On January 29, 1936, the U.S. Baseball Hall of Fame elected the very first members: Ty Cobb, Babe Ruth, Honus Wagner, Christy Matthewson and Walter Johnson. It was actually the Baseball Writers’ Association of America who were tasked with choosing the five greatest superstars of the game as the inaugural 1939 inductees.
According to a History.com article, the Hall of Fame actually had its beginnings in 1935, when plans were made to build a museum devoted to baseball and its 100-year history. A private organization based in Cooperstown, called the Clark Foundation, thought establishing the Baseball Hall of Fame in their city would help build back the area through tourism, as the nation emerged from the Great Depression.
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