In one of the biggest trades in Negro League history, Josh Gibson and Judy Johnson are traded to the Homestead Grays for $25,000 and two journeymen. Both Gibson (1972) and Johnson (1975) will be inducted into baseball’s Hall of Fame.
Ted Williams, who compiled a .344 career batting average playing with the Red Sox for 19 seasons, receives 282 votes of 302 ballots (93.4%) cast by the writers of the BBWAA to be elected into the Hall of Fame. Wiliams becomes the first American League position player to be selected in his first year of eligibility.
At the age of 36 years and 20 days, former Dodger pitcher Sandy Koufax, who placed himself on the voluntarily retired list because of an arthritic left arm in 1966, becomes the youngest player to be elected into the Hall of Fame. Also getting the nod from the baseball writers are Yankee legend Yogi Berra and Early Wynn, a 300-game winner.
Goose Goslin, a former Senator and Tiger outfielder who retired with a career .316 batting average after playing in five World Series, and Kiki Cuyler, a .321 career hitter who won four stolen base crowns while running the bases for the Pirates and Cubs, are elected into the Hall of Fame by a unanimous vote of the Veterans Committee.
February 2, 1936
Ty Cobb, Babe Ruth, Honus Wagner, Walter Johnson, and Christy Mathewson are the first five men elected into baseball’s new Hall Fame, which is scheduled to be open in 1939 as part of the game’s celebration of its centennial. A claim made by the former 1905 Mills Commission, that later proves to be erroneous, suggests that the national pastime was invented by Civil War hero Abner Doubleday in Cooperstown, making the small village in upstate New York the perfect place for the induction of the legendary ballplayers.
Lou Gehrig, who played in his last major league game on June 30 this season, is elected to the Hall of Fame. The five-year waiting rule is waived because of the Yankees first baseman’s diagnosis of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).
January 8, 2002
Ozzie Smith, a 15-time All-Star shortstop, becomes the 32nd player to be elected to the Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility. Dubbed the ‘Wizard of Oz’ due to his remarkable defensive abilities, Osborne Earl Smith won 13 Gold Glove Awards during his 19-year career with the San Diego Padres and St. Louis Cardinals.