COOPERSTOWN, N.Y., July 29 (UPI) -- The Baseball Hall of Fame in New York state said the latest induction marked the first time since 1965 that all inductees were deceased.
The Hall of Fame held its annual ceremony Sunday to induct Jacob Ruppert, who owned the New York Yankees from 1915 until 1939; Hank O'Day, the umpire who officiated at the first World Series in 1903; and Deacon White, a 19th-century catcher and infielder, The New York Times reported Monday.
The Hall said it was the first time since 1965 that none of the inductees were living.
The Baseball Writers' Association of America rejected Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens and Sammy Sosa, who were all in their first year of eligibility but have had their legacies sullied by connections to steroid scandals.
"I think baseball is hurt and the hall suffers," said Johnny Bench, the former Cincinnati Reds catcher who was inducted in 1989.
"Do they qualify by putting numbers that are tainted?" Bench asked of players linked to using performance-enhancing drugs.