From SABR member Adam Darowski at The Hardball Times on December 18, 2015:
In 1944, there were only 17 members of the Hall of Fame (inducted as players). All but one had a Hall Rating over 100 (Willie Keeler, at 98, is the only exception). Of the group, 13 actually had Hall Ratings over 200. In 1944, the Hall of Fame was reserved for the best of the best.
It hasn’t been that way since.
In 1945, nine players were selected by the Old Timers Committee. All nine were very good, but they were already nowhere close to the same level as previous inductees. Jimmy Collins (100 Hall Rating), Roger Bresnahan (93), Hughie Jennings (87) and Hugh Duffy (76) all have some Hall of Fame credentials, but are far from clear-cut choices.
In 1946, things got worse. The Old Timers Committee inducted 11 players. Among the group were Joe Tinker (102 Hall Rating), Frank Chance (93), Johnny Evers (87), Jack Chesbro (75) and the mother of all Hall of Fame head scratchers, Tommy McCarthy (28).
From there, the percentage of deserving Hall of Famers (by Hall Rating) gradually decreased until the mid 1980s. It has steadily increased since, as it has gotten harder to get into the Hall of Fame.
Read the full article here: http://www.hardballtimes.com/a-hall-of-stats-shows-a-haul-of-omissions/
Originally published: December 18, 2015. Last Updated: December 18, 2015.