Ernie Banks was elected by the BBWAA, three players by the Veterans Committee and two by the Committee on Negro League Baseball for induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame on August 8, 1977. The Veterans Committee honored Al Lopez, Amos Rusie and Joe Sewell, while the Committee on the Negro Leagues enshrined Martin Dihigo and Pop Lloyd. Red Smtih and Harold Kaese were each presented with the J.G. Taylor Spink Award for meritorious contributions to baseball writing.
ERNIE BANKS: The eighth player inducted to the Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility, Banks was named on 83.8 percent of ballots cast. An 11-time All-Star, he played all 19 seasons of his career with the Chicago Cubs. Banks won the National League MVP Award two years in a row, in 1958 when he hit .313 with 47 home runs and 129 RBI and in 1959, hitting .304 with 45 home runs and 143 RBI. A Gold Glove Award winner in 1960, Banks retired with a .274 batting average, 512 home runs and 1,636 RBI.
MARTIN DIHIGO: Selected by the Committee on the Negro Leagues, Martin Dihigo was perhaps the most versatile player in baseball history. Known as El Maestro, he played all nine positions skillfully. Dihigo became a national institution in his native Cuba but also starred in many other countries, including Mexico, Puerto Rico, and Venezuela and also spent 12 seasons in the Negro leagues. Playing in the Mexican League in 1938, he went 18-2 and led the league with a 0.90 ERA, while also winning the batting crown with a .387 mark.
POP LLOYD: A line-drive hitter whose extraordinary skills at shortstop drew favorable comparisons to Honus Wagner, John Henry Lloyd was one of the best black players of the Dead Ball Era. Although a consummate gentleman off the field, Lloyd was an aggressive, fearless baserunner on it, and was also one of the best hitters of his era. He had great range and large, steady hands that led Cuban fans to dub him El Cuchara (The Shovel). The easygoing Lloyd later became a player-manager and was given the affectionate nickname Pop by the young players he mentored. He was selected for induction to the Hall of Fame by the Committee on Negro League Baseball.
AL LOPEZ: A Veterans Committee Selection, Lopez was in the dugout for 36 years as a player and manager. He played for the Brooklyn Robins and Dodgers, Boston Braves, Pittsburgh Pirates and Cleveland Indians in his 19 year playing career, hitting .261 with 51 home runs and 652 RBI. A two-time All-Star, Lopez set a record that lasted 40 years by catching 1,918 games. He managed the Cleveland Indians to the American League pennant in 1954 and the Chicago White Sox to another pennant in 1959. Lopez finished his 17 year career as a manager with a 1,422-1,026 record.
AMOS RUSIE: A selection of the Veterans Committee, Amos Rusie played in the major leagues for 10 seasons with the Indianapolis Hoosiers, New York Giants and Cincinnati Reds. He pitched both before and after the mound was moved from 50 feet away from home plate to 60 feet, six inches away, piling up 248 wins and 1,957 strikeouts. Of the 427 games Rusie started, he finished 393 of them. Rusie won 30 or more games four years in a row and led the league in strikeouts five times.
JOE SEWELL: Sewell was selected by the Veterans Committee after 14 seasons spent with the Cleveland Indians and New York Yankees. He was the toughest batter in major league history to strike out, going down on strikes just 114 times in 7,132 at-bats for an average of one strikeout for every 62.6 at-bats. A career .312 hitter, his three strikeouts in 1930 are the fewest ever for a full season. Sewell led the league with 45 doubles in 1924 and finished in the top 10 in American League MVP voting four times.