As we waited with great anticipation for this year’s Early Baseball Era Committee vote, we were dumbfounded to hear that the “Special” Early Baseball Overview Committee inexplicably left Doc Adams off the 2022 ballot.
Let’s revisit the undisputed facts about Adams’s contributions and accomplishments:
- Elected Vice-President of the Knickerbockers, and President in ’47-’49, ’56, ’57 and ’61, served as a director in other years.
- Created the position of shortstop and was the first to occupy it.
- Personally made the balls and oversaw the making of bats, for the Knickerbockers and later for other NYC clubs, to standardize the game’s equipment.
- Elected presiding officer of the first conventions and Rules Committees to standardize the rules of the game.
- Elected presiding officer of the first convention of New York/Brooklyn base ball clubs and Chair of the Rules Committee to standardize the rules of play.
- Authored the ‘Laws of Base Ball’ which was presented to the convention.
- 9 men per side – adopted
- 9 innings of play – adopted
- 90 feet between bases and 45 feet from pitcher’s base to home – adopted
- The ‘fly’ game: ball caught on 1st bounce no longer an ‘out’ – adopted in 1865
- No wagering by anyone involved in the match – adopted
- National Association of Base Ball Players founded. Doc presided as Chair of the Rules Committee until his retirement from the Knickerbockers and the game.
Doc Adams was the top vote-getter in the 2016 election, missing by 2 votes. Since that election, his handwritten “Laws of Base Ball” were re-discovered and sold at auction for $3.26M.
The new documents may be what he needs for election.“Baseball’s History Rewritten”, AP, Andrew Dalton
He is baseball’s most important figure not in the Hall of Fame…
With the recent discovery of his “Laws of Base Ball” we have tangible primary evidence of his genius. More than anyone else, he created our game of nine innings, nine men, and ninety-foot base paths.“5 Inventors“, Our Game, John Thorn (Official Historian of Major League Baseball)
The “Special” Early Baseball Overview Committee:
- Bud Selig (Non-Voting Chairman)
- Gary Ashwill (Negro League Historian)
- Adrian Burgos Jr (Negro League Historian)
- Phil Dixon (Negro League Historian)
- Leslie Heaphy (Negro League Historian)
- Claire Smith (Negro League Historian)
- Jim Henneman (formerly Baltimore Sun)
- Steve Hirdt (Stats Perform)
- Rick Hummel (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)
- Jim Reeves (formerly Fort Worth Star-Telegram)
- Glenn Schwarz (formerly San Francisco Chronicle)
We will continue to just stick to the facts.
The posts we had planned between now and the Winter Meetings will continue, albeit with some minor edits (since Doc is not on the ballot). Stay tuned. The website and education campaign will continue.
When all this has had time to sink in, future plans will be evaluated, and updates will be provided via this forum.