The 25 Most Important People In Baseball History

Graham Womack over at Baseball Past And Present has put together a poll to try to determine The 25 Most Important People in Baseball History. A ballot with 189 of baseball’s most memorable players, executives and other figures can be found here. Please VOTE HERE

I submitted a ballot, and I urge you to submit one as well.

My choices were more personal than objective, and they may have a slight Yankee bias, but I thought I’d share my votes with you.

Some people I didn’t choose:

Alex Rodriguez, Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa and Roger Clemens.  As far as I’m concerned, these guys can all line up in a circle, shoot steroids in each others right butt cheek and kiss the Hall of Fame goodbye.

Pete Rose- I’ve written about Pete before. He can still suck it.

Hal Chase- A cancer to the game, a terrible teammate, and an all-around scumbag.

Kennesaw Mountain Landis- I’ve touched on baseball’s 1st Commissioner before. I called him an important object of the game. Important like HIV is to AIDS. I personally think he stunted the growth of baseball when he did nothing to integrate the game. He deserves no accolades.

Roger Kahn- Not a fan, “Boys of Summer” is overrated.

MY Ballot:

Albert Spalding- sold baseball to the World

Babe Ruth- if he’s not on every ballot, I’d be very surprised.

Ban Johnson- No American League without him.

Bill James- His Baseball Historical Abstract is a must read.

Branch Rickey- Integrated baseball

Casey Stengel-a true character of the game

Christy Mathewson- helped turn being a baseball player into a worthy profession.

Connie Mack- 50 years as a Manager

Dr Harold Seymour- a Pioneer of Baseball History

George Steinbrenner- an owner that put winning above all else

Hank Aaron- the true Home Run King

Happy Chandler- a Commissioner that didn’t stand in the way of integration.

Harry Wright- professional baseball starts here.

Henry Chadwick- the 1st baseball statistician

J. G. Taylor Spink- not so much for the man, but for The Sporting News

Jackie Robinson- another must have on this list

John Thorn- MLB historian of the early days of baseball

Ken Burns- Baseball is a thing of beauty.

Vin Scully- nobody does it better

L. Robert Davids- SABR is baseball

Lawrence Ritter- The Glory of Their Times is a seminal work, that should be read by all.

Lou Gehrig- Yankee bias for a great player

Mickey Mantle- More Yankee bias, but would there be a baseball memorabilia industry without the Mick?

Sean Forman- Baseball Reference is the greatest baseball site on the web.

Bobby Murcer- all baseball for me starts with Bobby Murcer

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4 Responses to The 25 Most Important People In Baseball History

  1. verdun2 says:

    Thanks for bringing this to my attention. Voted for several of the same people as you.

  2. wkkortas says:

    I can understand what you’re saying about Landis to an extent, but I think you may place too much emphasis on his inaction in terms of integrating the game (I can’t think of anyone else as Commissioner who would have achieved that) and I think you may be under-estimating his importance at the beginning of his term. Baseball was in dire straits, and was arguably in danger of not being viable going forward due to the fallout of the Black Sox scandal; it needed someone to take a firm hand, and Landis was very firm. Granted, he might not have been the only person who would have acted in such a manner, but while others may have done so, he did done so. The Judge had his shortcomings, both personal and professional, but without Landis and Ruth, the game as we know it may very well not exist.

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