The only BBWAA inductee on August 3, 1986 was Willie McCovey, who was enshrined along with Veterans Committee selections Bobby Doerr and the late Ernie Lombardi. Twenty-one of the 50 living Hall of Famers returned for the 50th anniversary of the first Hall of Fame class. Bob Prince of the Pittsburgh earned the Ford C. Frick Award for broadcast excellence and Earl Lawson first of the Cincinnati Times-Star and then the Cincinnati Post received the J.G. Taylor Spink Award for meritorious contributions to baseball writing.
WILLIE MCCOVEY: A first ballot inductee, McCovey was named on 81.4 percent of ballots cast. McCovey was the 1959 National League Rookie of the Year when he hit .354 with 13 home runs and in his debut went 4-for-4 with against future Hall of Famer Robin Roberts. He played 22 big league seasons with the San Francisco Giants, San Diego Padres and Oakland Athletics. A five-time All-Star, McCovey won the 1969 N.L. MVP when he hit .320 with 45 home runs and 126 RBI. The Giants lost to the Yankees in the 1962 World Series, McCovey’s only trip to the Fall Classic. He hit .270 for his career with 521 home runs and 1,555 runs batted in, while recording 2,211 hits.
BOBBY DOERR: Elected by the Veterans Committee, Doerr played all 14 years of his career with the Boston Red Sox. He was a nine-time All-Star and finished as high as third in the American League MVP voting, when he hit .271 with 18 home runs and 116 RBI in 1946. Doerr frequently led AL second basemen in double plays, putouts and assists, retiring with a .980 fielding percentage. He hit .288 with 223 career home runs and 1,247 runs batted in and was the Red Sox all-time leader in hits when he retired with 2,042 in 1951.
ERNIE LOMBARDI: The 1938 National League MVP, Lombardi was posthumously inducted by the Veterans Committee. He hit .342 with 19 home runs and 95 RBI his MVP season, finishing with career totals of .306, 190 and 990. Lombardi played for the Brooklyn Dodgers, Cincinnati Reds, Boston Braves and New York Giants in a 17-year career in which he won the 1932 World Series with Cincinnati. Seven times an All-Star, Lombardi caught Johnny Vander Meer’s back-to-back no-hitters on June 11 and June 15, 1938. Vander Meer is the only pitcher to accomplish that feat.