In front of the largest crowd to attend an induction ceremony since 1939, Juan Marichal, Brooks Robinson, Walter Alston and George Kell were enshrined. Twenty-five previously elected Hall of Famers returned to see the July 31st ceremony. The J.G. Taylor Spink Award for meritorious contributions to baseball writing went to Si Burick of the Dayton Daily News and Jack Brickhouse, who called both Cubs and White Sox games in Chicago, won the Ford C. Frick Award for broadcast excellence.
JUAN MARICHAL: Marichal received 83.7 percent of the electorate in his third year on the ballot after 16 years in the big leagues, 14 spent with the San Francisco Giants before stops with the Boston Red Sox and Los Angeles Dodgers. An All-Star nine times, Marichal led the league in wins and complete games twice each. He pitched the Giants to the 1962 National League pennant, before a World Series loss to the New York Yankees. Marichal retired in 1975 after winning 243 games, throwing 244 complete games, posting a 2.89 ERA and striking out 2,303 batters.
BROOKS ROBINSON: A 16-time Gold Glove Award winner, Robinson was named on 92 percent of ballots cast in his first year of eligibility. In 23 seasons, all with the Baltimore Orioles, he set records for games, putouts, assists, chances, double plays and fielding percentage. Robinson was named the American League MVP in 1964 after hitting .317 with 28 home runs and 118 RBI. The Orioles won two World Series with Robinson at third base, helped by his 1970 Fall Classic MVP performance against Cincinnati in which he hit .429. A 15-time All-Star, Robinson hit .267 for his career with 268 home runs and 1,357 RBI.
WALTER ALSTON: Selected by the Veterans Committee, Alston managed the Brooklyn and Los Angeles Dodgers for 23 years. He led the team to seven National League pennants and four World Series titles, racking up 2,040 wins along the way. The Dodgers won 90 or more games 10 times under Alston.
GEORGE KELL: A strong all-around player, Kell was a Veterans Committee selection. He hit .300 or better nine times and led American League third basemen in fielding percentage seven times. Kell played 15 big league seasons with the Philadelphia Athletics, Detroit Tigers, Boston Red Sox, Chicago White Sox and Baltimore Orioles, earning 10 All-Star appearances. The AL leader in doubles twice, Kell recorded a .306 career batting average, 2,054 hits, 78 home runs and 870 runs batted in.