Class of 1975 found induction was worth the wait
Sobbing, Johnson was aided by his son-in-law, former big leaguer Bill Bruton, who came onto the stage and helped Johnson gather himself in front of a standing-room crowd of 7,500 fans in Cooperstown.
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Kiner hit 369 home runs in a 10-year big league career that was shortened by a back injury. He led the National League in home runs in each of his first seven seasons, a record that still stands. A six-time All-Star, Kiner topped the 50-home run mark twice and led the NL in OPS three times.
Averill, the owner of a .318 career batting average over 13 seasons with the Indians, Tigers and Braves, used his time in the Induction Ceremony spotlight to advocate for the election of standouts like Ernie Lombardi and Joe Sewell, both of whom were later inducted into the Hall of Fame.
Harris won 2,158 games over 29 seasons as a manager and player/manager, leading his teams to three American League pennants and two World Series titles. Harris, who was battling Parkinson’s disease, was represented on the stage by his son, Stanley R. Harris Jr.
Herman, a 10-time All-Star at second base in his 15 big league seasons, hit .304 and was the starting second baseman on four National League pennant winners.
Craig Muder is the director of communications for the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum