On July 10, 1945, ten new members are inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame. Among them are catcher Roger Bresnahan, outfielder Hugh Duffy, and shortstop Hughie Jennings.
Roger Bresnahan is generally regarded as the most famous catcher of the dead-ball era. In a time when catchers rarely batted higher than 8th, Bresnahan was a leadoff hitter due to his high on-base percentage and speed that belied his 200-pound frame. He broke into the majors as a pitcher, throwing a six-hit shutout in his first appearance but had the ability to play every other position. Perhaps his most notable contributions to the game were in the development of protective equipment. Bresnahan is credited for the development of the batting helmet, shin guards for catchers, and improving the safety of the catcher’s mask. Despite initial ridicule and protest, these safety measures all caught on and are standard equipment in today’s game.
Hughie Jennings, for his career, stole 359 bases, walked 347 times, and holds the record for a number of times hit by a pitch at 287. Each of these totaling more than his meager strikeout total of 233.
Hugh Duffy holds the single-season record with a .438 batting average. In 1894, he amassed 234 hits in only 124 games, while playing for the Boston Beaneaters. Duffy collected 50 doubles and 18 home runs during that amazing season!