Jay Jaffe of FanGraphs wrote an article on the recent restructuring of the Era Committees by the National Baseball Hall of Fame. Jaffe’s article, “The Hall of Fame Shakes Up its Era Committee System Yet Again” discussses the history of the Committee rules over time, the most recent changes, and an analysis of those changes and their implications.
In a post since the changes were announced, we expressed concern that Doc Adams’ road to the Hall of Fame became more challenging. It seemed pretty obvious, and not just to us.
Josh Rawich confirmed our thoughts on making the ballot as he told FanGraphs, “It does make it more challenging to get on a ballot, which I think is pretty obvious,” To which Jaffe adds, “For those who make it to the ballot, the math that was already very tough is undeniably tougher.”
Jaffe also specifically addresses Doc Adams:
On the other hand, what of Doc Adams? The long-overlooked pioneer led the charge to standardize and refine the rules of the game in the mid-19th century, including nine-man lineups and nine-inning games — innovations inaccurately credited to Alexander Cartwright on his Hall of Fame plaque — as well as the 90-foot distance between the bases, the “fly rule” (eliminating balls caught on one bounce from being automatic outs), and the shortstop position (which helped to differentiate the game from rounders). On the 2016 Pre-Integration ballot, from which no candidate was elected, Adams had the highest share at 62.5%, but he was conspicuously absent from the 2022 Early Baseball ballot, and he now faces additional competition for space and attention from candidates who came along more than a century later. A cynic might wonder if the Hall simply wanted to spare itself the scrutiny of contradicting one of its existing plaques in the face of more modern research — and focus more upon drawing fans to Cooperstown to celebrate living honorees of more debatable merits.“The Hall of Fame Shakes Up its Era Committee System Yet Again”, FanGraphs, Jay Jaffe (4/26/2022)
We will not be disuaded by the stacking of odds or an unlevel playing field. A National Baseball Hall of Fame wihout Daniel Lucius ‘Doc’ Adams, M.D., just ISN’T! We will continue our educational mission and demonstrate that fans of the game want to see the Hall get history correct and finally acknowledge a true pioneer of the game, Doc Adams. Stay tuned.