Hall of Fame moments: Marichal joins Pedro onstage; Smoltz mentions Lansing

Pedro Martínez (left) and Juan Marichal hold the flag of the Dominican Republic during Sunday's Baseball Hall of Fame induction ceremony. (Photo by Milo Stewart, Jr./National Baseball Hall of Fame)

Pedro Martínez (left) and Juan Marichal hold the flag of the Dominican Republic during Sunday’s Baseball Hall of Fame induction ceremony. (Photo by Milo Stewart, Jr./National Baseball Hall of Fame)

There were a few moments during this year’s Baseball Hall of Fame induction ceremony worth mentioning here because of their connection to the Midwest League.

John Smoltz made several references to Lansing, Mich., where his family moved from suburban Detroit before the future Hall-of-Famer started fifth grade. He still lived there when the Tigers drafted him in 1985. (You can read about his Michigan sports career in this Lansing State Journal story.) Lansing became a Midwest League city in 1996, when the Lugnuts played their first season.

Smoltz also mentioned former Atlanta Braves teammate Greg Maddux, who last year became the seventh former Midwest Leaguer to be inducted into the Hall of Fame as a player. Maddux went 13-9 with a 3.19 ERA, 125 strikeouts and 52 walks in 186 IP for the 1985 Peoria Chiefs.

Pedro Martinez punctuated his memorable speech by holding a Dominican Republic flag with fellow countryman and Hall-of-Fame pitcher Juan Marichal. In addition to being the first Dominican player enshrined in Cooperstown (in 1983), Marichal also was the first former Midwest Leaguer inducted into the Hall of Fame as a player.

Marichal’s first season as a professional ballplayer was spent in the Midwest League, which he dominated. The Dominican Dandy went 21-8 with a 1.87 ERA, 246 strikeouts and 50 walks in 245 IP for the 1958 Michigan City White Caps.

Craig Biggio and Randy Johnson also were inducted into the Hall of Fame this year.

Advertisements
This entry was posted in Baseball Hall of Fame, Lansing Lugnuts, Midwest League, Peoria Chiefs. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s