Womack: 19th-century baseball star Ross Barnes popular with collectors

From SABR member Graham Womack at Sports Collectors Daily on November 24, 2015:

It’s Hall of Fame voting season in the baseball world. A good rule of thumb in collecting is that anytime a player is enshrined, the price of their memorabilia will go up. There are exceptions to this of course. One exception is a player almost entirely forgotten by modern fans, one who didn’t even make the Pre Integration Era ballot this year, but one who was celebrated as “one of the greatest players of all times” when he died in 1915. At least for what his memorabilia is valued at, Ross Barnes has long since been a Hall of Famer.

SABR member and collector Gary Passamonte has been trying since the 1990s to get Barnes enshrined, partly because they’re both from Mount Morris, New York. Barnes played just nine years in the majors, which has helped keep him from Cooperstown which has had a rule since the 1950s that any candidate need have played at least 10 years.

At one point in the ’90s, Passamonte got Veterans Committee member Buzzie Bavasi to bring Barnes up with the committee, though discussion quickly moved past Barnes because of his lack of service time. The 10-year rule applies somewhat unfairly to Barnes and a few other players who were active before baseball’s first league, the National Association, formed in 1871.

Read the full article here: http://www.sportscollectorsdaily.com/the-cult-of-ross-barnes/

Originally published: November 24, 2015. Last Updated: November 24, 2015.