BBWAA inductee Lou Boudreau was enshrined with three Veterans Committee selections on July 27, 1970 in front of fans that included a contingent of more than 100, which called itself Boudreau’s buddies. The Veterans Committee picks were Earle Combs, Jesse Haines and former commissioner Ford Frick. The J.G. Taylor Spink Award for meritorious contributions to baseball writing went to Sid Mercer, formerly of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, New York Evening Globe, and New York Evening Journal.
LOU BOUDREAU: Named on 77.3 percent of ballots cast in his 10th year on the ballot, Boudreau played 15 big league seasons for the Cleveland Indians and Boston Red Sox. He was accomplished as both a player and a manager. Boudreau was named to seven All-Star teams and won the 1948 American League MVP after hitting .355 with 18 home runs and 106 runs batted in. He was the player-manager on that 1948 and led it to a World Series title. Following his time as player-manager with Cleveland and Boston, he went on to manage the Kansas City Athletics and Chicago Cubs. Boudreau is credited with developing the Ted Williams shift and converting Bob Lemon from an infielder to a pitcher. For his career he hit .295 with 789 runs batted in.
EARLE COMBS: The centerfielder on the vaunted “Murderers Row” New York Yankees team in 1927, Combs was selected to the Hall of Fame by the Veterans Committee. Playing all 12 seasons of his career with the Yankees, he hit over .300 and notched double figures in triples nine times each. Combs’ career ended early when a series of collisions – with an outfield wall in St. Louis in 1934 and with a teammate in 1935 – shortened his career. He retired with a .325 batting average, 154 triples and 1,186 runs scored.
JESSE HAINES: A Veterans Committee inductee, Haines pitched for the Cincinnati Reds for a season before spending the last 18 years of his career with the St. Louis Cardinals. A knuckleballer, he used longevity to pile up 210 career wins with 11 seasons of 10 or more wins. He threw a no-hitter against the Boston Braves in 1924 and helped St. Louis to four World Series in a nine year stretch. The Cardinals won two championships out of the four pennants, while Haines posted a Fall Classic ERA of 1.67. He pitched in 555 games and retired with a 3.64 earned run average.
FORD FRICK: Ford Frick was uncompromisingly devoted to baseball. The DePauw University graduate worked as a sportswriter and New York City broadcaster, before becoming director of the National League Service Bureau and then league president. During his 17-year tenure as the head of the National League, he combined forces with Stephen Clark and Alexander Cleland in obtaining major league support for the establishment of the Hall of Fame. Elected by the Veterans Committee, Frick later became commissioner of baseball and served in that post for 14 seasons.