Don Sutton was the lone inductee by the BBWAA and the Veterans Committee elected Larry Doby, the American League's first African-American player, Lee MacPhail, “Bullet” Joe Rogan and George Davis in front of 33 of living Hall of Famers on July 26, 1998. Sam Lacy, one of the first African-American members of the BBWAA, received the J.G. Taylor Spink award for meritorious contributions to baseball writing and the Ford C. Frick award for broadcast excellence went to the Los Angeles Dodgers’ Spanish language play-by-play man Jaime Jarrin.
DON SUTTON: After reaching double figures in wins in 21 of 23 big league seasons, Sutton was named on 81.6 percent of the ballots cast in his fifth year on the ballot. He pitched for the Dodgers, Astros, Brewers, Athletics and Angels, racking up 324 wins and 3,574 strikeouts while never missing a start. Sutton finished in the top five of the Cy Young Award voting five consecutive years (1972-76), going 93-51 with a 2.73 ERA in that span. In his rookie year of 1966, Sutton struck out 209 batters, the most by a National League rookie since Grover Alexander’s 227 in 1911.
GEORGE DAVIS: Elected by the Veterans Committee, Davis played for the Cleveland Spiders, New York Giants and Chicago White Sox in a 20-year big league career from 1890-1909. Davis set a then-record 33-game hitting streak in 1893, his fourth year in the league. He hit over .300 nine times and finished in the top ten in runs batted in six times, including a league leading 135 in 1897. A member of the 1906 World Champion White Sox, Davis had a career average of .297 to go with 73 home runs, 1440 RBI and 631 stolen bases.
LARRY DOBY: Signed by Hall of Fame executive Bill Veeck to play for the Cleveland Indians in 1947, Doby was elected by the Veterans Committee. Doby also played for the Chicago White Sox and Detroit Tigers in his 13 major league seasons. The seven-time big league All-Star hit .283 for his career with 253 home runs and 970 RBI. Doby twice led the American League in home runs and was a member of the Indians’ 1948 championship team. He also played four seasons for the Newark Eagles of the Negro National League, where future Hall of Famer Monte Irvin was his double play partner.
LEE MACPHAIL: Following in his father's Hall of Fame footsteps, Lee MacPhail served as a front office executive for 45 years and was elected to the Hall of Fame by the Veterans Committee. As director of player personnel for the Yankees, MacPhail built one of the game's strongest farm systems. During his tenure in New York, the Yankees won seven World Championships in 10 years. MacPhail also served as general manager of the Orioles, where he orchestrated Baltimore’s 1965 trade for Frank Robinson, before rejoining the Yankees. MacPhail served as American League President for 10 years and later became head of the Player Relations Committee, representing owners in arbitration, free agency and collective bargaining.
BULLET ROGAN: Bullet Joe Rogan was elected to the Hall of Fame by the Veterans Committee and didn't begin his Negro leagues career until age 30, joining the Kansas City Monarchs in 1920 after spending nearly a decade playing on U.S. Army teams. Though a small man, Rogan threw a devastating fastball. He complemented it with a dizzying array of other pitches, using a no-windup delivery to throw forkballs, palmballs, spitballs and curves. He played the outfield when he wasn't pitching, and in 1922 led the Negro National League with 16 home runs.