On January 7, 1985, Lou Brock and Hoyt Wilhelm gain election to the Hall of Fame. During his career, Brock established the record for the most stolen bases in major league history - since broken by Rickey Henderson - while the knuckleballing Wilhelm pitched in more games than any other major league hurler.
On July 30, 2006, the largest Induction Class in Hall of Fame history is honored in Cooperstown. Reliever Bruce Sutter is inducted along with 17 elected by a special commission on pre-Negro leagues and Negro leagues baseball. The 17 are Ray Brown, Willard Brown, Andy Cooper, Frank Grant, Pete Hill, Biz Mackey, Effa Manley, Jose Mendez, Alex Pompez, Cumberland Posey, Louis Santop, Mule Suttles, Ben Taylor, Cristobal Torriente, Sol White, J.L. Wilkinson, and Jud Wilson.
On January 8, 1986, former San Francisco Giants great Willie McCovey is elected to the Hall of Fame. McCovey, who receives 346 votes, becomes the 16th player to gain election in his first year of eligibility. The slugging first baseman played 22 years for the Giants, Padres and A’s, hitting 521 home runs to put him in a tie for 10th place on the all-time list. Another slugger, Billy Williams, misses election to the Hall by a mere four votes.
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On March 9, 1995, major league owners unanimously approve two expansion teams: the Arizona Diamondbacks and Tampa Bay Devil Rays. Each of the new clubs will pay a $130 million franchise fee and will begin play in 1998.