Inside Pitch

Jan. 13, 1982: Aaron and Robinson elected to Hall of Fame

By CRAIG MUDER
January 11, 2010


COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. – More than three decades after their retirements, they remain at or near the top of most of baseball’s all-time lists.

But for Henry Aaron and Frank Robinson, immortality officially arrived 28 years ago this week.

Frank Robinson and Hank Aaron were inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1982. (Naitonal Baseball Hall of Fame Library)

Aaron and Robinson were elected to the Hall of Fame by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America on Jan. 13, 1982 – in the first appearance on the ballot for each man. Aaron received 97.8 percent of the vote – falling just nine votes short of perfection – while Robinson garnered 89.2 percent of the vote.

The 1982 ballot was so deep that the next four candidates in order of votes received – Juan Marichal, Harmon Killebrew, Hoyt Wilhelm and Don Drysdale – would all be subsequently elected to the Hall of Fame by the BBWAA in the coming years.

“The first time I saw him in spring training, he had ‘Major League’ written all over him – one of those guys who comes around maybe once every hundred years,” said former teammate Andy Pafko of the player who would eventually amass 755 home runs.

Robinson, meanwhile, instilled just as much respect in his teammates as Aaron did.

“(Leadership) is a matter of how much of yourself you are willing to give to another man and how much of you he is willing to accept,” said Robinson’s Orioles teammate and future Hall of Famer Brooks Robinson. “Frank gave everything of himself and we accepted everything he gave us.”

Aaron and Robinson were enshrined in the Hall of Fame with Veterans Committee electees Happy Chandler and Travis Jackson on Aug. 1, 1982.

Craig Muder is the director of communications for the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum

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