From Babe Ruth to Sandy Koufax to Pedro Martinez, the Hall of Fame has had some stellar classes. Here are the five best HOF classes of all time.
1. 1936 (Babe Ruth, Ty Cobb, Walter Johnson, Honus Wagner, Christy Mathewson)
It makes sense that the first class would top them all with five inner-circle Hall of Famers selected, but here's an interesting tidbit: Cobb got the most votes (222), seven more than Ruth and Wagner, although it's possible the rules on Ruth's eligibility weren't completely clear.
2. 1972 (Yogi Berra, Sandy Koufax, Early Wynn, Josh Gibson, Buck Leonard, Lefty Gomez, Ross Youngs, Will Harridge)
You have two of the game's most iconic figures, a 300-game winner and two of the greatest Negro League players. The Veterans Committee also elected Gomez, who went 6-0 in five different World Series for the Yankees in the 1930s (they won them all); Youngs, a 1920s outfielder; and Harridge, who was the American League president for 27 years.
3. 2015 (Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez, John Smoltz, Craig Biggio)
For the first time since 1955, the Baseball Writers Association of America elected four players, and it was a stellar group. Johnson ranks fifth in career WAR among pitchers since the deadball era, and Martinez's peak performance was arguably the highest ever attained by a starting pitcher. Smoltz and Biggio are solid Hall of Famers, as well.
4. 2014 (Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, Frank Thomas, Joe Torre, Bobby Cox, Tony La Russa)
If you like managers -- or the Atlanta Braves dynasty of the 1990s -- you loved this group. After throwing a shutout in 2013, the BBWAA elected Maddux, Glavine and Thomas on the first ballot, although 16 voters somehow failed to vote for Maddux.
5. 1947 (Lefty Grove, Carl Hubbell, Frankie Frisch, Mickey Cochrane)
Grove won 300 games and nine ERA titles, and some say he's the best pitcher who ever lived. Hubbell threw a screwball that earned him the nickname "The Meal Ticket." Frisch was a great player for the Giants and Cardinals in the '20s and '30s, although later as a member of the Veterans Committee, he helped elect many of his old teammates, most of whom were poor choices.