Some 15,000 fans gathered on July 31, 1994 to watch as the Hall of Fame greeted BBWAA elective Steve Carlton and Veteran’s Committee selections Leo Durocher and Phil Rizzuto. New York Mets broadcaster Bob Murphy was given the Ford C. Frick award for broadcast excellence. Wendell Smith, Jackie Robinson’s biographer, was presented with the J.G. Taylor Spink award for meritorious contributions to baseball writing.
STEVE CARLTON: In his first year on the ballot, Carlton nabbed 93.8 percent of the 465 ballots cast. The left hander was an extremely focused competitor with complete dedication to excellence. He won 329 career games while relying on a hard slider and a great fastball. Carlton was the first pitcher to win four Cy Young Awards, and he posted six 20-win seasons. From 1967 to 1984, Carlton won 10 games or more each season. As a member of the Philadelphia Phillies in 1972, he accounted for 27 of the team’s 59 victories. He was a two-time World Series champion and won a Gold Glove Award in 1981. Over 24 seasons with six different teams, the 10-time All-Star totaled 4,136 strikeouts, second only to Nolan Ryan on the all-time list.
LEO DUROCHER: The Veterans’ Committee elected Durocher, a slick-fielding, weak-hitting shortstop who gained notoriety for his managing career following his retirement. He employed a combative style and a fiery personality to become one of the most colorful and controversial managers in history. In 24 seasons as a manager for the Dodgers, Giants, Cubs and Astros, Durocher compiled 2,009 victories and won the 1954 World Series. He was named Manager of the Year three times by the Sporting News.
PHIL RIZZUTO: A Veteran’s Committee selection, Rizzuto overcame his small stature to become one of the winningest shortstops in baseball history. He won seven World Series Championships as a member of the New York Yankees, including five straight from 1949-1953. Rizzuto was a solid fielder, and formed double play combinations with the likes of Joe Gordon, Billy Martin and others. He won the 1950 American League MVP Award, a year in which he excelled with a .324 average, 200 hits and a .439 slugging percentage.