On July 24, 2022, the Baseball Hall of Fame welcomes seven new members: David Ortiz, Bud Fowler, Gil Hodges, Jim Kaat, Minnie Miñoso, Tony Oliva, and Buck O’Neil. SABR celebrates Cooperstown’s Class of 2022 by highlighting Research Collection articles featuring the new inductees.
SABR’s BioProject provides comprehensive biographies of all seven inductees. Author Bill Nowlin tells the story of the iconic Boston Red Sox slugger Ortiz, who was elected to the Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility. Brian McKenna explores Fowler’s path as a pioneering Black player in the 19th century. John Saccoman explains why Hodges was such a beloved figure among fans of both the Dodgers and Mets. Patrick Lethert describes Kaat’s journey from a durable starting pitcher to a stalwart in the broadcast booth.
Mark Stewart’s biography of Miñoso remembers a Cuban legend whose impact on players of generations to follow was enormous. One of his compatriots, Oliva, became one of the major leagues’ top hitters with the Minnesota Twins, as Peter C. Bjarkman chronicles. Finally, Bob LeMoine tells the story of O’Neil, the Negro Leagues’ greatest storyteller and ambassador.
SABR’s Games Project also includes stories that shine a light on players inducted in the Class of 2022. David Ortiz’s heroics from the 2004 postseason to the 2013 World Series are well documented. One of Ortiz’s first walk-off hits as a professional player took place in 1996 with the minor-league Wisconsin Timber Rattlers.
Kaat’s contributions to the AL champion 1965 Minnesota Twins and the World Series-winning 1982 St. Louis Cardinals are also included here. Miñoso’s memorable first home run with the Chicago White Sox in 1951, Hodges hitting for the cycle in 1949, and Fowler’s debut as professional baseball’s first Black player in 1878 are stories that all baseball fans should read.
Fowler and O’Neil were elected last December by the Early Baseball Era Committee, which considered candidates whose primary contribution to the game came prior to 1950. The Early Baseball Era voters included SABR members Gary Ashwill, Adrian Burgos Jr., Leslie Heaphy, Justice Hill, Steve Hirdt, and John Thorn.
Burgos and Hirdt were also part of the Golden Days Era voting electorate, which considered candidates whose primary contribution to the game came from 1950 to 1969. That group of voters elected Hodges, Kaat, Miñoso, and Oliva.
Find all published SABR biographies for Baseball Hall of Fame inductees by clicking here.
- Induction Day SABR meeting in Cooperstown: SABR’s Cliff Kachline Chapter will hold its annual Induction Day meeting at 6:00 p.m. EDT on Sunday, July 24 at Tillapaugh’s, 28 Pioneer St, Cooperstown, NY 13326. All baseball fans are invited to attend this free, open-to-the-public event. We have three great book authors lined up to talk about their books and exciting baseball topics. Join us to hear from Bill Deane on Baseball’s Who’s Who of What Ifs, from Mark Armour and Dan Levitt on Intentional Balk, and from Mike Mitchell on Mr. Rickey’s Redbirds.
Originally published: July 21, 2022. Last Updated: July 22, 2022.