In 2012, we first conducted a petition in support Daniel Lucius ‘Doc’ Adams to be considered on a ballot for election into the National Baseball Hall of Fame. Not many people other than those who study and read about 19th century base ball had even heard of Doc Adams and we were making a concerted effort to educate folks about Adams. That petition garnered 634 signatures.
At that time, players and pioneers of the game of baseball from pre-1947 were to be considered for enshrinement in the National Baseball Hall of Fame by the newly minted Pre-Integration Era Committee. The committee’s rules called for elections to be held every 3 years (with the inaugural one occurring in 2013).
Unfortunately, Doc Adams was not named to the 2013 ballot.
Subsequent to the election, Doc Adams was recognized by the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR) as their Overlooked 19th Century Baseball Legend for 2014. This prestigious recognition honors “a 19th century player, manager, executive or other baseball personality not yet inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York”.
The petition was re-opened in 2014 petition and added another 336 supporters.
In 2016, Doc Adams finally appeared on a Hall of Fame ballot and on December 7, 2015, the Hall of Fame Pre-integration Era Committee announced the results of the voting 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, with Doc Adams receiving the highest vote total, just 2 shy of the required votes required for election. He would next be eligible for the Class of 2019.
However, in 2016, the Hall once again changed its rules for election. Doc Adams would be considered by the new ‘Early Baseball Era’ committee which was first scheduled class would be 2021 (an additional 2-year wait for Adams). The COVID-19 pandemic, delayed that opportunity further, until 2022. If not elected, under the new rules, Doc Adams would have to wait another 10 years to be eligible in 2032.
In the interim between elections, Doc Adams’ 1857 hand-written “Laws of Base Ball” were re-discovered and sold at auction for $3,26 million. It was believed that this prima facia evidence would be what was needed to push him over the top for election.
But, Doc Adams was inexplixably omitted from the 2022 Early Baseball ballot. So, it looked like the wait was on for 2032.
Not so fast, or slow for that matter. The National Baseball Hall of Fame once again changed its procedures in 2022. The good news is that Doc Adams will now be eligible for the 2025 ballot on the new Classic Baseball Era ballot which will be on a three year cycle. The bad news is that the ballot encompasses over 125 years (pre-1980) of baseball history, an expanded number of players, and will consist of only 8 (rather than 10) candidates.
In the last 10 years, Doc Adams has recognition has increased. The petition has served its purpose, demonstrating that there is interest recognizing Doc Adams’ conntributions and accoplishments. As we continue to spread the word, we will leave the petition open so that people can recording their support for recognition of Daniel Lucius ‘Doc’ Adams, M.D. by the National Baseball Hall of Fame.
For biographies of Doc Adams, please visit Doc Adams Base Ball and the Society of American Baseball Research’s Baseball Biography Project and read the Doc Adams Biography by John Thorn.
If you believe that Doc Adams, one of the individuals instrumental in the development of the game that we know and love today, should be a member of the Hall of Fame, please consider signing this petition. Thanks for your support!
It is important that we continue to educate baseball fans about Doc Adams and his key role in the development and growth of our National Pastime.
Please help spread the word through social media, word of mouth, etc. so that baseball fans learn about and appreciate one of the baseball’s early pioneers.
As of January 2023, over 2,100 individuals have expressed their support.
If you would like to provide a formal endorsement, please contact us (click here) and we will be in touch.