Eddie Mathews, Larry MacPhail and Addie Joss were enshrined in Cooperstown on August 7, 1978 in front of 22 previous inductees. The first Ford C. Frick Award for broadcast excellence was awarded and it was shared by two New York voices: the Yankees’ Mel Allen and the Dodgers’ Red Barber. Former Chicago Herald-Examiner and Sun-Times writer Edgar Munzel and Gordon Cobbledick of the Cleveland Plain Dealer shared the J.G. Taylor Spink Award for meritorious contributions to baseball writing.
EDDIE MATHEWS: The seventh player to join the 500 home run club, Mathews was named on 79.4 percent of the ballots cast in his fifth year of eligibility. He spent 15 big league seasons with the Boston-Milwaukee-Atlanta Braves before he finished his career with the Houston Astros and the Detroit Tigers. A nine-time All-Star, Mathews led the NL in home runs twice, with 47 in 1953 and 46 in 1959. He was a member of three pennant winning teams and two World Series winners. The subject of the first ever Sports Illustrated cover, Mathews retired with a .271 batting average, 512 home runs and 1,453 runs batted in.
ADDIE JOSS: Selected by the Veterans Committee, Joss died of tubercular meningitis after playing just nine seasons. Spending his career with the Cleveland Blues and Naps, he never had a losing season and won 20 or more games four years in a row, leading the league with 27 wins in 1907. Joss was the author of the fourth perfect game in Major League Baseball history, when he no-hit Chicago 1-0. He retired with 160 wins, 45 shutouts and 920 strikeouts.
LARRY MACPHAIL: A Veterans Committee selection, Larry MacPhail introduced night baseball to the major leagues at Cincinnati's Crosley Field in 1935. He laid the foundation for two Reds championship teams before moving on to win two pennants in the 1940s as the chief executive of the Dodgers and Yankees. MacPhail also originated plane travel for teams, championed the regular broadcasting of games and initiated pension plans. He and his son, Lee, form the first father-son tandem to be elected to the Hall of Fame.