The last time Cooperstown had no living inductees ...
As you may have heard, the 2013 Baseball Hall of Fame induction ceremonies will feature no living inductees. So what did the good folks of Cooperstown do the last time this happened?
The decision of the BBWAA not to elect anyone to the Hall of Fame this time around in tandem with the decision of the Veterans' Committee not to elect anyone still walking the earth means the 2013 ceremonies in Cooperstown will feature no living inductee (J.G. Taylor Spink award winner Paul Hagen, while thankfully alive, is not technically an inductee).
The last time that this happened was way back yonder in 1960, when the Vets' Committee did not not convene and the writers passed over, among others, Lefty Grove (!), Luke Appling and Joe Medwick. So what did organizers do to fill the hours of what figured to be a very awkward induction day? Thanks to this AP report in the June 27, 1960, edition of the Schenectady Gazette, we know ...
This isn't a perfectly direct comparison, since the far-flung heirs of Vet-Comm inductees Deacon White, Hank O'Day and Jacob Ruppert will surely be on hand to accept the honor, but this is a taste of what it was like when a Hall of Famer fell in the forest and no one was there to hear it. Or something like that.
Know what would be cool, though? An actual, for-keeps, counts-in-the-standings MLB game at Doubleday Field every season, scheduled for induction weekend.
The larger point is that, as with all matters of human urgency, Fred Bowen is here to help.