Febuary 27, 2006

Seventeen from Negro Leagues, Pre-Negro leagues Eras Elected to the Hall of Fame by Special Committee

12 players, five executives, including first woman, to be honored July 30 in Cooperstown

February 27, 2006

COOPERSTOWN, NY: A committee of 12 Negro and pre-Negro leagues baseball historians elected 17 candidates to the National Baseball Hall of Fame today in Tampa, Fla., featuring 12 players and five executives. The 17 electees will be honored in Cooperstown, New York, during Induction Ceremonies on July 30, joining Bruce Sutter, the lone electee from the Baseball Writers' Association of America election announcement in January.

The electees include seven Negro leagues players:

And five pre-Negro leagues players:

And also four Negro leagues executives:

And one pre-Negro leagues executive:

Effa Manley, an owner in the Negro leagues, becomes the first woman elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Each of the 17 received the necessary 75% of the 12-member voting committee to earn election to the Hall of Fame. The committee reviewed the careers of 39 Negro and pre-Negro leagues candidates over a two-day meeting in Tampa.
The list of 39 was pared from a roster of 94 candidates, narrowed by a five-member screening committee in November.

The voting and screening committees were chaired by Fay Vincent, Major League Baseball's eighth commissioner and an Honorary Director of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. Vincent, the non-voting chairman, led discussions with committee members. The committee also received counsel from Hall of Famer Frank Robinson.

"The Board of Directors is extremely pleased with how this project has evolved over the last five years - culminating in today's vote," said Jane Forbes Clark, chairman of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. "Over the last two days, this committee has held discussions in great detail, utilizing the research and statistics now available to determine who deserves baseball's highest honor - a plaque in the Hall of Fame Gallery in Cooperstown."

The electees will join 18 Hall of Famers from the Negro leagues already enshrined in Cooperstown: Cool Papa Bell, Oscar Charleston, Ray Dandridge, Leon Day, Martin Dihigo, Bill Foster, Rube Foster, Josh Gibson, Monte Irvin, Judy Johnson, Buck Leonard, Pop Lloyd, Satchel Paige, Joe Rogan, Hilton Smith, Turkey Stearnes, Willie Wells and Smokey Joe Williams.