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Ten finalists named on HOF Pre-Integration Ballot

Ten finalists named on HOF Pre-Integration Ballot

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Ten finalists named on HOF Pre-Integration Ballot
The potential Hall of Fame Class of 2013 goes beyond the big names who stopped playing five years ago. The man who bought Babe Ruth could go in, too.

Ten candidates are on the Pre-Integration Era ballot. Jacob Ruppert, the Yankees' owner who made the team legendary, is among the three executives up for election, with six players and one umpire in the mix as well.

Elections like this one -- but dedicated to different eras -- are how Ron Santo made it to the Hall in 2012, and Pat Gillick the year before.

The ballot is designed to honor managers, umpires, executives and long-retired players whose most significant career impact came before 1946. Players must have appeared in at least 10 big league seasons, must not be on the ineligible list, and must have been retired for 21 or more seasons. Managers, umps and executives need 10 or more years in baseball.

Candidates have to receive votes on 75 percent of the ballots for entry and would be inducted in Cooperstown in July. Any inductees from this ballot would be announced Dec. 3 at the Winter Meetings in Nashville, Tenn.

Inductees from the Baseball Writers' Association of America ballot are to be announced on Jan. 9.

The Pre-Integration Era candidates are:

• Samuel Breadon, who took control of the Cardinals in 1920, hired Branch Rickey and created the blueprint for the modern farm system. Breadon's tenure as owner included nine pennant winners and six World Series championships, including the Gashouse Gang teams of the 1930s and the dynasty teams of the 1940s. The Cardinals had a .574 winning percentage with him running the show.

• Bill Dahlen spent 21 seasons in the Majors from 1891-1911, playing almost 90 percent of his games at shortstop. He hit .272 with 84 home runs and 1,234 RBIs and recorded 120 hits or more 15 times. He retired in 1911 as the active home run leader, with 84, and as the all-time leader in games played (2,444).

• Wes Ferrell pitched for 15 seasons from 1927-41, going 193-128 with a 4.04 ERA. He won 20 games six times and is the only pitcher from the 20th century to win at least 20 games in each of his first four full big league seasons.

• Marty Marion was considered one of the best fielding shortstops of his era. He spent 13 seasons in the Majors, 1940-50 and 1952-53, and hit .263 with 36 home runs and 624 RBIs at shortstop. He was named the 1944 National League MVP Award winner.

• Tony Mullane won 284 games in 13 seasons from 1881-94, and tossed complete games in 468 of his 504 career starts. He won 30 or more games in each of his first five full seasons and finished 284-220 with a 3.05 ERA.

• Hank O'Day spent 30 years as a big league umpire during a period from 1888-1927. He officiated 10 World Series, tied for second most in history, and that includes the first World Series in 1903. He also pitched in the Majors from 1884-90 and managed the 1912 Reds and the 1914 Cubs.

• Al Reach served as an executive with the Philadelphia club of the NL from 1883-1903, following a five-year playing career from 1871-75 with the Athletics. He established the A.J. Reach Company to produce baseballs and other sporting equipment, including the official baseball of the American League. He published "Reach's Official Base Ball Guide" -- the official publication of both the American Association and AL.

• The Yankees became the Yankees under Ruppert. He was owner from 1915-39, when his teams won six World Series titles and nine AL pennants. More than a dozen future Hall of Famers were in pinstripes on his watch, including Ruth, and he led construction of Yankee Stadium.

• Bucky Walters pitched 19 seasons from 1934-50. He went 198-160 with a 3.30 ERA and was named 1939 NL MVP, when he went 27-11 with a 2.29 ERA. He also struck out 137, giving him the pitching Triple Crown. He was named to five All-Star teams and was a converted infielder.

• Deacon White played for 20 seasons from 1871-90. He hit .312 and played all nine positions, but he is most remembered as one of the best barehanded catchers of his time.

Voting is done by the 16-member Pre-Integration Era Committee, appointed by the Hall. Bert Blyleven, Gillick, Phil Niekro, Don Sutton, Bill DeWitt, Roland Hemond, Gary Hughes and Bob Watson are a part of that group, along with eight historians and veteran media members. They are: Jim Henneman, Steve Hirdt, Peter Morris, Phil Pepe, Tom Simon, Claire Smith, T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com and Mark Whicker.

The names on the ballot were determined in the fall by the Historical Overview Committee, which is composed of 11 historians: Dave Van Dyck (Chicago Tribune), Bob Elliott (Toronto Sun), Rick Hummel (St. Louis Post-Dispatch), Hirdt (Elias Sports Bureau), Bill Madden (New York Daily News), Ken Nigro (formerly Baltimore Sun), Jack O'Connell (BBWAA secretary/treasurer), Tracy Ringolsby (MLB.com; FSN Rocky Mountain), Glenn Schwarz (MLB.com; San Francisco Chronicle), Claire Smith (ESPN) and Mark Whicker (Orange County Register).

Last year, candidates like Santo from the Golden Era (1947-72) were voted on, and the year before that, candidates from the Expansion Era (1973-present), like Gillick, were up. Separate committees review the eras as part of the revamped Veterans Committee system that was installed in 2010.

Now the cycle starts over, and the Pre-Integration Era Committee won't convene again until the 2015 Winter Meetings for induction in 2016. Candidates remain eligible no matter how many times they may be passed over.

Evan Drellich is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @EvanDrellich. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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