The things you learn from Bill James...

I am a Bill James aficionado; he has a great intuitive sense of what's interesting and what's important, and I'm fascinated by both.  For instance, from Chapter 1 of "Whatever Happened to the Hall of Fame," page 5, there's this:

(remember, this is preceding the establishment of the current Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown)


The term, "the Hall of Fame," was an old one, having been used in baseball since about 1905, shortly after baseball developed a sense of its own history.  A pitcher who threw a no-hitter would often be described as "having entered the Hall of Fame."  A sportswriter who chose his all-time team would often describe it as his "personal Hall of Fame" -- for example, page 96 of the 1923 Reach Guide shows the "American League players in the Reach Base Ball Hall of Fame" -- in reality nothing more than a list of the league leaders for 1922.

In the early 1920s, organized baseball had approved a proposal to build a $100,000 baseball monument on the Potomac in Washington, D.C.  This monument would have listed the names of baseball's greatest players, and this was often described as a "Hall of Fame."


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