In a very Cleveland-centric Hall of Fame vote, three former members of the American League franchise are elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America as part of the second class selected.
Needing 151 votes for induction, Nap Lajoie led the way with 168 total votes. He spent 13 of his 21 MLB seasons in Cleveland with the Bronchos and then Naps. He was a career .339 hitter and remains near the top of the all-time leaderboard in several offensive statistics, including hits (3,243), singles (2,341), and doubles (657).
Outfielder Tris Speaker pulled in 165 votes as the second-leading vote-getter. The Grey Eagle played 22 seasons, including eleven with the Indians. He was the MVP for Boston in 1912, led the league in hitting with Cleveland in 1916 with a .386 average, and hit .388 for the 1920 World Champion Indians team. Eleven times in his career he hit .340 or better in a season.
Pitcher Cy Young just squeezed in with 153 votes. He too spent 22 seasons in the Majors, beginning with nine years with the National League’s Cleveland Spiders. He returned to Cleveland, this time with the Naps, for parts of his last three seasons from 1909 to 1911. He is baseball’s all-time leader in career wins (511) and remains the all-time leader in innings pitched (7,356), games started (815), and complete games (749).
Thirty-five years later to the day, another former Indians pitcher, Early Wynn, will join them in enshrinement.