In Commissioner Bowie Kuhn’s final induction, 28 previously Hall of Famers along with approximately 5,000 fans turned out on August 12, 1984. The BBWAA selected Luis Aparicio, Don Drysdale and Harmon Killebrew while the Veterans Committee voted in Rick Ferrell and Pee Wee Reese. Ken Smith, the Hall of Fame’s former public relations director, received the J.G. Taylor Spink Award for meritorious contributions to baseball writing and former Boston Red Sox broadcaster Curt Gowdy received the Ford C. Frick Award for broadcast excellence.
LUIS APARICIO: Inducted in his sixth year on the ballot after receiving 84.6 percent of the votes, Aparicio won the 1956 American League Rookie of the Year after he led the league with 21 stolen bases. He played 18 seasons for the Chicago White Sox, Baltimore Orioles and Boston Red Sox, earning 10 All-Star selections and nine Gold Glove Awards. Never playing an inning anywhere but shortstop, Aparicio retired with career records at the position for games, double plays and assists.
DON DRYSDALE: After ten years of eligibility, Drysdale was named on 78.4 percent of ballots cast. He pitched for 14 seasons with the Brooklyn and Los Angeles Dodgers, winning 209 games and posting a 2.95 ERA with 2,486 strikeouts. Drysdale won the 1962 National League Cy Young Award after going 25-9 with a 2.83 ERA, 314.1 innings pitched and 232 strikeouts, leading the league in each category except ERA. He set a record by tossing 58 straight scoreless innings, before it was broken by another Dodger, Orel Hershiser. Never afraid to pitch inside, Drysdale hit 154 batters which remains a NL record.
HARMON KILLEBREW: Named on 83.1 percent of ballots cast in his fourth year of eligibility, Killebrew’s 573 career home runs were fifth on the all-time list when he retired. He played 22 seasons with the Washington Senators, Minnesota Twins and Kansas City Royals, leading the league in home runs six times and was an 11-time All-Star. In his 1969 American League MVP season, Killebrew hit .276 with 49 home runs and 145 runs batted in, leading the Twins to a division title. Minnesota lost to the Los Angeles Dodgers in Killebrew’s lone World Series appearance in 1965. He hit .256 for his career with 1,584 runs batted in.
RICK FERRELL: A catcher for 18 major league seasons with the St. Louis Browns, Boston Red Sox and Washington Senators, Ferrell was inducted to the Hall of Fame by the Veterans Committee. An exceptional knuckleball catcher, he retired having caught more games than any other catcher in American League history, a record that lasted over 40 years. The seven-time All-Star hit .281 for his career with 28 home runs, 734 RBI and threw out 41 percent of would-be base stealers.
PEE WEE REESE: A Veterans Committee selection, Reese played all 16 of his big league seasons for the Brooklyn and Los Angeles Dodgers. Forming a double-play combination with Jackie Robinson for nearly a decade, Reese was the captain of Dodgers teams that went to seven World Series during his tenure. A 10-time All-Star, Reese hit .269 with 126 home runs and 885 runs batted in.