For many years, Doc Adams contribution to baseball was overlooked. That’s a shame, because without him, baseball would have been a vastly different game.

There would be no shortstop because shortstop was Doc’s invention, redefining the geography of the game. And the distance between the bases wouldn’t have been 90 feet because that’s the distance Doc introduced to the game. There might not have been nine players to a team or nine innings to a game. Both were Doc’s ideas.

Daniel Adams, equipped with degrees from Yale and Harvard, played baseball for exercise almost 200 years ago and refined the game that would become our national pastime. He set down his ideas in a document called The Laws of Baseball, an outline for the sport which became the game’s Bible. His contributions were lost in the archives of history but now baseball can correct that error by inducting Doc Adams in the Hall of Fame, where he can be celebrated alongside the game he helped refine.

— Hal Bock, former Associated Press baseball writer and Hall of Fame voter