Krell: The Hall of Fame case for Doc Adams

From SABR member David Krell at The Sports Post on January 3, 2017:

Victory, it is said, has a thousand fathers. Baseball, too.

Daniel Lucius “Doc” Adams is, for reasons passing understanding, without tangible recognition in Cooperstown. This is despite being a highly significant contributor to baseball’s genesis. It is not an uncommon tale, of course. The specter of Gil Hodges, an evergreen topic for debate about Hall of Fame inclusion, stands on the sidelines of 25 Main Street as thousands trek yearly to this bucolic village in upstate New York, pay homage to baseball’s icons, and gander at plaques honoring Jackie Robinson, Pee Wee Reese, and several other boys of summer. This, regardless of membership on seven consecutive National League All-Star teams, seven consecutive years of 100 or more RBI, and a managerial career noted for turning around the woes of the New York Mets. His efforts would culminate in the 1969 World Series championship.

Charles Ebbets, the Brooklyn Dodgers owner who would conceive Ebbets Field—and sacrifice half his ownership to finance the ballpark—does not have a plaque at the Hall of Fame. Quincy Trouppe, a standout from the Negro Leagues, often occupies a spot in Hall of Fame debates.

Adams’s denial, to date, contrasts the honor given to some of his 19th century brethren. In his 2011 book Baseball in the Garden of Eden: The Secret History of the Early Game, John Thorn, Major League Baseball’s Official Historian, wrote that Adams has been “recently revealed to be larger figures in baseball’s factual beginnings than either [Alexander] Cartwright or [Abner] Doubleday.”

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Originally published: January 3, 2017. Last Updated: January 3, 2017.