1953 Induction Ceremony

BBWAA inductees Dizzy Dean and Al Simmons were enshrined along with six Veterans Committee selections on July 27, 1953. The Veterans Committee voted in players Chief Bender and Bobby Wallace, executives Ed Barrow and Harry Wright and umpires Tom Connolly and Bill Klem. Former Hall of Famers present at the ceremony included Ty Cobb, Rogers Hornsby, Connie Mack, Ed Walsh and Cy Young.

Dizzy Dean was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1953. (National Baseball Hall of Fame Library)DIZZY DEAN: Elected in his ninth year on the ballot with 79.2 percent of the votes, Dean played 12 major league seasons primarily with the St. Louis Cardinals. He struck out 190 or more hitters in five straight years from 1932-1936, leading the National League each of the first four. Dean won the 1934 N.L. MVP Award and led the Cardinals to a World Series title when he went 30-7 with a 2.66 ERA and 195 strikeouts. The last N.L. pitcher to win 30 games, Dean’s career was shortened by an arm injury. He returned to pitch in one game with the St. Louis Browns in 1947, six years after he had last pitched, and tossed four shutout innings. Dean won 150 games in his career and retired with a 3.02 ERA.

ED BARROW: Serving in almost every role except player, Barrow would be responsible for the creation of baseball's greatest dynasty, the New York Yankees. Serving as the chief executive, Barrow would use trades, the development of talent through a farm system and the outright purchase of players to build a team that would win 14 pennants and 10 World Series between 1921 and 1945. The Veterans Committee selection is credited with discovering Honus Wagner in 1896.

CHIEF BENDER: Selected by the Veterans Committee, Bender pitched 16 seasons primarily with the Philadelphia Athletics. A 15-game winner nine times, he led the American League in winning percentage three times and helped Philadelphia to five A.L. pennants and three championships. Bender had arguably his best season in 1910 when he went 23-5 with a 1.58 ERA and 25 complete games in 28 starts. He pitched a no-hitter in 1910 and retired with 212 wins, a 2.77 ERA and 1,711 strikeouts.

Al Simmons was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1953. (National Baseball Hall of Fame Library)AL SIMMONS: Simmons was named on 75.4 percent of ballots cast in his ninth year of Hall of Fame eligibility. He played 20 seasons in the major leagues, primarily with the Philadelphia Athletics, but also spent significant time with the Chicago White Sox and Washington Senators. Simmons hit over .300 and drove in more than 100 runs in each of his first 11 seasons, finished in the top 10 of the American League MVP voting six times. He led the Athletics to three straight A.L. pennants from 1929-1931, winning two World Series. He retired as the one of just four players in history with a .300 batting average, 300 home runs, 1,500 RBI and 500 doubles, joining just Rogers Hornsby, Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig in a club that still has just 10 members. Simmons was also fifth in home runs when he retired behind just Ruth, Jimmie Foxx, Gehrig and Mel Ott. He ended his career with a .334 batting average, 307 home runs and 1,827 runs batted in.

TOM CONNOLLY: An umpire for 34 years during the roughest era in baseball history, Connolly gained players' respect as an impartial and fair-minded arbiter. An Englishman, Connolly umpired in the National League for three years before switching in 1901 to the new American League, where he would stay for 31 years. In contrast to the abrasive Bill Klem, Connolly was a calm and dignified disciplinarian who once went 10 consecutive seasons without ejecting a player. Voted into the Hall of Fame by the Veterans Committee, he umpired in the first modern World Series in 1903 and in eight overall.

BILL KLEM: Colorful and flamboyant, Klem brought dignity and respect to his profession. Known as The Old Arbitrator, he umpired almost exclusively behind the plate his first 16 years because of his superior ability on balls and strikes. He also was among the originators of arm signals to coincide with his calls. Proof positive of his skill and universal respect were his 18 World Series assignments. He umpired from 1905 to 1941 and then served as chief of National League umpires.

BOBBY WALLACE: In 25 years spent mostly with the St. Louis Browns, Wallace also spent time with the Cleveland Spiders and the Cardinals. He came up as a pitcher with the Spiders before moving onto the Cardinals and Browns as a shortstop. Wallace totaled 20 or more doubles 12 times in his career, led the league in fielding percentage three times and set the American League record for chances in a game in 1902 with 17. He ranks among the career leaders at shortstop in numerous defensive categories including putouts (4,142) and assists (6,303). Offensively, Wallace had his best seasons in the late 1800s, twice hitting over .300 and driving in more than 100 runs. Following his playing career, he managed, coached, umpired and spent time as a scout.

HARRY WRIGHT: Wright organized, managed and played center field for baseball's first openly all-professional team: the famed 1869 Cincinnati Red Stockings. Originally a cricket player, Wright first played baseball with the Knickerbockers of New York. He guided the Boston Red Stockings to four straight National Association pennants from 1872 to 1875 and two National League titles in 1877 and 1878. Among the numerous innovations he introduced were the practice of hitting pre-game fungoes to outfielders, backing up plays in the field and shifting on defense to account for hitters' tendencies.