Wilmington Morning News - March 13, 1980

Klein, Yawkey voted into ‘Hall’


By Will Grimsley, AP Special Correspondent


TAMPA, Fla. – Charles "Chuck" Klein, a slugging outfielder, and Tom Yawkey, whose millions of dollars 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 shrine at Cooperstown, N.Y., 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.


The vote was a tremendous disappointment for Johnny Mize, four-time home run king in the National League, 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 from 1928 through 1944. In his first six seasons, he averaged between .337 and .386, hitting between 28 and 43 home runs ana 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 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 nigh school athete 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 preceded 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.