Reference ballot: The 25 most important people in baseball history
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UPDATE, 11/10: VOTING RESULTS ARE IN
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NameClaim to fame
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Abraham G. MillsHeaded 1905 Mills Commission that wrongly credited Abner Doubleday as baseball's founder
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Al Spalding19th century pioneer; a Hall of Fame pitcher, owner and sportings good magnate
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Albert PujolsThree-time National League MVP
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Alex RodriguezThree-time American League MVP, slim chance to break all-time home run record
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Alexander CartwrightWrongly credited by some as baseball's founder; a pioneer nonetheless
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Allan RothFirst sabermetrician hired to work for a team in 1947
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Babe RuthThe one and only
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Ban JohnsonFounded the American League in 1901
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Barry BondsSeven-time National League MVP, holds all-time home run record
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Bartlett GiamattiCommissioner who banned Pete Rose for life
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Bill JamesGodfather of sabermetrics; he even invented the term in 1982
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Bill KlemHall of Fame umpire
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Bill MazeroskiHit game-winning homer in Game 7 of the 1960 World Series
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Bill VeeckMaverick owner of several teams; instrumental in helping integrate baseball
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Bo JacksonMost-celebrated two-sport star in baseball history
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Bob Feller
266-game winner and seven-time strikeout champion; with Jackie Robinson, was the first first-ballot Hall of Famer in 25 years in 1962
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Bob Gibson1.12 ERA in 1968; 17 strikeouts in Game 1 of World Series that year
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Bobby ThomsonHit the Shot Heard Round the World in 1951
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Bowie KuhnServed as commissioner 1969-84
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Branch Rickey
Created baseball's farm system; signed Jackie Robinson; helped spur MLB expansion with involvement in Continental League
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Brooks RobinsonHuman highlight reel third baseman
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Buck LeonardWith Josh Gibson in 1972, the second Negro League veteran enshrined in Cooperstown after Satchel Paige
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Buck O'NeilGame's greatest storyteller; first black coach in MLB; HOF Lifetime Achievement Award named for him
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Bud SeligServed as commissioner 1992-2015; presided over period of unprecedented revenue in baseball
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Cal Ripken JrHolds record for consecutive games played
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Candy CummingsInvented the curveball
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Cap AnsonOfficially credited as the first player with 3,000 hits; instrumental in keeping blacks out of the majors after 1884
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Carlton FiskHall of Fame catcher; hit game-winning homer in Game 6 of 1975 World Series
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Casey StengelManaged Yankees 1949-60, winning seven World Series in that span
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Charles ComiskeyChicago White Sox owner at the time of the Black Sox Scandal
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Charlie LauFamed hitting coach of 1970s
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Christy Mathewson373-game winner; first star of the Deadball Era; one of first five Hall of Famers
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Colonel Jacob RuppertYankees owner 1915-39; team went from mediocrity to powerhouse on his watch
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Connie MackWinningest manager in baseball history; also the losingest
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Cool Papa BellFifth Negro League veteran enshrined; celebrated as the fastest man in baseball
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Cumberland PoseyPlayer, manager and owner for the Homestead Grays
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Curt FloodSued baseball in 1970 to challenge its Reserve Clause
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Cy Young511-game winner; has an award named after him
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Dave SmithFounder of retrosheet.org
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David HalberstamAuthor of "Summer of '49," "October 1964" and "The Teammates"
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Derek JeterOne of the most-celebrated players in recent baseball history
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DeWolf HopperVaudeville performer, known for reciting "Casey at the Bat"
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Dick YoungNew York beat writer and columnist; one of first baseball scribes to cover the sport as a news beat
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Dizzy DeanMost-recent 30-game winner in the National League; all-time baseball personality
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Don LarsenThrew perfect game in 1956 World Series
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Doris Kearns GoodwinContributed an essay and on-screen interview for Ken Burns "Baseball" documentary in 1994
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Dorothy Seymour MillsProvided uncredited research for her husband Dr. Harold Seymour
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Dr. Frank JobePerformed the first Tommy John Surgery in 1974
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Dr. Harold SeymourResearcher, first person to undertake scholarly research of baseball
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Dummy HoyFirst significant deaf player in baseball
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Earl WeaverManaged Orioles for 17 years
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Earnshaw CookWrote one of the first books about sabermetrics in the 1960s
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Ed Barrow
Credited with building the first Yankee dynasty while serving as general manager 1921-39; also discovered Honus Wagner
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Effa ManleyNegro League executive and first woman enshrined in the Hall of Fame
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Eleanor EngleOne of the first women to sign a pro baseball contract
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Emmett AshfordFirst black umpire in the majors
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Ernest Lawrence ThayerWrote "Casey at the Bat"
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Ernie BanksMr. Cub
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Ford FrickNational League president and commissioner; helped avert strike by Cardinals after Jackie Robinson broke color barrier
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Frank RobinsonWon MVPs in both leagues as a player; first black manager in majors
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Frankie FrischHall of Fame player, controversial head of Veterans Committee in 1970s
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Fred LiebCovered baseball in one form or another from 1911 to 1980
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Gary GilletteCo-editor with Pete Palmer of "ESPN Baseball Encyclopedia"
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George Brett3,154 hits and batting titles in three decades
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George MitchellFormer US senator who wrote "Mitchell Report," after being tasked with investigating steroid use in baseball
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George SteinbrennerRevitalized Yankees after buying the team in 1973; most influential MLB owner in recent years, by a wide margin
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Greg Maddux355-game winner; elected to HOF with 97 percent of vote; four Cy Youngs and 18 Gold Gloves
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Grover Cleveland Alexander
373-game winner; famously struck out Tony Lazzeri in 1926 World Series
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Gus GreenleeOwned the Pittsburgh Crawfords and built Greenlee Field, the first black-owned and black-built ballpark
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Hal ChaseNotoriously corrupt Deadball Era star; rumored go-between for players and gamblers during the 1919 World Series
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Hank AaronRetired with a record 755 home runs
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Hank GreenbergFirst great Jewish star of majors; four-time home run champion; 58 homers in 1938
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Happy ChandlerCommissioner when Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in 1947
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Harry CarayLongtime Cardinals and Cubs broadcaster
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Harry FrazeeRed Sox owner who sold Babe Ruth to finance "No, No Nanette"
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Harry WrightPlayer and manager for baseball's first all-professional team, the 1869 Cincinnati Red Stockings
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Henry Chadwick19th century statistician; invented a range of early stats and the modern box score
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Hilda ChesterMaybe the most infamous fan in baseball history
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Honus WagnerGreatest shortstop in baseball history; one of first five Hall of Famers
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Hugh FullertonEarly 20th century newspaper writer, helped break Black Sox Scandal
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Ichiro SuzukiMore than 4,000 hits between majors and Japan
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Ila BordersBecame first female to win a men's professional game in 1998
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J.G. Taylor SpinkSporting News editor; namesake of writers' award at Hall of Fame
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Jack MorrisPitched 10-inning shutout in Game 7 of 1991 World Series
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Jackie MitchellWomen's baseball pioneer
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Jackie RobinsonBroke baseball's color barrier in 1947
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Jean FautPitched four no-hitters and two perfect games
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Jean Yawkey
Owned the Boston Red Sox after husband Tom Yawkey died; her SABR bio calls her the most powerful woman in baseball history
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Jerome HoltzmanLongtime baseball writer; MLB official historian position was created for him; invented the save
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Jim AbbottAll Star pitcher, born with one full arm
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Jim BoutonPlayer, author of "Ball Four"
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Jim CreightonArguably baseball's first star in the early 1860s; died young
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Jimmie Foxx"Jimmie Foxx wasn't scouted, he was trapped." -Lefty Gomez
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Joanne WeaverWon three batting titles in women's baseball, hitting .429 one season
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Joe CarterHit game-winning homer in Game 6 of 1993 World Series
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Joe DiMaggioThe Yankee Clipper
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Joe MorganIn the conversation as greatest second baseman in baseball history; longtime broadcaster
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