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Baseball Hall of Fame: The Nine Years in Which No Players Were Elected

  • January 27, 2021

Notable first timers: Yogi Berra, Nellie Fox, Harvey Haddix

If Yogi Berra were to be placed on the ballot in the current era, his election most likely would be unanimous. A winner of 10 World Series rings and three Most Valuable Player awards, Berra was also one of the most popular players in the game. But Berra was aware that only four first-time finalists (Ted Williams, Stan Musial, Jackie Robinson and Bob Feller) had been elected to that point, and he also knew that many writers of the day felt it was improper to vote for a player on his first try. “Maybe next year,” Berra said. “Sure I’m disappointed, even though I didn’t really think I’d make it on the first try.”

Commissioner Bowie Kuhn tried to spin the news, saying: “I have an instinct to be disappointed. But I feel that at least the integrity of the system has been demonstrated.”

Quotable: “It’s a shame they didn’t put somebody in,” said Early Wynn, the longtime pitcher for the Cleveland Indians who received 66.7 percent of the vote in his third time on the ballot. “I can’t tell you how I really feel. The language would be too embarrassing.”

1971: NYT’s Coverage | Voting Results

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