The late Branch Rickey, Lloyd Waner and Red Ruffing were enshrined on July 23, 1967 in the last Hall of Fame induction ceremony to take place on the front steps of the museum. A brief rain shower interrupted the ceremony, in which Ruffing was inducted as the result of a runoff of BBWAA writers after they failed to induct someone the first time around. Grantland Rice covered baseball for numerous papers in the southern part of the country before moving to New York and received the J.G. Taylor Spink Award for meritorious contributions to baseball writing.
BRANCH RICKEY: After a mediocre career as a player and manager, Branch Rickey spent half a century in the front office as baseball's greatest visionary executive. With the St. Louis Cardinals in the 1920s and '30s, Rickey invented the modern farm system, promoting a new way of training and developing players. Later with the Brooklyn Dodgers, the Veterans Committee selection pioneered the utilization of baseball statistics. In 1945, he became the first executive to break baseball's color line when he signed Jackie Robinson, who became the major leagues' first African-American player in the 20th century.
RED RUFFING: Ruffing received 72.6 percent of the vote in his 15th year on the ballot, but because of a rule that was later changed earned induction to the Hall of Fame. The BBWAA was required to elect someone each year, and if they did not a run-off election was held in which writers were required to vote. Ruffing was the winner of the run-off and is still the only player to receive more than 70 percent of the vote twice and not get elected on the BBWAA ballot. Ruffing spent 22 seasons in the big leagues with the Boston Red Sox, New York Yankees and Chicago White Sox, winning 15 or more games 10 times. A six-time all-star, he pitched in seven World Series and went 7-2 with a 2.63 ERA in the Fall Classic as the Yankees won six championships. Ruffing pitched 335 complete games in his 538 starts, compiling 273 wins and retiring with a 3.80 ERA.
LLOYD WANER: Little Poison joined his brother Paul in the Hall of Fame as a selection of the Veterans Committee. Waner exploded onto the scene for the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1927, hitting .355 as a rookie and topping the .300 mark 10 times in his first 12 seasons. In 1929, at age 23, he established career highs in hits (234), doubles (28), triples (20) and RBI (74), while finishing fifth in the National League MVP voting. After playing his first 15 years in Pittsburgh, Waner finished his 18 year career with the Boston Braves, Cincinnati Reds and Brooklyn Dodgers. He retired with a career average of .316 and 118 triples.