Eighty years ago today, on January 29, 1936, the first five members of the Baseball Hall of Fame were selected by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America. Ty Cobb, Babe Ruth, Honus Wagner, Christy Mathewson, and Walter Johnson, each received at least 75 percent of the votes cast. This standard for admission is still used today. The selections were announced to the public on February 2, 1936.
Although selected, these charter members would not be formally inducted into the Hall of Fame until 1939, when the Hall of Fame opened in Cooperstown, New York. More than 20 hall-of-famers were inducted into the hall during the first Induction Ceremony held on June 12, 1939.