Announcing finalists for the 2015 SABR Overlooked 19th Century Base Ball Legend

By Adam Darowski

Earlier this week, voting closed for the preliminary election of SABR’s Overlooked 19th Century Base Ball Legend for 2015. In the preliminary election, Nineteenth Century committee members narrowed 25 candidates down to 10 finalists. The final election will be open to all SABR members later this spring.

With 15 minutes to spare before the deadline, the final ballot came in and forced a three-way tie for eighth place, so this year we will carry 11 finalists.

Here are the finalists, along with their preliminary election voting totals:

  1. Jack Glasscock (103 votes)
  2. Bob Caruthers (93)
  3. Tony Mullane (92)
  4. Jim Creighton (82)
  5. Bobby Mathews (82)
  6. Paul Hines (79)
  7. Al Reach (76)
  8. Dummy Hoy (75)
  9. Charlie Bennett (68)
  10. Jimmy Ryan (68)
  11. George Van Haltren (68)

All finalists from last year (except for Doc Adams, who won the honor) will return, while two candidates will make their first appearances as finalists:

  • Charlie Bennett: Bennett was one of the greatest catchers of the Nineteenth Century, starring for Detroit and Boston of the NL. He was a powerful hitter who often ranked among the leaders in homers and slugging percentage while finishing in the top ten in bases on balls six times. His defense was stellar and he was a leader on the field.
  • Jimmy Ryan: Ryan was an outstanding outfielder and leadoff man who spent almost his entire career in Chicago. He was a leading power hitter in his day, leading the NL in 1888 with 16 homers while finishing in the top ten seven times. Ryan had one of the great arms in history and still ranks third all-time in outfield assists behind only Tris Speaker and Ty Cobb with 375.

You can download the PDF with biographies for all 25 preliminary candidates by clicking on the link below:

Here are the other players who received votes in the preliminary election:

  • Tommy Bond (64)
  • Dickey Pearce (58)
  • Bud Fowler (57)
  • Cal McVey (55)
  • George Gore (52)
  • Joe Start (49)
  • Jim McCormick (45)
  • Cupid Childs (41)
  • Dick McBride (38)
  • Lipman Pike (37)
  • Herman Long (36)
  • Jack Stivetts (21)
  • Charlie Smith (17)
  • Mike Griffin (14)

Last year, Daniel Lucius “Doc” Adams joined previous winners Pete Browning (2009), Hall of Famer Deacon White (2010), Harry Stovey (2011), Bill Dahlen (2012), and Ross Barnes (2013) as SABR’s Overlooked 19th Century Baseball Legends.

Voting in the final election will run from May 11-25 and will be open to all SABR members. This year’s winner will be announced at the Nineteenth Century Committee’s annual meeting at SABR 45 in Chicago. Registration is now open for the SABR convention at

For more information on the Overlooked 19th Century Baseball Legends project, click here or visit the project’s Facebook page.

Originally published: January 29, 2015. Last Updated: January 29, 2015.