Eleven members were selected by the Veterans’ Committee to join the Hall of Fame in 1946. Highlighted by Joe Tinker, Johnny Evers, and Frank Chance, the most famous double play combination of all-time, the class inducted on June 12, 1946, also consists of dominating pitchers in Jack Chesbro, Clark Griffith, Joe McGinnity, Eddie Plank, Rube Waddell, and Ed Walsh. One of the greatest hitters of all-time, Jesse Burkett and one half of the “Heavenly Twins,” Tommy McCarthy conclude the Hall of Fame induction class of 1946.
JESSE BURKETT: Joining Ty Cobb and Rogers Hornsby as the only players in history to hit over the .400 mark on three different occasions, Burkett entered the Hall of Fame with a reputation as one the most determined hitters of all-time. Earning the nickname, “Crab” for his demeanor at the plate, Burkett tallied a lifetime average of .342 and 2,872 hits spreading over 2,000 games for his career. His career ended in 1905 with the Boston Red Sox after stints with New York, Cleveland, and St. Louis previously.
FRANK CHANCE: A player turned manager, Chance found success at the forefront of the Chicago Cubs from 1905-1912 where he collected four pennants in five years from 1906-1910. His managerial career was highlighted by the Cubs’ 116 victories in 1906 which remains atop of the all-time list in baseball history.
JACK CHESBRO: Starring most notably for the New York Highlanders in 1904, Chesbro started 51 games that year completely 48 of them winning a remarkable 41 times while pitching a total of 455 innings. In a five-year span with the Pirates and Highlanders where he won pennants with each team, he averaged 25 wins per season and won a total 154 games. “Happy Jack” led the league several times in all major pitching categories.
JOHNNY EVERS: Johnny Evers was the middle man in the famed double play combination of Tinkers-to-Evers-to-Chance for the Chicago Cubs in the early 1900s. He helped lead the Cubs to four National League pennants and two world championships. Evers was also apart of history with the “Miracle Braves” of Boston who went from last place to first place in less than two months en route to a World Championship over the Athletics in 1914.
CLARK GRIFFITH: Griffith was a pitcher-manager who for the Chicago White Stockings, he was able to compile six, 20 win seasons on the mound amassing a career total of 237 victories. In his seasons as a manager, Griffith came to be known for his inventive and strategic way of using the resources he had and signed many Latino players who at the time were low cost, highly skilled players. The “Old Fox” finished his career with 1491 managerial wins with Chicago, New York, Cincinnati and Washington.
TOMMY McCARTHY: One of the “Heavenly Twins” for the Boston Beaneaters in the 1890s, McCarthy joined with teammate and fellow future Hall of Famer, Hugh Duffy to lead the Beaneaters to several pennants. An outfielder who became known for his skillful deception through trapping fly balls to cause base runners to hesitate, holds the National League record for assists in a season with 53.
JOE McGINNITY: A pitcher for the Baltimore Orioles, Brooklyn Superbas, and New York Giants of the early 1900s, he was famous for starting both games of a double-header doing so a remarkable three times in one month, victorious in all six games. McGinnity won 246 games as a major leaguer, winning pennants with Brooklyn in 1900 and New York in 1905.
EDDIE PLANK: One of the most successful left-handed pitchers of all time, Plank finished his career with 326 wins, third on the all-time list for wins by a left-handed pitcher trailing only Warren Spahn and Steve Carlton. Arriving to the major leagues right out of college in Gettsburg, Plank was a mainstay for the Philadelphia A’s for 14 seasons winning 20 games or more in eight seasons while leading the team to six American League pennants.
JOE TINKER: Part of one of the greatest double play combinations in history, Tinker shined at shortstop for 11-seasons with the Chicago Cubs. He led National League shortstops in fielding on five different occasions and played an integral role in the Cubs four pennants during his time in Chicago.
RUBE WADDELL: A dominating left-handed pitcher for the Philadelphia A’s from 1902-1907, Waddell 193 games including four straight 20 win seasons. He led the American League in strikeouts on six different occasions and had a career year in 1905 where he captured pitching's Triple Crown with 27 wins, 287 strikeouts and a 1.48 ERA, leading the league in all categories
ED WALSH: A spitball pitcher with the Chicago White Sox for 13 seasons, Walsh entered the Hall of Fame with 195 career victories highlighted by his 1908 season where he finished 40-15 completing 42 of 49 games. He compiled an average of 24 wins a season over a seven-year span and is credited with the lowest ERA of all-time (1.82), however ERA was not officially a statistic in the American League until 1913.