Commissioner Peter Ueberroth participated in his first induction on July 28, 1985 amid the threat of a strike that never happened. The BBWAA selections were Lou Brock and Hoyt Wilhelm and the Veterans Committee inducted Enos “Country” Slaughter and posthumously Arky Vaughan. Patricia Johnson spoke for Vaughan, her father. The J.G. Taylor Spink Award for meritorious contributions to baseball writing was accepted by Joe McGuff of the Kansas City Star and the Ford C. Frick Award for broadcast excellence was accepted by Mary Canel, the widow of the first Spanish language broadcaster to receive the award, Buck Canel.
LOU BROCK: After retiring as baseball all-time stolen base leader, Brock was elected in his first year on the ballot after being named on 79.7 percent of ballots cast. Playing 19 seasons with the Chicago Cubs and St. Louis Cardinals, Brock helped the Redbirds to three National League pennants and two World Series titles. The six-time All-Star led the league in stolen bases eight times and twice in runs scored. Brock collected 3,023 hits in his career for a .293 batting average to go with 149 home runs and 900 runs batted in. Although his stolen base records have been overtaken, the award presented to the National League stolen base leader each year is called the Lou Brock Award.
HOYT WILHELM: Wilhelm was named on 83.8 percent of the ballots in his eighth year on the ballot. Despite taking until the age of 28 to make the big leagues, Wilhelm pitched for 21 seasons, until he was 49-years-old. He appeared in a then-record 1,070 games for the New York Giants, St. Louis Cardinals, Cleveland Indians, Baltimore Orioles, Chicago White Sox, California Angels, Atlanta Braves, Chicago Cubs and Los Angeles Dodgers in his two decades in baseball. The knuckle-baller was a five-time All-Star and despite making just 52 starts, he no-hit the New York Yankees in 1958. Wilhelm won 143 games and retired with 2.52 earned run average.
ENOS SLAUGHTER: A Veterans Committee selection, Slaughter played 19 seasons for the St. Louis Cardinals, New York Yankees, Kansas City Athletics and Milwaukee Braves. Hitting .300 or better 10 times, Slaughter had his best season in 1942 when .318 with 13 home runs, 98 RBI and 292 total bases to lead the league. The 10-time All-Star finished with a career batting average of .300 with 169 home runs and 1,304 RBI.
ARKY VAUGHAN: Vaughan was selected by the Veterans Committee after 14 seasons spent with the Pittsburgh Pirates and Brooklyn Dodgers. His .318 career batting average is second among Hall of Fame shortstops to Honus Wagner’s .327. Vaughan led the league in hitting (.385), on-base percentage (.491) and slugging percentage (.607) in 1935 when he finished third in the National League MVP voting. He was a nine-time All-Star and recorded 2,103 career hits.