With the most star-studded Hall of Fame ballot in 75 years, nobody got elected this year. Is the Hall of Fame still relevant?

I believe the Hall of Fame is at a crossroads—embroiled in an identity crisis. Should it be a shrine to purity? Or should it be a museum that tells the story of a time in history and nothing more noble than that?

Either way the induction of Ray Chapman (Chappie), the beloved 1920 shortstop who became the sport’s first only player to be killed by a pitched ball, is someone fans young and old can admire for his character on the field and off. In a decade often cited as the most sport-crazy in American history, Ray Chapman was a nation’s hero by standing up for fair play in a sport riddled with corruption and paid the ultimate sacrifice for the game he loved.

After the Western Frontier closed, the baseball diamond became the new “frontier” to which Americans looked to find rugged individuals who reassured them that American grit was alive and well. Chappie was that kind of man in that kind of time. Near the end of his ninth season in the league, he was struck in the head by a dirty pitch from Yankee pitcher, Carl Mays. Chappie’s death overshadowed even the Presidential Election that year and over 10,000 fans donated to a bronze plaque in his honor, which reads, “This tablet is erected by lovers of clean sport.” Why is this piece of baseball history not in the Hall of Fame? In fact, Chapman is given so little remembrance that his team lost this important piece of history for years. It was found in a crowded storage room in 2007.

Whether the Hall of Fame decides it wants to be a shrine to purity or solely a history museum, Ray Chapman deserves to be recognized for his sacrifice to the game. The Veteran’s Committee has the authority to induct players of Chappie’s era. And although Chapman died in his ninth season, therefore not meeting the 10-year minimum eligibility requirements, the Veteran’s Committee has inducted another player from that era, a player from Ray’s team (Cleveland Indians), who only played nine seasons and died from the flu—a death unrelated to the sport—Addie Joss.

So if Major League Baseball wants to keep out those players who have questionable records due to performing-enhancing drugs, why not induct a player who was a lover of clean sport and who was able to inspire his team to go on and win the World Series after his death, which inspired a grieving nation to once again believe in the magic of the game during the sport’s first major scandal—the indictment of the 1919 Chicago White Sox.

We have a screenplay in development based on Chappie’s story and Mike Sowell’s fantastic book, "The Pitch That Killed." In addition, we are creating a grassroots campaign to get Ray Chapman inducted into the MLB Hall of Fame. If you’re on twitter, follow us at @comeaboardprod. Let’s get a movement started to get a real Major League hero where he belongs!