It’s Hall of Fame weekend in Cooperstown, New York. Craig Biggio, Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez, and John Smoltz will join an exclusive club of just over 300 former baseball players, managers, umpires, and executives elected by baseball writers over the last 79 years. With the help of Baseball Reference, we’ve compiled the birthplaces of every Hall of Famer, from Aaron (Hank) to Yount (Robin). Explore the map below and use BatchGeo’s group selection feature to narrow by election year, type, and role.
View Baseball Hall of Famers by Birthplace in a full screen map
The Hall of Fame originated in 1936. The first inductees were mostly from the northeast. The exceptions were Walter Johnson (1936, Kansas), Ty Cobb (1936, Georgia), and Tris Speaker (1937, Texas). The next 30 years saw a midwestern and southern expansion, with a handful of Californians thrown in here and there.
There are only 17 people elected from outside the US, including only one player from the eastern hemisphere (Bert Blyleven, born in The Netherlands). The first foreign induction overall was in just the third year of the Hall. Henry Chadwick, famous for cultivating America’s interest in baseball, was born in England and voted in posthumously. It would take until 1973 for a foreign-born player to be elected to the hall. Roberto Clemente was born in Puerto Rico in 1934, and elected in special circumstances after he died in an off season airplane crash.
The only other player who entered the hall with a special election is Lou Gehrig. The Iron Horse abruptly retired early in the 1939 season due to weakened muscles from ALS, now commonly referred to as Lou Gehrig’s Disease. The typical five year waiting period was waived, and Gehrig was elected during December meetings of baseball writers that year.
Gehrig was born in New York City, along with seven other Hall of Famers. That city is second only to Chicago, which produced nine members of the Hall. If you consider the boroughs of Brooklyn (six) and Bronx (Frankie Frisch), the Big Apple is the leader. As a whole, The Empire State is tops with 31 Hall of Famers. Predictably, another populous state, California, comes in second at 24, followed by Illinois and Pennsylvania, both with 22.
Ten states have no natives in the Hall: Alaska, Arizona, Hawaii, Maine, Montana, Nevada, North Dakota, Oregon, Utah, and Wyoming, you have some work to do.