As long as I have followed hockey, I have read that both Art Ross and Dan Bain were among the first twelve inductees into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1945. However, I just read the HHOF book titled Honoured Members from 2003, and it says that both of these men were inducted in 1949. A little searching also shows that Hockey Reference also has them listed for 1949:HHOF Members. However, both Ross and Bain's HHOF bios say they were inducted in 1945 (everyone here probably knows that, but here are Ross and Bain's HHOF bios if anyone cares).
I guess what I'm trying to get at here is this: did the HHOF retroactively change their induction, and if so, why? Or has everybody just been using the wrong dates?
Just looked some more. Russell Bowie, another of the first twelve, is listed as 1947 by both this book and Hockey Reference. That just adds to the counfusion.
Last edited by kaiser matias: 05-25-2010 at 04:38 PM.
Reason: Found Russell Bowie listed as 1947, not 1945
Perhaps they were named to the HOF in 1945, but the actual induction ceremony (if they even had one in those days) didn't take place until a later date, hence the inconsistencies. That's about the only thing I can think of. Some old newspaper articles could probably solve this if somebody's got some spare time they want to kill.
I'll add to the confusion. I have an NHL Guide for the 1945-46 season and it has a story about the first ten players named to the yet to be built Hall of Fame. They were Howie Morenz, Georges Vezina, Chuck Gardiner, Eddie Gerard, Hod Stuart, Tom Phillips, Harvey Pulford, Frank McGee, and Hobie Baker.
What makes it a little confusing is that there were only nine players profiled and who the tenth player was is anyone's guess. Or perhaps there were only nine.
Interesting that Bain, Bowie, and Ross are the three members not listed in your guide and also the three whom the confusion surrounds in the original post.
Another theory: Perhaps the committee or whoever was in charge of the thing only named nine (or ten?) members in 1945, but had decided to induct some more by the time it actually opened its doors, and these new additions were thus considered original members and listed with the rest of the 1945 class.
The Hockey Hall of Fame website has Bain, Ross and Bowie named to the HOF in 1945along with two builders - Lord Stanley and Sir Montagu Allan ( the Allan Cup). So that would be 12 players.
What is interesting about the Bowie PDF is that it says that the selection that year brings the total number of members to 17. There are 8 names and if we subtract that from 17 we are back to nine which is the number of players listed in the 45/46 guide.
This is becoming kind of interesting. I believe the first actual induction took place in 1959 so there may have been some confusion about who was selected in what year. I know that sports were a lot more casual about records and record keeping 50 years ago.
The other mystery is why does the NHL guide say there were ten players when they only listed nine.
Last edited by eastcoaster: 05-25-2010 at 09:33 PM.
Reason: Adding information.
In case anyone is at all interested, I got a response today, right from Phil Pritchard:
"Thanks for the note and your interest in the Hockey Hall of Fame. It has been a long going debate on the Honoured Members. As originally the Hockey Hall of Fame was set for Kingston, Ontario and called the International Hockey Hall of Fame, then the NHL funded the Hockey Hall of Fame providing it would be in Toronto. Which now made 2 Hall of Fames. Players were inducted into Kingston and then into Toronto and visa versa."
So it really comes down to that with the seperate Kingston and Toronto hall of fames, they pretty much retroactively added players into the Toronto one when it opened.