Irvin a part of living history at Hall of Fame

Muder_90.jpgBy Craig Muder

When Monte Irvin was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1973, the Hall’s entire roster of members included 140 names.

Today, almost half that number – 68 – are living Hall of Famers, and the Hall’s total membership has more than doubled to 292.

02-25-10-Muder_Irvin.jpgIrvin, the fourth-oldest living Hall of Famer, celebrates his 91st birthday today. He belongs to the Hall of Fame’s Roaring 90s club along with Lee MacPhail (92), Bobby Doerr (91) and Bob Feller (91) – with Stan Musial set to turn 90 on Nov. 21 of this year.

No other point in history has seen 68 living members of the Baseball Hall of Fame. In fact, it wasn’t until the Class of 1953 – fourteen years after the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum first opened its doors in Cooperstown – that the total number of Hall of Famers even reached 68.

Election to the Hall of Fame remains sport’s most exclusive honor. Of the more than 17,000 men who have played Major League Baseball, 203 – a little more than one percent – have been enshrined in the Hall of Fame as players.

Happy Birthday Monte!

Craig Muder is director of communications for the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.

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