Allentown Morning Call - March 13, 1980

Klein, Yawkey elected to Hall of Fame


TAMPA, Fa. (AP) Charles Klein, a slugging outfielder and Tom Yawkey, whose millions converted the Boston Red Sox into an American League pennant contender, were named posthumously yesterday to baseball's Hall of Fame. 


Chosen by an 18-man Veterans' Committee, they will be inducted into the diamond shrine at Cooperstown, N.V.. Aug. 3 along with Duke Snider and Al Kaline, earlier chosen by the Baseball Writers Association of America.


The Veterans Committee provides a second chance for those personalities who are not honored by the writers. 


Players become eligible for the Hall of Fame five years after retirement and remain eligible for selection by the writers for 20 years afterward. 


Yesterday 's vote was a tremendous disappointment for Johnny Mize, four-time National home run king, who had been ignored by the writers. 


Mize compiled a .312 average and hit 359 home runs in his career with the St. Louis Cardinals, New York Giants and New York Yankees from 1936 through 1953. He had been favored for selection by the Veterans Committee. He was the third finisher in the voting which is restricted to the picking of two men. 


The 6-foot, 185-pound Klein was one of the game's most powerful hitters in the years from 1928 through 1944. In his first six seasons, he averaged between .337 and .386. hitting between 28 and 43 home runs and driving in 121 to 170 runs.


Klein spent his 17-year career in the National League with the Philadelphia Phillies, Chicago Cubs and Pittsburgh Pirates.


He drove in 170 runs in 1930, yet finished second to Hack Wilson, who batted in 190. Klein won the NL Triple Crown with the Phillies in 1933, one year after he had been named the league's Most Valuable Player. He led or tied for the lead in home runs in 1929-31-32, in RBIs in 1931, runs scored in 1930-31-32 and hits in 1932-33. 


In 1930, one of his greatest years, he went hitless in only 21 of the 156 games he played.


Klein grew up in Indianapolis where he was an all-around high school athlete and once worked in the steel mills before he gained attention as a baseball player. He died March 28, 1958 at the age of 54. 


Yawkey, as a youth inherited the Detroit baseball franchise but was never allowed to run it. After graduating from Yale, where he was a third-string tackle in football, he went into the family lumber and mining business, becoming a millionaire. 


In February, 1933, four days after his 30th birthday, he bought the Red Sox, including all debts, for $1 million. Then he proceeded to spend millions in rebuilding Fenway Park and acquiring talent to move the club out of the cellar where it had finished nine consecutive years. 


He spent an approximate $2 million to acquire such players as Lefty Grove, Jimmy Foxx, Joe Cronin and Rick Ferrell. 


Cronin, who is a member of the Hall of Fame Veterans Committee, was purchased from the Washington Senators for $250,000. 


"Yawkey wrote out the deal on a piece of brown paper," Cronin, the former American League president, recalled. "Then he made me his manager.


"He was the No. 1 sportsman of the game. He never bothered anybody. He had a great feel for the players and often would drop in the clubhouse to talk to a player who might be having some problems. He was a great athlete himself. He played handball and was an avid hunter. His hero was Eddie Collins." 


Under Yawkey, the Red Sox finished second to the Yankees four times in a five-year stretch between 1938 and 1942 and had wait until 1946 to win their first pennant. They won a second pennant in 1967 and a third in 1975. On each occasion the Red Sox lost the World Series in seven games. 


Yawkey died in Boston July 9, 1976, at the age of 73..