The BBWAA inducted a pair of first year eligible players with over 1,300 home runs between them on August 1, 1982. Hank Aaron and Frank Robinson were enshrined along with Veterans Committee selections Happy Chandler and Travis Jackson in front of 24 returning Hall of Famers. The J.G. Taylor Spink Award for meritorious contributions to baseball writing was shared by the late Bob Addie of the Washington Post and Allen Lewis of the Philadelphia Enquirer. Los Angeles Dodgers broadcaster Vin Scully received the Ford C. Frick Award for broadcast excellence.
HANK AARON: Baseball’s home run king was a first ballot Hall of Famer, named on 97.8 percent of ballots cast. Aaron played 23 big league seasons with the Milwaukee and Atlanta Braves and Milwaukee Brewers. He retired as the all-time leader in home runs (755) and still leads in runs batted in (2,297) and total bases (6,856). The 25-time All-Star strung together 20 straight seasons of 20 or more home runs, topping 40 on eight occasions. In 1957, Aaron won the National League MVP Award and led the Braves to a World Series title, hitting .322 with 44 home runs and 132 RBI. His 3,771 hits rank third all-time, retiring with a .305 career batting average.
FRANK ROBINSON: Named on 89.2 percent of ballots cast in his first year of eligibility, Robison played 21 seasons with the Cincinnati Reds, Baltimore Orioles, Los Angeles Dodgers, California Angels and Cleveland Indians. He was the 1956 NL Rookie of the Year, 1961 NL MVP and 1966 AL MVP. Robinson won two World Series with the Orioles, topping the Dodgers in 1966 and the Reds in 1970. A 12-time All-Star, Robinson retired with 586 home runs, 1,812 RBI, and 2,943 hits. He became baseball’s first black manager when he took over the Cleveland Indians in 1975.
HAPPY CHANDLER: After succeeding the larger-than-life Kenesaw Mountain Landis as commissioner in 1945, Albert Happy Chandler guided baseball through six turbulent years. A former U.S. senator and governor of Kentucky, the honest Chandler maintained the commissioner's office as a position of authority. A Veterans Committee selection, he took swift action against players who left to play in the Mexican League and presided over the game when Brooklyn Dodgers president Branch Rickey signed Jackie Robinson in 1945 and integrated Major League baseball in 1947.
TRAVIS JACKSON: The captain of the New York Giants under Hall of Fame manager John McGraw, Jackson was selected to the Hall of Fame by the Veterans Committee. In 15 seasons, all with the Giants, Jackson led the Giants to four pennants and one World Series title. An All-Star in 1934, Jackson enjoyed his best season hitting .268 with 16 home runs and 101 RBI. For his career, he hit .291 with 135 home runs and 929 runs batted in.