Hall of Fame: Inner Circle

Graham Womack, editor and chief blogger at Baseball: Past and Present, has found his niche in the baseball blogosphere.

In each of the past two years, Graham has had great success and response to his “50 Best Players Not in the Hall” project, whereby a public vote is held to come up with a general consensus as to who are the best eligible players not in the Hall of Fame.

Currently, Graham is running a poll he’s calling the “Hall of Fame Inner Circle” to try to determine a general consensus on who would be considered the 50 “Inner Circle” (define that term however you will) Hall of Famers.

My personal criteria: if you only allowed 50 players in the Hall of Fame, who could you absolutely not leave out?

Here is my list (in no order other than the order I thought of them), discuss:

1. Babe Ruth
2. Christy Mathewson
3. Walter Johnson
4. Ty Cobb
5. Cy Young

6. Pete Alexander
7. Rogers Hornsby
8. Stan Musial
9. Willie Mays
10. Hank Aaron

11. Lou Gehrig
12. Tom Seaver
13. Nolan Ryan
14. Ted Williams
15. Joe Morgan

16. Rickey Henderson
17. Johnny Bench
18. Honus Wagner
19. Nap Lajoie
20. Mike Schmidt

21. Lefty Grove
22. Warren Spahn
23. Mickey Mantle
24. Duke Snider
25. Cal Ripken

26. Frank Robinson
27. Carl Yastrzemski
28. Yogi Berra
29. Tris Speaker
30. Jimmie Foxx

31. Mel Ott
32. Roberto Clemente
33. Jackie Robinson
34. Satchel Paige
35. Eddie Mathews

36. Joe DiMaggio
37. Reggie Jackson
38. Ernie Banks
39. Ryne Sandberg
40. Willie McCovey

41. Oscar Charleston
42. Eddie Murray
43. Cool Papa Bell
44. Josh Gibson
45. Bob Gibson

46. Kid Nichols
47. Three Finger Brown
48. Sandy Koufax
49. George Brett
50. Eddie Collins

Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Who did I leave out?

  2. Nice job.

    I count 40 players we have in common between our lists, and the remaining 10 were pretty much the borderline candidates anyway. Here’s mine.

  3. I’d say I agree with you on somewhere between 40 and 45 of those names. But since a little disagreement is half of the fun talking baseball here goes …

    I’d bump Cool Papa Bell, Mordecai Brown, Willie McCovey, Eddie Murray, and Ryne Sandberg. I’d probably replace them with Steve Carlton, Bob Feller, Sandy Koufax, Wade Boggs, and Carl Hubbell. My only minor critique of your list is that it may be a bit short on pitching

  4. Eddie Collins was #50 on my list when I first put it up, but now I’m thinking I would keep him over Willie McCovey or Ryne Sandberg. If I were going to add another player it would probably be Roy Campanella. Carl Hubbell and Bob Feller probably should be on the list, too, and maybe Tony Gwynn. But that’s the problem with any arbitrary number like 50, you’re always going to wish you could fit someone else in there.

  5. You’re absolutely right that no matter how big the list there’s always going to be somebody right on the cusp that you hate to omit. I thought about Tony Gwynn as well, and he’s on the borderline for me. Charlie Gehringer is another close one.

  6. This list is light on 19th Century players. Cap Anson, King Kelly, Roger Conner, Dan Brouthers and Al Spalding are gross oversights.

Leave a Reply