TODAY IN HISTORY…
THE HALL OF FAME OPENS IN COOPERSTOWN
On June 12, 1939, the first class of baseball players is inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY. Elected in 1936, prior to the Hall’s opening ceremonies the first players inducted included legends Babe Ruth, Honus Wagner, Christy Mathewson, Ty Cobb, and Walter Johnson.
Largely established in the hopes of attracting tourists to the Depression ravaged town of Cooperstown, New York, the Baseball Hall of Fame was established there under the erroneous claim that Civil War hero General Abner Doubleday invented the game there at a field adjacent to the current Hall of Fame building.
As of 2020, 333 people have been elected to the Hall, mostly former major league players, but also including Negro League players, executives, umpires, baseball pioneers, and managers. A separate wing also includes baseball writers and broadcasters.
Induction ceremonies are now held in July during “Hall of Fame Weekend”, which also includes a 7-inning game featuring players from each of the 30 current teams and Hall of Fame players. This year’s ceremony has been canceled, however, due to COVID-19 and the inductees will have their ceremony with the class of 2021 next year.
Learn more about the history of the Hall of Fame:
The first induction ceremony: