The 1942 election to select inductees to the Baseball Hall of Fame was the first to be conducted in three years, and the only regular election in the years 1940 to 1944; in 1939 the Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA) had moved to hold elections every three years rather than annually, now that the Hall had opened. This was a widely criticized move, as observers generally agreed that electing 3 players per year - the pace established from 1936 to 1939 - was an ideal number for annual induction.
After the Old-Timers Committee made its six selections in 1939 from among the figures of the 19th century era, commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis completely revised the committee's membership, establishing it as the Hall of Fame Committee and designating it as the Hall's permanent governing body; from 1939 to 1944, its four members were: Athletics owner/manager Connie Mack; Yankees president Ed Barrow; Braves president Bob Quinn; and sportwriter Sid Mercer. This committee was responsible, in its function as the Old-Timers Committee, for selecting additional worthy candidates from the 19th century; however, the committee never convened during this 5-year period, and made no selections - creating greater complaints that the stars of the 1880s and 1890s were being ignored.
The BBWAA election
Members of the BBWAA again had the authority to select any players active in the 20th century, provided they had been retired for one year. Voters were instructed to cast votes for 10 candidates; any candidate receiving votes on at least 75% of the ballots would be honored with induction to the Hall.
A total of 233 ballots were cast, with 2328 individual votes for 72 specific candidates; 175 votes were required for election. Players of the 1900s and 1910s, who many voters felt should be given priority, dominated the voting to an even greater extent than they had in 1939. Of the top 22 candidates in the voting, 17 had not seen any substantial play since 1917; only 3 of the top 32 had played their final season anytime between 1918 and 1933. Players who had been retired over 24 years - 42 of the 72 named - received 66% of the votes. The results were announced in January 1942. The sole candidate who received at least 75% of the vote and was elected is indicated in bold italics; candidates who have since been selected in subsequent elections are indicated in italics:
Among baseball fans, "Hall of Fame" means not only the museum and facility in Cooperstown, but more likely the pantheon of players, managers, umpires and builders who have been named to enshrinement there.
In 2005 the Hall completed a study on African American players between the late 19th century and the integration of the major leagues in 1947, and conducted a special election for such players in February 2006; seventeen figures from the Negro Leagues were chosen in that election, in addition to the eighteen previously selected.
An ongoing controversy facing the Hall of Fame is that of the status of Joe Jackson and Pete Rose.
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