A building located in Cooperstown, New York that functions as both a baseball museum and a venue displaying the accomplishments of, and honoring the memory of baseball's greatest players. Also defined as the collection of players, managers, coaches and other individuals associated with the history of baseball who have been honored as cherished and valuable contributors to the game.
The full name of the Hall of Fame is the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. It is a non-profit organization and was dedicated on June 12, 1939. The building itself is multi-storied, with galleries that house artifacts and memorabilia from the game of baseball, theaters and multiple exhibitions.
The selection process for including a player in the Hall of Fame can be complicated. A player will typically become eligible for induction five years after retirement, provided he played for a minimum of 10 years (although there have been exceptions under specific circumstances). Eligible players are selected by either the Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA) or the Veteran's Committee. Every year, the BBWAA votes from a ballot of typically 25-40 players, and may vote for up to 10 candidates. Any player who appears on 75% or more of the ballots is elected to the Hall of Fame. If a player appears on 5% or less of the ballots, he is determined ineligible and will not appear on future BBWAA ballots, but may later be inducted by the Veterans Committee.
The first five players inducted into the Hall of Fame were Ty Cobb, Babe Ruth, Honus Wagner, Christy Mathewson, and Walter Johnson.
The Hall of Fame is often referred to as the Baseball Hall of Fame or Cooperstown.