Finally, the nominations are in for the inaugural NASCAR Hall of Fame class. How many people can you put in an inaugural hall of fame class? That is the debate brewing in NASCAR these days. The first class won't be until 2010 but with so many historic drivers in the last 50+ years, can they all go in first-class?
MLB had five in their first class. There was Cobb, Ruth, Wagner, Mathewson, and Walter Johnson. These five players received the required 75% of the vote to get into the hall. Lately, it seems as if only a few players each year are elected into the Hall as voters are very cautious who they let into the fraternity of brothers.
In the NBA in 1959 there was an inaugural induction class consisting of 15 players, coaches, referees, and contributors along with the First Team and the Original Celtics. Not exactly a list of the big names going in on the first ballot for the NBA, in fact the only name you might recognize is Dr. James Naismith. Every year the NBA lets in a half-dozen or so members as their Hall expands exponentially.
The NHL opened their doors in 1945 allowing 12 players to enter on first ballot along with two builders of the game. Of those 14members, it'd be hard to find one name that stood out amongst all others but at the time the NHL felt all men were worthy of the Hall.
In the Pro Football Hall of Fame it consists of more than just the NFL's short existence. The Hall of fame opened it's doors in 1963 shortly around the time of the merger. The inaugural class had 17 members some more prolific than others including Jim Thorpe, George Halas, and Red Grange, to name a few.
So that brings us back to the NASCAR inaugural class. Is there something to be said about being the first drivers in? Well looking back across the other four major sports in the United States, one would see that MLB appears to be the most strict when allowing members in and maybe NASCAR will follow suit. The nominees though are essentially the top 25 drivers of all time with the exception of possibly Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson, and Tony Stewart?
From Dale Earnhart to Bobby Allison and Cale Yarborough or Richard Petty, the list of these top 25 drivers will all eventually get into the Hall of Fame so would it be wrong to put them all in right away?
And Now You Know! (And Knowing is Half the Battle)