1935 Contributors election

A new wrinkle. We will be adding two contributors per election, starting with this one. Like the general election, make a 10-person ballot and scoring will be the same, 14-11-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1. As before, Contributors will have 4 elections of eligibility. I am not positive that I have everyone who should be on the ballot listed. Write-ins are more than welcomed. And if you guys think of anybody else who should go on the ’45 ballot, let me know as well. This election will end Monday.

4 Frank Bancroft
1 Tom Connolly
2 Barney Dreyfuss
1 Jack Dunn
1 Al Munro Elias
1 Billy Evans
2 Rube Foster
4 John Gaffney
1 Ring Lardner
1 Connie Mack
3 A.G. Mills
1 Francis Richter
1 Jacob Ruppert
4 Ernest Thayer
4 Chris Von Der Ahe
2 Sol White

Bob’s ballot:

1. Mack
2. Foster
3. Bancroft
4. White
5. Mills
6. Dreyfuss
7. Ruppert
8. Evans
9. Connolly
10. Richter

The only possible controversy I see is having Connie Mack as a Contributor rather than as a Manager. But for me, I see him as an owner first, manager second. Being an owner is what shaped his managerial record. Would he have been a HOF manager without owning the Athletics? Maybe, but his record would have looked a whole lot different.

Terry’s ballot:

1: Connie Mack– Forget the 20 years at the end, who else can compete with what he did from 1901-1931? He built two dynasties, on a shoestring.

2: Rube Foster– Connie built teams, Rube built a league. Only the brevity of his success keeps him out of the top spot.

3: Francis Richter
4: Ernest Thayer
5: Al Munro Elias

I can toss a hand towel over these guys based on what I know.

6: Jacob Ruppert– There is a picture of the Colonel on his Wikipedia page, taken during the opening of Yankee Stadium in 1923. Go look at it, and tell me that he didn’t look like Jack Lemmon’s twin brother.

When I started researching Ruppert for this ballot I had him as the old version of George Streinbrenner. In some ways they are similar; some obvious and some even more obvious. Both took over family businesses for wealthy parents, both bought the Yankees cheap and watched their investment explode, and both took advantage of being in the largest market in the country to build a dynasty.

Less obvious: Both took over the Yankees at a time when they were the second most important team in New York. This is where I kind of think they separate. Steinbrenner was almost immediately suspended from the game after he was convicted of felony election fraud, and in his absence Gabe Paul made a series of trades that Monte Hall would be proud of, and built George a contender. Ruppert hired Ed Barrow, George Weiss and Miller Huggins. He made deals with the Red Sox that changed the way baseball is run (Carl Mays) and the way baseball is decided (Babe Ruth, etc.). He MADE the Yankees what they have now been for nearly a century. Steinbrenner took advantage of what Ruppert built; brought a flailing mediocrity back to prominance, and there is a certain amount of respect earned for that, but Ruppert was the architect of the Yankee dynasty. Steinbrenner was the landlord.

7: Chris Von Der Ahe– The Mark Cuban of baseball’s early days.

8: Sol White- Black baseball’s Lee Allen? That might be an exaggeration, but not by a lot. He wrote a book that nobody else was writing, and because of his book we have information that would have been gone forever without him. His book can be had for almost nothing on Amazon, in 2012. I don’t know whether to put him up around the top or just honorably mention him. To us historians he might be more important than Connie Mack. What did Connie ever write?

9: Billy Evans– Who else did everything, and everything well?

10: Barney Dreyfuss– I don’t know much about him, but he might be special. Like Mack, he built 2 dynasties. He has to deal with some bad press, so I’ll err on the side of caution.

Other Stuff

Jack Dunn– I’d put him way up there if this was about the minor leagues. I hate to dismiss his contribution, but his main claim to fame is that he used to own a bunch of future major league stars, and his teams won a lot of pennants in AAA. He should be respected, but frankly his historical importance is closer to a footnote than a chapter.

John Gaffney– He’s interesting as an umpiring pioneer, and for the success of his disciples. I’m not sure where to rank him.

Ring Lardner– Hey, I love a good story, but let’s send his resume to the Pulitzer committee.

A.G. Mills– He was sort of a Bud Selig type, I think. He was intelligent, and his ideas were reasonable, but he wasn’t tough enough or mean enough to keep the hard asses from bending things their way. As a result he was more of a footnote than a force in the game.


Seven ballots, the results:

83 Rube Foster
83 Connie Mack
48 Barney Dreyfuss
38 Jacob Ruppert
35 Francis Richter
33 Sol White
23 Al Munro Elias
18 Chris Von Der Ahe
14 Ernest Thayer
10 Billy Evans
9 Frank Bancroft
7 Jack Dunn
7 John Gaffney
7 Ring Lardner
6 Tom Connolly
6 A.G. Mills


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