Wednesday, February 13, 2019

HOF Binder, Page 5

The Veterans Committee, which elected all nine players in 1945, chose to enshrine the second largest class ever in 1946 with the selection of eleven players. With only nine cards per pages you'll have to be patient for the other four players from the class of '46.

1980 TCMA Baseball Immortals, #37 - James O'Rourke
 Jim O'Rourke's career started in 1872 and finished in 1904, when he went 1-for-4 and caught eight innings as a fifty-three year old. It was a different game back then, as is shown by his league leading twenty base-on-balls in 1877.  He was mostly an outfielder, but like many of the players during the time he filled in where he was needed. He was a career 0.310 hitter and on this card he is shown with an epic mustache. Bonus points for such a fine flavor saver.

1980 TCMA Baseball Immortals, #39 - Jesse Burkett
Jesse Burkett was a career 0.338 hitter and won three batting titles, twice hitting over 0.400. Burkett was arguably the best hitter on the Cleveland Spiders, a team which also rostered one of the greatest pitchers ever, Cy Young. 

2012 Panini Cooperstown, #35 - Frank Chance
Frank Chance, a player-manager for much of his career, was a 0.296 career hitter. He twice topped the circuit in stolen bases as a first baseman. As a manager he won 4 NL Pennants, 2 World Series, and had a winning percentage of 0.664 in eight seasons with the Cubs. Even so, he is probably most known for being part of Baseball's Sad Lexicon.

1985 Woolworths, #7 - Jack Chesbro
 Jack Chesbro, not known by many, was introduced to me by Zippy Zappy through his blog. He played for the New York Highlanders, which later became the Yankees, and was one of the top pitchers at the turn of the century. He twice led the league in wins and once threw 454.2 innings in one season. My arm hurts just thinking about that!

2012 Panini Cooperstown, #34 - Johnny Evers
Johnny Evers never topped the league in any offensive categories, but he did win the MVP in 1914. Both of his two previous seasons with the Cubs were better statistical seasons, but his Brookyln Dodgers team won it all in 1914. During his MVP season he hit 0.279 with one homer, twenty doubles, 81 runs scored and 40 RBIs. Keep in mind this was in the Dead-Ball Era, but I still claim #EastCoastBias. Personally, I would have given the MVP honors to Zack Wheat or Sherry McGee. Yes, yes, I would be remiss if I didn't mention Evers was also highlighted in Baseball's Sad Lexicon.

1980 TCMA Baseball Immortals, #43 - Clark Griffith
Clark Griffith, another player-manager, was quite the rubber-armed pitcher in his day. He once led the league in ERA and had five consecutive years where he topped the 300 innings pitched mark. He won 237 games, mostly as a starter, but he also led the league in games finished three times. This struck me odd, because most of the starting pitchers back then liked to finish what they started.

1980 TCMA Baseball Immortals, #44 - Thomas McCarthy
Tommy McCarthy has a 14.6 career WAR according to, which places him about 12 points outside of the top 1,000 players in WAR. He had a few really good years, in particular his 1890 season where he stole 83 bases and hit 0.350, but I'm not exactly sure why/how a guy with a career 102 OPS+ was elected to the Hall of Fame.

1980 TCMA Baseball Immortals, #45 - Joe McGinnity
Joe McGinnity was a horse. Actually, his nickname was Iron Man. In August of 1903 he pitched both ends of a double header three times . . . and he won all six games! Five times he led the league in wins, six times in games pitched, and he pitched over 300 innings in a season nine times.

That wraps up the player bios for this page. I wasn't planning on briefly summarizing the careers of the players as I went through the pages, but I almost feel the need to when the players are kind of off my baseball radar. When we get to more of the familiar names I'm not sure I'll keep with this trend.

Something I will continue to do is comment on the cards. As far as this page goes, all I can say is thank goodness for TCMA and their Baseball Immortals set. The O'Rourke and McGinninty are my favorite, but again, one of my "rules" is not to have two cards with the same design on any given page. And wow, I have five from the same set and three in a row to close out Page 5. Queue the sad trombone noise. I'll keep working those upgrades!

Thanks for all the feedback I've received within the comments for this series. And, thanks for stopping by!


  1. These posts are awesome! Love the history lesson. McGinnity was the man. Winning both games of a doubleheader is insane. Doing it three times in the same season seems unreal.

  2. I think if it were me I'd have to put Tinker, Evers, and Chance next to each other, even though it breaks the alphabetical order.

    1. Yeah, I couldn't do it and I have a reason (besides alphabetizing) which I'll address in the next post.

  3. There are so many HOFers I have never heard of!

  4. I'm assuming it'll be a hard time finding other options for those Baseball Immortals.

  5. I enjoy reading about players from baseball's earliest years. The Deadball era is my favorite. Thanks for taking time to write the fellas up!

    Love learning about these older obscure players. I think I knew about maybe five of these guys before this post.