First Ballot Baseball Hall of Fame

Name the players who were elected to the baseball Hall of Fame on their first ballot.
Special election in bold
Quiz by Quizmaster
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Last updated: January 22, 2020
First submittedJanuary 11, 2012
Times taken23,045
Rating4.17
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Year
Pos
Team
Player
2020
SS
Yankees
Derek Jeter
2019
P
Yankees
Mariano Rivera
2019
P
Blue Jays
Roy Halladay
2018
3B
Braves
Chipper Jones
2018
1B
Indians
Jim Thome
2017
C
Rangers
Ivan Rodriguez
2016
OF
Mariners
Ken Griffey Jr.
2015
P
Mariners
Randy Johnson
2015
P
Red Sox
Pedro Martinez
2015
P
Braves
John Smoltz
2014
P
Braves
Greg Maddux
2014
P
Braves
Tom Glavine
2014
DH
White Sox
Frank Thomas
2009
LF
A's
Rickey Henderson
2007
SS
Orioles
Cal Ripken
2007
RF
Padres
Tony Gwynn
2005
3B
Red Sox
Wade Boggs
2004
3B
Brewers
Paul Molitor
2004
P
A's
Dennis Eckersley
2003
1B
Orioles
Eddie Murray
2002
SS
Cardinals
Ozzie Smith
2001
RF
Yankees
Dave Winfield
2001
CF
Twins
Kirby Puckett
1999
P
Angels
Nolan Ryan
1999
3B
Royals
George Brett
1999
SS
Brewers
Robin Yount
1995
3B
Phillies
Mike Schmidt
1994
P
Phillies
Steve Carlton
1993
RF
A's
Reggie Jackson
1992
P
Mets
Tom Seaver
Year
Pos
Team
Player
1991
1B
Twins
Rod Carew
1990
P
Orioles
Jim Palmer
1990
2B
Reds
Joe Morgan
1989
LF
Red Sox
Carl Yastrzemski
1989
C
Reds
Johnny Bench
1988
LF
Pirates
Willie Stargell
1986
1B
Giants
Willie McCovey
1985
LF
Cardinals
Lou Brock
1983
3B
Orioles
Brooks Robinson
1982
RF
Braves
Hank Aaron
1982
RF
Orioles
Frank Robinson
1981
P
Cardinals
Bob Gibson
1980
RF
Tigers
Al Kaline
1979
CF
Giants
Willie Mays
1977
SS
Cubs
Ernie Banks
1974
CF
Yankees
Mickey Mantle
1973
P
Braves
Warren Spahn
(1973)
RF
Pirates
Roberto Clemente
1972
P
Dodgers
Sandy Koufax
1969
LF
Cardinals
Stan Musial
1966
LF
Red Sox
Ted Williams
1962
2B
Dodgers
Jackie Robinson
1962
P
Indians
Bob Feller
(1939)
1B
Yankees
Lou Gehrig
1936
CF
Tigers
Ty Cobb
1936
RF
Yankees
Babe Ruth
1936
SS
Pirates
Honus Wagner
1936
P
Giants
Christy Mathewson
1936
P
Senators
Walter Johnson
+4
Level 44
Jul 30, 2010
There used to be a weird bias in the Hall of Fame about electing people on the first ballot; it just was NOT done, which is why after the initial class (they were all first ballot because that WAS the first ballot) you see a gap of over 25-years before another first ballot player was elected. Today players that would in the past probably have had to wait a year to get in (like Eddie Murray and Kirby Puckett) get right in. Lou Gehrig, Joe DiMaggio, Rogers Hornsby, Lefty Grove, Tris Speaker, and Jimmie Foxx were all among those who got shafted (along with legendary figures like John McGraw and Connie Mack) due to the era they were first on the ballot. There is no question they deserved to be (along with many others) on the first ballot, and would be if it were done over. It makes the hall notion of "first ballot hall of famer" mean a lot less when players like Murray, Puckett, and Molitor get in without waiting while DiMaggio, Gehrig Hornsby, and Grove are among those not in the club.
+1
Level 78
Jul 27, 2014
Lou Gehrig was in the class of 1939, elected the same year he ended his career....thus a first-ballot electee. A special case, to be sure, just as Roberto Clemente. In both cases, the five-year wait before becoming eligible was waived.
+1
Level 54
Apr 12, 2020
Probably because that's included just in case a player un-retires, which...wasn't an option for Gehrig or Clemente.
+1
Level 16
Aug 1, 2010
If they deserve to be in the Hall, they deserve to get in on the first ballot. Why wait to put the guy (or gal) in?
+2
Level 65
Jan 11, 2017
Exactly! This whole process has always been ridiculous to me. Why would one vote "no" their first year of eligibility, then later vote "yes". It makes no sense. Did the player put up more numbers between the votes? No, of course not, because they are all retired before voting. If a player deserves to be in, they should be voted as such immediately when eligible. This concept of "good enough to be in, but not good enough to be first ballot" is silly. (The only potential caveat is that I think voters may be limited on number of "yes" votes each year, so that could change a vote in future years.)
+2
Level 48
Oct 31, 2017
Agree 100%. There's a d-bag writer in Minnesota who refuses to vote for anyone on their first ballot until Jack Morris gets in. As to anyone else, yes if they deserve to be in there's no point in making them wait other than spite...or stupidity.
+1
Level 25
Mar 4, 2020
It depends though it could be his first year along with five others first year so you have to choose and put one in a year late. That's often not the case but it could be.
+3
Level 52
Dec 20, 2017
Baseball writers can only vote for 10 players on a ballot. They have to pick and choose for whom they will vote. This is a reason why obvious HOF picks never get 100% of the vote. Writers who recognize that the player is a lock to get in may save that slot for players who really need the votes.
+1
Level 52
Apr 30, 2019
Well, Mariano Rivera, maybe.
+2
Level 85
Jan 1, 2011
When you think about it, though, there was a 40-year backlog of players that had to be put in (at a maximum of a handful per year) once the hall of fame came into existence in 1936. The not-on-the-first-ballot rule was probably there for good reason - to make sure that deserving players from the early part of the century made their way in before being forgotten. Seems as though it took them about 25 years to catch up and begin electing deserving players right away.
+1
Level ∞
Jan 10, 2012
I reset the quiz to add Roberto Clemente, who was elected in a special ballot.
+1
Level 58
Jan 11, 2012
If you added Clemente, then you need to add Gehrig too.
+1
Level ∞
Jan 11, 2012
Well... crap! I went ahead and added Gehrig. Thanks.
+1
Level 58
Jan 8, 2015
Lou Gehrig was not a first ballot electee. Hew received votes on the first ballot in 1936 when active players were eligible.
+1
Level 44
Jan 12, 2012
I still think DiMaggio, Grove, Speaker, Foxx, Ott, Yogi Berra, Eddie Collins, and a whole host of others not being first ballot is ludicrous. Then again, I believe that it is silly that 'Shoeless' Joe Jackson isn't in the hall yet, nor is Pete Rose, baseball's all-time hits leader. Sure, Rose is a liar, is (at least was) a gambler, and bet on baseball, but maybe it's time to let him in? Because I have a feeling eventually he'll get in, even if it comes after his death. Why not induct him NOW so he can be alive to appreciate it? I was utterly disgusted by the HOF FINALLY inducting Ron Santo now after he died. It was apparent for years that he deserved induction, and it was very important to him. Now he's gone and it happens? Yes, better late than never, but how gross that they refused to do it while the man lived when it would have meant so much to him. And the addition of Gehrig of course invalidates my inclusion of him on my list for those who didn't get in first ballot. Gehrig got in on a special ballot, l
+1
Level 74
Jan 12, 2016
I could not agree more. Voters keeping someone off of their ballot simply because "they can" is absurd. Not voting for Nolan Ryan or Ted Williams or even Ken Griffey Jr. really doesn't make any sense. The notion that players should not get in on their first attempt is tired.
+1
Level 60
Jul 3, 2013
sad that warren spahn is only at 17%. greatest left handed pitcher of all time without a doubt
+1
Level 23
Jan 25, 2018
Steve Carlton and Randy Johnson would also appreciate a word.
+1
Level 58
Apr 6, 2019
Lefty Grove was better than all of them.
+1
Level 72
Jul 24, 2014
Other quizzes you accept Yaz for Yastrzemski. When it didn't work I almost didn't try to spell it out. Glad I did. Can you accept Yaz for this quiz as well?
+1
Level ∞
Jul 25, 2014
Yaz works now. Thanks.
+2
Level 43
Jul 28, 2014
Rose, Bonds, McGwire and Clemens should be in.
+1
Level 51
Jul 28, 2014
Rose should be in. What Rose did to get banned had no bearing on making his performance better. The other three cannot say the same. There may come a time when they have a Steroid Era Section of the HOF, but until then you wont see them in.
+1
Level 77
Jul 22, 2015
I hope that you mean that you think that those four players should be in the HOF, not that they should be included in this quiz (which they most assuredly should not, since they're not even in the HOF).
+1
Level 78
Sep 1, 2017
Bonds, McGwire and Clemens? Please. Don't make me laugh. If you cheat on your final exam, despite getting straight A's all year, you still get failed on that exam even though it's obvious that you would've done great had you not cheated. Just because they likely would've been HOF-caliber players without the juice, doesn't mean they skate after cheating. It's called consequences.
+4
Level 23
Jan 25, 2018
To say they "cheated" isn't accurate (or true).There was no rule outlawing PED use in MLB at the time. Secondly, "cheating" implies having an unfair advantage over competitors yet if you read objective evaluations of the steroid era, such as the Mitchell report, it's pretty difficult to make the assertion that the players you named were doing anything that their competitors weren't also. It's not the "Steroid Era" because three dudes were using PEDs. It's the "Steroid Era" because the vast MAJORITY of players were. And what about amphetamines in the 60s, 70s & 80s? Should those players be removed? When you respond with, "prove it", I'll ask you to show me the "proof" on all the 'roid users. Lastly, please justify the legitimacy of the pre-integration players' advantages. The MLB HoF is a museum of baseball history. It should acknowledge that PEDs were a part of its game just like racism and gambling were. To exclude Rose, Bonds and Clemens just makes the HoF a mockery of itself.
+1
Level 78
Sep 1, 2017
There's no bigger Reds fan than me, but Pete Rose knew the 1 cardinal sin that no baseball player/manager should ever commit: betting on baseball. He knew the risk. He knew the consequences. He has no one to blame but himself. Everyone who has ever played the game knows that if you bet on baseball, you're out for life. There has to be an ultimate deterrent. You don't just sit in the "Naughty Chair" for a few years.
+1
Level 81
Jul 4, 2018
Based on recent voting trends, Bonds and Clemens will very likely get in eventually. McGwire is already off the ballot. Rose's case has only gotten worse in recent years due to more information coming out about the extent of his gambling. If he ever gets in, it will probably be a loooong time from now.
+1
Level 86
Jan 6, 2015
Quick update, well done. Tried it again and I missed Aaron and Gwynn, I am truly ashamed.
+2
Level 52
Mar 14, 2018
I sometimes miss Aaron because I don't recognize him as a right fielder. He spent most of his career in right field, but when he was breaking Babe Ruth's home run record he was playing first base.
+1
Level 89
Jan 19, 2017
I hate to nitpick because I really enjoyed the quiz, but Ty Cobb was an outfielder for the majority of his career.
+1
Level 55
Dec 25, 2017
Cobb was an outfielder his entire career, the vast majority in center. Listing him as a first baseman is ridiculous, he played 14 games total at 1B, compared to 2,934 in the OF.
+1
Level ∞
Dec 25, 2017
Fixed
+1
Level 52
Jan 23, 2019
Thanks for updating the quiz so quickly! Less than 24 hours, that's impressive.