When Mariano Rivera was elected to the Hall of Fame in unanimous fashion on Tuesday, pretty much everyone -- including SNY -- noted that he was the first-ever unanimous selection.
Specifically, it was noted that Rivera was the first player to ever be named on 100 percent of the ballots that were submitted.
But was he really the first unanimous selection to the National Baseball Hall of Fame? Is there a chance another legendary Yankee was actually the first unanimous selection?
In 1939, shortly after Lou Gehrig was diagnosed with ALS, the BBWAA -- which was not scheduled to hold another Hall of Fame vote until 1942 -- held a special election and voted Gehrig in. On June 2, 1941, Gehrig passed away.
John Thorn, the official MLB historian, explained Wednesday that the results from the voting were not released. And it's possible we will never know how many people voted for Gehrig.
"I think it's fair to say that we won't know about the Gehrig vote total," Thorn said. "If it exists -- or ever existed."
Thorn explained further that the voting process for Gehrig may not have even been a formal one.
Gehrig certainly deserved first-ballot induction on merit, having hit a ridiculous .340/.447/.632 with 493 homers during his 17-year career while being part of several Yankees dynasties. That he made the Hall via a special election is poignant. Perhaps it was also historic.
Officially, Rivera is the first player ever to be a unanimous selection to the Hall of Fame. However, it's fair to wonder if the honor really belongs to Gehrig -- at the time a stricken man whose near-immediate induction was both unique and secret.