Originally Posted by Ubiquitous
The last paragraph, to me at least, is an argument against having a contributor ballot. That's fine, but if we're going to have one (and we will so long as there's sufficient interest and the rules call for one), it's irrelevant. You boosted Al Spalding for his sporting goods business, promotions, and so forth. Somebody was going to realize they could make money selling such items, and it only stands to reason they'd want to promote the game to help themselves. Some GM was going to have a player who would openly cross the color line. Eventually, one of them would have had success. These guys actually did these things, and popularized them and/or made them succeed. That's why we are supporting them as contributors.
The fact that Creighton is the guy who at the very least popularized pitching the new way renders the whole issue of whether or not he was actually the first to do so an interesting side question, but not one which should be determinative of him as a contributor. Certainly, Branch Rickey wasn't the first guy to try and put an African-American in a major league uniform. There's no question John McGraw tried it, but as a subterfuge, rather than as an open choice. Some may well have knowingly succeeded McGraw's way. Rickey, though, chose wisely as to who would be the first to make that open break with tradition, and gave Jackie ample support in the effort.
Seen on a bumper sticker: If only closed minds came with closed mouths.
Some minds are like concrete--thoroughly mixed up and permanently set.
A Lincoln: I don't think much of a man who is not wiser today than he was yesterday.