About Bob Gregory

Bob Gregory’s Gallery of Renown is named for its inventor, veteran SABR (Society of American Baseball Research) member and recognized 19th century baseball expert Robert “Bob” Gregory.

His original premise was “What if the Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum had opened in 1885?” This is Bob’s original post:

This is the basic premise of the GOR (Gallery of Renown): Chadwick and a group of baseball powers decided to open a GOR in 1885, electing one player per year. But instead of a yes/no, in/out type of ballot like the real Hall Of Fame uses, a ballot very much like the MVP vote is used. Each year, starting in 1885, voters submitted their ballots, ranking their ten most deserving of enshrinement in order. The leading vote-getter is elected.

Here’s a link to a copy of Bob’s guestbook

Some specifics —

  • He did away with the 75 percent voting threshold for election in favor of quotas. From 1885 (the first election) through 1899 there would be one player elected each year. From 1900 forward there would be two players elected each year. Separate elections would be held for managers and for contributors every ten years: manager elections were held in years ending with zero, contributor elections held in years ending with a five.
  • Elections were modeled after the annual BBWAA (Baseball Writers’ Association of America) MVP award votes. Each ballot would consist of ten names, listed in order of preference. The points for each position on the ballot were awarded on a 14-11-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 scale. The only exceptions were the early manager and contributor ballots, which elected just one and included four names.

A list of eligible members was posted for each succeeding year, with a posted deadline of 3-5 days to get a ballot in. The elections were open to all Bill James Online (BJOL) members. Bill James Online is the home website of noted baseball writer and SABRmetric pioneer Bill James.

James “Deacon” White

Bob had an additional goal in mind, reflected in the change from a threshold to a quota system. He wanted a Hall of Fame that represented each era equally and served the game itself, not the players inducted and the museum that sold tickets. The Gallery of Renown’s unique voting rules guaranteed that there would be a balance between eras, and that each season’s election would get its own measure of attention.

The voters were always a small group – 7-17 ballots per year – but the discussions were spirited and the cumulative effect was much like getting a concentrated dose of baseball history.

The pages on the website are marked with either a year or a year and a title. The pages marked with just a year are the elections. Each election includes Bob’s original post with a list of eligibles, Bob’s ballot, my ballot, and the results. My ballots are mostly just lists, but I occasionally did some extra research and included it. The pages with an extra title are essays. I concentrated on putting Bob’s essays on first, but eventually – with permission – I’ll include essays from other BJOL members.

bobby-mathewsThis is not a commercial site, so if you see any advertising it’s probably a barnacle from some yahoo who wandered off the information superhighway.

Enjoy the site, and by all means comment anywhere you would like to —

Terence Vent

September 13, 2016


May 20, 2017

The statue below, dedicated in Bob’s memory, commemorates the first-ever major league baseball game in Fort Wayne, Indiana, played on May 4, 1871. Here is a link to a nice article describing how it all came to fruition, from the Fort Wayne News-Sentinel, reported by Blake Sebring.

Monument back side