Ruppert, also a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from New York for four terms, spent $480,000 to buy the team in 1915. He acquired Babe Ruth from the Boston Red Sox in 1919 and construction finished for Yankee Stadium in 1923. It was the first ballpark with three tiers of seating.
“A lot of us thought he was already in for all he’d done,” Niekro said told the Associated Press of Ruppert. “We were surprised he wasn’t.”
Steinbrenner’s group bought the Yankees for $8.8 million in 1973. He brought stars such as Reggie Jackson, Dave Winfield and Rickey Henderson, and more recently, Paul O’Neill, Tino Martinez, Alex Rodriguez and CC Sabathia to New York. The new Yankee Stadium opened in 2009, the same season New York won its 27th World Series and seventh under Steinbrenner.
Steinbrenner, who died of a heart attack at the age of 80 in 2010, was on the Expansion Era ballot in 2010, but fell fall short of the votes necessary for election. Gillick was the lone Expansion Era electee that year.
O’Day, who died in 1935, umpired in the first World Series in 1903. He worked in 10 World Series. O’Day umpired in the National League for 30 years and made the defining call in the 1908 Giants vs. Cubs game that featured the Cubs’ Johnny Evers forcing out Fred Merkle at second base after what appeared to be the winning hit. The Cubs went on to win the World Series over the Detroit Tigers. O’Day became the 10th umpire elected into the Hall of Fame.
White played 20 seasons for teams in the National Association, the National League and the Players League, compiling 2,067 hits in 1,560 games. White led his league in batting average twice and RBIs three times. He was a bare-handed catcher before switching to third base later in his career. White died in 1939.
The Pre-Integration voting was completed Sunday at Baseball’s Winter Meetings in Nashville, Tenn., and released Monday.
The J.G. Taylor Spink Award for baseball writers will be announced today and the Ford C. Frick Award for broadcasters will be named Wednesday.
The additions of Ruppert, O’Day and White brought the number of Hall of Famers to 300.