Today would have been Marjorie Adams’ 74th birthday.
Marjorie’s tireless efforts to spread the story of her great-grandfather, Doc Adams, enlightened and inspired many baseball fans. Marjorie conducted a campaign to educate people on Doc’s role as a pioneer of our National Pastime and his importance to baseball’s survival and growth during its nascent period. Her goal was to see him recognized with long overdue enshrinement in the National Baseball Hall of Fame. She made many ‘baseball’ friends, particularly in the vintage base ball community. She is greatly missed.
When talking about Doc, Marjorie often said that “she has all sorts of questions for him” when she gets to the other side. Knowing Marjorie, she now has the answers to those many questions. We are also sure that Doc is thanking her for her dedication to achieving acknowledgement of his role and contributions to the growth and development of our National Pastime.
Unfortunately, Doc Adams was omitted from this year’s Early Baseball Ballot and was not afforded the opportunity to be considered by the Early Baseball Era Committee.
Unless, the Hall of Fame chooses to alter their Era Committees again, Doc will not be eligible to appear on a ballot until 2032. Well, fortunately, the Hall did restructure their Era Committees and Doc will be eligible for the 2025 Classic Era Ballot to be announced in 2024. However, the task of getting him on the ballot got even tougher.
We will continue to honor and celebrate Marjorie’s memory and continue to pursue her dream.
Daniel Lucius “Doc” Adams, MD appeared on a Hall of Fame ballot for the first, and as of now, ONLY time, on the 2016 Per-integration Era ballot.
On Marjorie’s birthday in 2015, the Pre-integration Era Committee announced the results of the voting on the 10 candidates on the 2016 ballot at the MLB Winter Meetings. Candidates needed to receive 12 of 16 votes (75%) for election. The committee failed to elect any one of the 10 candidates. Doc Adams received the highest vote total, just 2 shy of the required votes required for election.
This was Doc’s first time appearing on a Hall of Fame ballot. Although he was not elected, being the top vote getter, so close to election, was a major accomplishment. As recently as 4 years earlier, very few people had even heard the name Daniel Lucius ‘Doc’ Adams. The day the voting was announced in 2015, Doc was mentioned on every sports broadcast and in almost every article and blog post on the MLB Winter Meetings. He and his contributions to the game are more well known.
2016 Ballot Voting Results
- Doc Adams: 10 votes, 62.5%
- Bill Dahlen: 8 votes, 50.0%
- Harry Stovey: 8 votes, 50.0%
The 16-member Hall of Fame Board-appointed electorate was comprised of Hall of Famers Bert Blyleven, Bobby Cox, Pat Gillick and Phil Niekro; Major League executives Chuck Armstrong (Mariners), Bill DeWitt (Cardinals), Gary Hughes (Red Sox) and Tal Smith (Astros); and veteran media members/historians Steve Hirdt, Peter Morris, Jack O’Connell, Claire Smith, Tim Sullivan, T.R. Sullivan, Gary Thorne and Tim Wendel.
Since Doc’s bid for enshrinement fell 2 votes short in 2015, his seminal handwritten baseball artifact, the “Laws of Base Ball”, resurfaced.
This compelling artifact establishes that Daniel Lucius ‘Doc’ Adams is unequivocally a key Founding Father of baseball and resulted in his election to the National Baseball Hall of Fame.
Adams’ “Laws of Base Ball” established and codified:
• 9-inning games
• 9 players per side
• 90 feet between bases
Adams’s hand in the sport’s early rule-making is not a revelation; instead, it is the physical record of his central role memorialized in the three surviving pages of his document.“Back on the Auction Block, a 19th-Century Document Essential to Baseball’s Rules“, New York Times
On April 24, 2016, the last hours of the auction for the “Laws of Base Ball” authored by Doc Adams lived up to its billing and did not disappoint as the closing bid came in at $3,263,246 setting a new record for the highest priced baseball document, fourth highest paid for any baseball memorabilia to date.
Of course, Doc Adams was recently unimaginably left off the 2022 Early Baseball Era Ballot. This, after his case was strengthened by the rediscovery of his handwritten “Laws of Base Ball”. Had this discovery come to light a couple of months earlier (in 2015), it is likely he would have been a member of the Class of 2016. Now, he will not be eligible again until 2032.
To find out more on the “Laws”, check out the following link: