Elections to the Baseball Hall of Fame for 1964 followed the system introduced for even-number years in 1962. The Baseball Writers' Association of America (BBWAA) voted by mail to select from recent major league players with provision for a second, "runoff" election in case of no winner. The runoff was necessary this year, with Luke Appling the winner. Meanwhile, the Veterans Committee was meeting annually to consider executives, managers, umpires, and earlier major league players. It selected six people: Red Faber, Burleigh Grimes, Miller Huggins, Tim Keefe, Heinie Manush, and John Montgomery Ward.
Further, the eligibility of retired players was reduced from having retired thirty years prior to election to twenty.
The BBWAA was authorized to elect players active in 1944 or later, but not after 1958. All 10-year members of the BBWAA were eligible to vote.
Voters were instructed to cast votes for up to 10 candidates; any candidate receiving votes on at least 75% of the ballots would be honored with induction to the Hall. A total of 58 players received votes; 201 ballots were cast, with 151 votes required for election. A total of 1,632 individual votes were cast, an average of 8.12 per ballot.
No one reached the threshold so there was a runoff election featuring the 30 leading candidates. There would be one winner regardless of numerical support on the second ballot; in fact, winner Luke Appling tallied 189 of 201 votes or 94%. A total of 939 individual votes were cast in the run-off, an average of 4.67 per ballot.
Candidates who were eligible for the first time are indicated here with a †. Candidates who have since been elected in subsequent elections are indicated in italics. ( Al López, line seven, is in the Hall of Fame, too, as a manager.)
|Elected to the Hall. These individuals are also indicated in bold italics.|
|Players who were elected in future elections. These individuals are also indicated in plain italics.|
|† Roy Campanella||115||57.2||-||138|
|† Pee Wee Reese||73||36.3||-||47|
|Johnny Vander Meer||51||25.4||22.3%||20|
|† George Kell||33||16.4||-||8|
|† Bob Lemon||24||11.9||-||3|
|† Sal Maglie||13||6.5||-|
|† Virgil Trucks||4||2.0||-|
|† Ellis Kinder||3||1.5||-|
|† Art Houtteman||2||1.0||-|
|† Wes Westrum||2||1.0||-|
|† Steve Gromek||1||0.5||-|
|† Bob Kuzava||1||0.5||-|
|† Eddie Miksis||1||0.5||-|
|† Ron Northey||1||0.5||-|
|† Roy Smalley||1||0.5||-|
|† Dizzy Trout||1||0.5||-|
The run-off results show that voters in the second election concentrated their support on the four leaders. Primary results indicate significant gains among returning candidates, with eight players gaining twenty percentage points or more. Between 1962 and 1964, the Hall of Fame reduced eligibility for players to be voted on by the BBWAA from having been retired for at most 30 years to those who had been retired for at most 20 years. This removed numerous popular candidates, including Sam Rice, who had received the most votes among players not elected. Among the seventeen candidates to receive at least 10% of the vote in 1962, nine were no longer eligible due to the rule change. Combined with the two candidates who were elected, this meant that of the seventeen candidates to receive 10% or more in 1962, only six were appearing on this ballot.