasorda, manager, 1997
Barry Larkin, SS, 2012
Tony Lazzeri, 2B, 1991
Bob Lemon, P, 1976
Buck Leonard, 3B, 1972
Fred Lindstrom, 1B, 1976
Pop Lloyd, SS, 1977
Ernie Lombardi, C, 1986
Al Lopez, manager, 1977
Ted Lyons, P, 1955
Connie Mack, manager, 1937
Biz Mackey, C, 2006
Larry MacPhail, executive, 1978
Lee MacPhail, executive, 1998
Greg Maddux, P, 2014
Mickey Mantle, CF, 1974
Heinie Manush, LF, 1964
Rabbit Maranville, SS, 1954
Juan Marichal, P, 1983
Rube Marquard, P, 1971
Eddie Mathews, 3B, 1978
Christy Mathewson, P, 1936
Willie Mays, CF, 1979
Bill Mazeroski, 2B, 2001
Joe McCarthy, manager, 1957
Tommy McCarthy, RF, 1946
Willie McCovey, 1B, 1986
Joe McGinnity, P, 1946
Bill McGowan, umpire, 1992
John McGraw, manager, 1937
Bill McKechnie, manager, 1962
Bid McPhee, 2B, 2000
Joe Medwick, LF, 1968
Johnny Mize, 1B, 1981
Paul Molitor, DH, 2004
Joe Morgan, 2B, 1990
Eddie Murray, 1B, 2003
Stan Musial, LF, 1969
Hal Newhouser, P, 1992
Kid Nichols, P, 1949
Phil Niekro, P, 1997
Jim O'Rourke, LF, 1945
Mel Ott, RF, 1951
Satchel Paige, P, 1971
Jim Palmer, P, 1990
Herb Pennock, P, 1948
Tony Perez, 1B, 2000
Gaylord Perry, P, 1991
Eddie Plank, P, 1946
Kirby Puckett, CF, 2001
Old Hoss Radbourn, P, 1939
Pee Wee Reese, SS, 1984
Jim Rice, LF, 2009
Sam Rice, RF, 1963
Branch Rickey, executive, 1967
Cal Ripken Jr., SS, 2007
Eppa Rixey, P, 1963
Phil Rizzuto, SS, 1994
Robin Roberts, P, 1976
Brooks Robinson, 3B, 1983
Frank Robinson, RF, 1982
Jackie Robinson, 2B, 1962
Wilbert Robinson, manager, 1945
Bullet Rogan, P, 1998
Edd Roush, CF, 1962
Red Ruffing, P, 1967
Amos Rusie, P, 1977
Babe Ruth, RF, 1936
Nolan Ryan, P, 1999
Ryne Sandberg, 2B, 2005
Ron Santo, 3B, 2012
Ray Schalk, C, 1955
Mike Schmidt, 3B, 1995
Red Schoendienst, 2B, 1989
Tom Seaver, P, 1992
Frank Selee, manager, 1999
Joe Sewell, SS, 1977
Al Simmons, LF, 1953
George Sisler, 1B, 1939
Enos Slaughter, RF, 1985
Hilton Smith, P, 2001
Ozzie Smith, SS, 2002
Duke Snider, CF, 1980
Warren Spahn, P, 1973
Al Spalding, executive, 1939
Tris Speaker, CF, 1937
Willie Stargell, LF, 1988
Turkey Stearnes, CF, 2000
Casey Stengel, manager, 1966
Bruce Sutter, P, 2006
Don Sutton, P, 1998
Mule Suttles, 1B, 2006
Bill Terry, 1B, 1954
Frank Thomas, 1B/DH, 2014
Sam Thompson, RF, 1974
Joe Tinker, SS, 1946
Cristobal Torriente, OF, 2006
Pie Traynor, 3B, 1948
Dazzy Vance, P, 1955
Arky Vaughan, SS, 1985
Bill Veeck, executive, 1991
Rube Waddell, P, 1946
Honus Wagner, SS, 1936
Bobby Wallace, SS, 1953
Ed Walsh, P, 1946
Lloyd Waner, CF, 1967
Paul Waner, RF, 1952
John Ward, SS, 1964
Earl Weaver, manager, 1996
George Weiss, executive, 1971
Mickey Welch, P, 1973
Willie Wells, SS, 1997
Zack Wheat, LF, 1959
Hoyt Wilhelm, P, 1985
Billy Williams, LF, 1987
Joe Williams, P, 1999
Ted Williams, LF, 1966
Vic Willis, P, 1995
Hack Wilson, CF, 1979
Jud Wilson, 1B, 2006
Dave Winfield, RF, 2001
George Wright, executive, 1937
Harry Wright, executive, 1953
Early Wynn, P, 1972
Carl Yastrzemski, LF, 1989
Tom Yawkey, executive, 1980
Cy Young, P, 1937
Ross Youngs, RF, 1972
Robin Yount, SS, 1999

Major League Baseball Hall of Fame Election Process

Players become eligible for election to the Hall of Fame five years after they retire from playing. The player must have been active during a period beginning 20 years before and ending 5 years prior to election. If a player’s career ended more then 20 years before the yearly election is held, his case is handled by the Veteran’s Committee (see below). Players who have played within the last five years are ineligible, unless they have died (i.e. Roberto Clemente and Darryl Kile). A player must also have taken part in at least ten seasons of baseball.

Every year a screening committee meets and goes through the newly eligible candidates to be added to the election ballot. If two members of the six member committee nominate a player, he is added to the ballot.

The ballots are then mailed to members of the Baseball Writers Association of America. Each writer is allowed to vote on up to ten candidates for election to the Hall. If a player is selected on more than 75% of the ballots, he is added to the Hall of Fame. If a player receives less than 5% of the vote, he is taken off the ballot and will no longer be considered for induction by the writers. If a player manages to stay on the ballot for 15 years but is not elected, his case is passed on to the Veterans Committee.

It is not unusual for a player to languish on the writer’s ballot for years before they are inducted. Being elected in their first year of eligibility is usually reserved for players that are considered truly exceptional by all. Many times a writer may feel that someone is worthy of entrance to the Hall, but will not vote for them the first time out in order to keep the idea of a “first-ballot induction” as a special event. Many players end up slowly building support as their name sits on the ballot over the years. Every player who has started off with at least 45% of the vote has eventually made it into the Hall.

The Veterans Committee (or, if you want to be all big and important, the NATIONAL BASEBALL HALL OF FAME COMMITTEE ON BASEBALL VETERANS) is made up of all members of the Hall of Fame and the winners of various lifetime awards given out by major league baseball. The Veterans Committee meets every two years and votes on players that have been retired for more than 20 years, this includes men who have been stricken from the regular ballot due to the 5% rule or have been otherwise overlooked by the writers. This also includes all ex-Negro Leagues players. Players being examined by the Veterans Committee need to get the standard 75% in order to be inducted, but there is no 5% rule that removes them from eligibility.

Every four years the Veterans Committee decides on the election of baseball managers, executives, and umpires that deserve to be in the Hall of Fame. These people must also have been retired for at least 5 years, however if the candidate is over the age of 65 he is immediately eligible once he retires.

The Veterans Committee is generally thought of to be the softer sell of the two groups. Considering that their main job is to focus on players that have been forgotten or overlooked by the writers association, they are seen as the last ditch effort for someone to make it into the Hall of Fame.

There is always quite a bit of speculation and argument that surrounds Hall of Fame balloting, the most important being what the standards for entrance should be. There are very few statistics (such as 3,000 hits or 400 home runs) that make someone considered a “lock” for induction, so the potential addition of a new player is usually heavily debated by the press and baseball fans. One of the regular arguments about for a player usually follows the pattern of "If player X has been elected, then player Y who has similar statistics also deserves to be in." This was the argument that seems to have led to the eventual induction of Gary Carter. Carter’s supporters are usually quick to point out that his career numbers are very close to that of Carlton Fisk, a player who was considered much more distinguished than Carter. After Fisk was easily elected in 2000, Carter, who was previously languishing on the ballot, gained a groundswell of support and was eventually elected in 2003.

There is also the problem of how to accurately gauge statistics. Over the years, a retired player’s numbers don’t change (well, except in the case of Hack Wilson), but the game does. Someone who hit 25 home runs a year in the 1920s would have been considered a major powerhouse back then, whereas they would be looked at as a regular hitter today. A pitcher who throws 10 complete games in a season now is a workhorse with an amazing arm, while in the 1950s he was just another pitcher. Within the next few years, the Hall of Fame voters are going to have to significantly raise their standards in terms of hitting statistics in order to account for the offensive inflation that took place in the 1990s, and this might end up leaving some worthy players out in the cold.

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