Hall of Famers: FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions about Hall of Famers

What are the rules for election to the Hall of Fame?

The complete rules for election to the Hall of Fame are detailed here.

What are the rules for election to the Hall of Fame by the Veterans Commitee?

The complete rules for election to the Hall of Fame by the Veterans Committee are detailed here.

What is the difference between a Hall of Famer and an honoree?

A Hall of Famer is a former player, manager, executive, pioneer or umpire who has been inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame. An honoree is a J.G. Taylor Spink Award winner (writers) or a Ford C. Frick Award winner (broadcasters).

What were the results of the most recent Baseball Writers' Association of America (BBWAA) elections? Where can I see results for all past BBWAA elections?

View the 2009 election results. From there, you can search results by year or player.

Why isn't Joe Jackson in the Hall of Fame?

As stated in the National Baseball Hall of Fame's Rules for Election, "any player on Baseball's ineligible list shall not be an eligible candidate" for consideration by the Baseball Writers' Association of America (BBWAA) or the Baseball Hall of Fame Committee on Baseball Veterans. Shoeless Joe Jackson was placed on Major League Baseball's ineligible list in 1920 by Commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis. In order for Jackson to be eligible for the Hall of Fame, the following criteria must be met: 1) Since he is deceased, a party acting on behalf of Jackson's estate must apply to the Office of the Commissioner for reinstatement to Major League Baseball; and 2) Should Jackson's estate apply for reinstatement and his eligibility is regained, he would then be a viable candidate for consideration by the Baseball Hall of Fame Committee on Baseball Veterans. Once Jackson's name is on the ballot for the Committee on Baseball Veterans, Jackson would have to receive votes on at least 75 percent of the ballots to be elected to membership in the National Baseball Hall of Fame. Jackson is recognized at the Hall of Fame, and his shoes are among the artifacts currently on exhibit in the Museum

Why isn't Pete Rose in the Hall of Fame?

As stated in the National Baseball Hall of Fame's Rules for Election, "any player on Baseball's ineligible list shall not be an eligible candidate" for consideration by the Baseball Writers' Association of America (BBWAA) or the Baseball Hall of Fame Committee on Baseball Veterans. Pete Rose was placed on Major League Baseball's ineligible list in 1989 by Commissioner A. Bartlett Giamatti. In order for Rose to become eligible to Hall of Fame voters, the following criteria must be met: 1) He must apply to the office of the Commissioner for reinstatment to Major League Baseball; and 2) He must be reinstated by the Office of the Commissioner. He would then be an eligible Hall of Fame candidate for the BBWAA Screening Committee. (See rule 3 of the rules for election to the National Baseball Hall of Fame by members of the Baseball Writers' Association of America.) If Pete Rose were to be placed on the BBWAA ballot, he would have to receive votes on at least 75 percent of the ballots cast in any one election to be elected into the National Baseball Hall of Fame. Throughout his career, Pete Rose was a generous supporter of the National Baseball Hall of Fame, donating more than 20 artifacts to the Museum's collections. Many of these artifacts are on display in the Museum.

Why isn't Roger Maris in the Hall of Fame?

Roger Maris first became eligible for induction into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1974. According to the rules of election, Maris was eligible for consideration by the Baseball Writers' Association (BBWAA) of America for 15 years. During that span of time, Maris garnered a considerable number of votes, though never more than the 75 percent required for induction. In 1992, after a required three-year wait following the BBWAA voting period, Maris became eligible for consideration for induction by the Hall of Fame Committee on Baseball Veterans. At this time, Roger Maris remains eligible for consideration by the Hall of Fame Committee on Baseball Veterans, but not the BBWAA. While Mr. Maris is not currently a member of the Hall of Fame, he is well represented in the Museum. Many artifacts from his career are part of the Museum collection. Both the bat and ball from his record-breaking 61st home run of the 1961 season are on display here at the Museum.

Who is eligible for BBWAA Hall of Fame elections in the near future?

Visit the future candidates eligible for election sidebar here for some of the players who may be on the BBWAA ballot in the future.

Who decides what team logo will be used on Hall of Fame plaques?

The choice of which team’s logo appears on a player’s plaque is the Museum's decision, though we always consider the wishes of an inductee. As a history Museum, it's important that the logo be emblematic of the historical accomplishments of that player's career. A player's election to the Hall of Fame is a career achievement, and as such, every team for whom he played is listed on the plaque; however, the logo selection is based on where that player makes his most indelible mark.

Why is some of the information on Hall of Famer plaques different from information published elsewhere?

The data on all plaques was taken from reliable sources at the time the plaques were made. As the data on each plaque was a factor in the election of the Hall of Famer, the plaques will forever stay as they are. All other stats in official Hall of Fame publications, and in the Museum, are provided by Elias, Inc., the official statistician of Major League Baseball. Be advised that in some cases stats may be changed by Elias as new information is uncovered or errors corrected. Those stats may or may not correspond with stats on the Hall of Fame plaques, other websites, encyclopedias, or other sources.

Where can I find the lifetime and year-by-year stats of Hall of Famers?

Visit the Hall of Famers page for links to each of the Hall of Famer pages, where in the case of players and managers, the lifetime and year-by-year stats are provided.

Where can I watch videos to learn more about the Hall of Famers?

Visit the Hall of Famers page for links to each of the Hall of Famer pages, most of whom have a brief video bio with highlights from their careers.

Why are some stats missing on the Hall of Famer stats pages?

Some stats that baseball fans and historians have accepted as fact for many years are not actually officially recognized by Major League Baseball. The Hall of Fame stats section of the web site lists only the official stats supplied by Elias, Inc., the official statistician of Major League Baseball.

Which Hall of Famers were elected via special elections?

Lou Gehrig, in 1939, and Roberto Clemente, in 1973, were elected to the Hall of Fame in special elections. Gehrig, who started the 1939 season with the New York Yankees, was elected to the Hall of Fame by special proclamation when it was revealed he was suffering from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). On December 31, 1972, Clemente lost his life in a plane crash while on his way to deliver supplies to earthquake victims in Nicaragua. He was elected to the Hall of Fame in January of 1973 in a special vote.