Induction Day is Informative and Fun

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Dennis Corcoran Author Induction Day at Cooperstown

Dennis Corcoran
Author
Induction Day at Cooperstown

What Hall of Fame baseball player quit his job as a scout for the team that employed him when they failed to take his strong advice and draft Derek Jeter?

The answer to that Hall of Fame players question and scores of other unusual queries about Hall of Famers is available in a fine little book by SABR member Dennis Corcoran. It’s called “Induction Day at Cooperstown: A History of the Baseball Hall of Fame Ceremony” and it is a 270 fact-packed pages paperback publication by McFarland in 2010. We met Dennis during the recent National Convention of SABR in Houston and bought a copy from him – and much to the satisfaction of our reader’s baseball history palate.

“Induction Day” is a detailed look at the way the selection process has grown in Cooperstown, for better and worse, since its 1936 inception. One may be left with the impression that, except for the earlier Joe Jackson “eight man out”  White Sox ban,, the Pete Rose gambling scandal ban and the more recent still- burgeoning steroids era tainting of numerous recent stars, that the Hall missed few, if any, no-brainer candidates for induction. It also should be obvious too that at times the Hall inducted a few “good, but not great” players because of their popularity, political power, sympathy for an early death, or durability to remain in the majors over time. Rabbit Maranville jumps to mind. Ross Youngs does too. Youngs was inducted with career statistics that were really no greater than contemporary fellow Texas-born outfielder Curt Walker. The difference was the fact Youngs died from illness while involved in his career as a member of the big market New York Giants. Walker played most of his career with Cincinnati and died quietly in retirement many years later.

Corcoran’s fine work allows the readers to evaluate for themselves what has contributed most to the business of getting a candidate of some note inducted or denied admission into the Hall as an honoree. How many players made it on sheer ability alone that might have been rejected had the voters paid much attention to their bad character and violent or shady behavior toward others? How many inductees at other times were merely good players as performers, but forceful social presences in the company of those who held the votes for their induction approvals? How often did the Veterans Committee, under the “Chum’s Club” influence of leaders like Frankie Frisch, simply put the hustle on getting their own friends and others they liked into the Hall?

“Induction Day” doesn’t suggest what you should consider, as the previous two paragraphs here may be guilty of doing, but it beautifully outlines how people got into the Hall of Fame over time and leaves the matter up to us to decide from  our own levels of error-tolerance to answer the big questions we all wish could be settled forever, but most likely will not: Has the Hall of Fame inducted members who do not belong? Has the Hall,  and does the Hall now, keep out candidates who do belong?

Corcoran gives us a steady framework on how the Hall of Fame induction process has shifted in response to changes in the cultural zeitgeist from its earliest times. The process has never been perfect. How could it have been? Any voting process that fails to elect Babe Ruth and Ty Cobb unanimously on the first ballot has already spent its possible run at perfection and shot its wad on the first swing of the bat.

By the way, the answer to that question we posed back there at the start is Hal Newhouser. Hal was working as a scout for the Houston Astros when they bypassed his strong suggestion that they draft Derek Jeter and decided instead upon drafting third baseman Phil Nevin. Newhouser had been planning on retirement at the end of the season, anyway, but the Astros apparently helped Hal make an even earlier exit.

The “Induction Day” book is available from Amazon for $35.00. A better way to go, if you are interested, is to order your copy directly from the author’s stock at the discounted price of $28.00

If you order a book from Dennis Corcoran, just send a $28.00 check or money order for the book and shipping (no cash or credit cards, please) to:

DENNIS CORCORAN

90 WESKORA AVENUE

PLEASANTVILLE, NEW YORK 10570

Please refer all additional questions to the author, Dennis Corcoran, at the following e-mail address:

djcinductionguru@gmail.com

 

 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       

 

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One Response to “Induction Day is Informative and Fun”

  1. Hall of Fame Overcame “Separate But Equal” | The Pecan Park Eagle Says:

    […] Induction Day is Informative and Fun […]

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