But there will be an induction ceremony this Saturday in Cooperstown, NY where there will be three new members to the hall. It is interesting to point out that last year only say two new members and in 2011, 2010 and 2009, there were also three who were inducted. This needs to be mentioned because there is a player, an umpire and an owner who will all be posthumously inducted this year. For those interested, here is a description of the three and their impact on the game.
Col Jacob Ruppert: owner, New York Yankees. Ruppert took over the team in 1915 and was considered by many the one who helped turn the Yankees into one of the most successful franchises in the history of professional sports. Prior to Ruppert's purchase, the Yankees were second class citizens to their National League rivals, the New York Giants. The Yankees played their home games at the Polo Grounds, and paid rent to the Giants to use their stadium. Ruppert owned the Yankees until his death on January 13, 1939. At that moment, the Yankees had become baseball's most successful organization with seven World Series titles and ten AL Pennants.
Deacon White: catcher and third baseman. Deacon played from 1871-1890 and had good stats in spite of the fact that teams did not play anywhere near a full season. His early Boston Red Stockings teams played in anywhere from 60-80 games a year. Playing in the early National Association for the Cleveland Forest Cities and Boston Red Stockings, he led the league in RBIs in 1873 (77) and batting average in 1875. His best season was in the National League in 1877 where he led the league in batting average (.387), hits (103), 3Bs (11), RBIs (49), SLG (.545), OPS (.950), OPS + (192) and total bases (145). That season, his team, the Boston Red Stockings finished 42-18 and were league champions. Over the course of his National League career, he played for the Boston Redf Stockings, Chicago White Stockings, Cincinnati Reds, Buffalo Bisons, Detroit Wolverines and Pittsburgh Alleghenys. He played his last season in the Players League, spending 1890 with the Buffalo Bisons. He finished his career with 2067 hits and 988 RBI, both very respectable considering the amount of games his teams played. He was also part of the Detroit Wolverines team that beat the St Louis Browns in the 1887 World Series. Decon passed away on July 9, 1939.
Hank O'Day: Umpire. Known particularly for his success as an umpire, O'Day also played and managed in the National League. He became an umpire full time in 1897 and was known for making the call in the infamous "Merkle Boner" game. He was considered the best of his time in regards to fairness, knowledge of the game and courage to make the right call. He umpired in the game for 35 years, second only to HOF Bill Klem. He also umpired 10 World Series, tied for second all time to Klem. In fact, he even returned back to managing, once in 1912 for the Reds and in 1914 for the Cubs. He passed away in 1935.
Even though there are no players being inducted into the Hall of Fame this season, I think the Veterans Committee did a very good job adding three in that deserve it. White had a career WAR of 45, which ranks 11th all time among those who played prior to 1900. The other 10 are all in the Hall of Fame. Ruppert should have been put in years ago, perhaps he his induction will inspire the selection of George Steinbrenner, one who also deserves to be in. O'Day ranks with some of the best umpires of all time, including Klem, Tom Connelly, Jocko Conlin and Doug Harvey. The other three are in, proof that O'Day belongs.