McDonnell: 2015 Hall of Fame class shines with emphasis on paying it forward

From SABR member Wayne McDonnell Jr. at on July 26, 2015:

The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum officially opened its pearly gates for three pitchers who have combined for nine Cy Young Awards and 735 career victories as well as a member of the 3,000 hit club whose penchant for doubles was turned into an art form. The 71st election held by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America has produced arguably the last 300 game winner in baseball (Randy Johnson), a pitcher who only accumulated double digit losses in a season twice (Pedro Martinez), the first Hall of Fame pitcher to have undergone the famous “Tommy John” surgery (John Smoltz), and a versatile position player who was mentored by Yogi Berra during the formative years of his prolific career (Craig Biggio). This year’s election marks the first time in the voting history of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America that three pitchers were inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum on the first ballot. It also marks the first time since 1955 that four ball players were selected for enshrinement by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America.

The sun drenched green grass at the idyllic Clark Sports Center was immersed in a sea of orange t-shirts and jerseys in honor of the Houston Astros’ first representative in the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. Not to be outdone, the vibrant colors of blue, red, and white representing the Dominican Republic flag were proudly waving by hundreds in attendance while the crystal blue sky served as its background. 49 Hall of Famers returned to the tony village of Cooperstown to welcome four new members to its exclusive fraternity while an estimated 40,000 – 50,000 fans celebrated all weekend along Main Street.

Read the full article here:

Originally published: July 28, 2015. Last Updated: July 28, 2015.