On March 11, 1981, the Veterans Committee elects slugger Johnny Mize and Negro Leagues pioneer Rube Foster to the Hall of Fame. Mize totaled 359 home runs and batted .312 during a 15-year major league career, while Foster served as a pitcher, manager, and executive in the Negro Leagues in the first quarter of the 20th century.
Johnny Mize, the burly first baseman for the Cards and Giants, paced or tied for the National League lead in home runs four times, hitting three in a single game on six occasions. He also won three RBI crowns and one batting championship. After the Big Cat joined the Yankees, they won five straight World Series titles (1949-53), with Mize hitting three homers in the 1952 Fall Classic. He finished his career with 359 home runs and a .312 batting average.
A player, manager, owner, commissioner and unsurpassed visionary, Rube Foster was one of baseball’s greatest Renaissance men. In his youth, Foster was a star pitcher of the dead ball era, and later as owner-manager of the Chicago American Giants, the burly Texan instilled in his players the daring, aggressive, yet disciplined style of play for which the Negro leagues became famous. In 1920, he founded the first successful Negro league, the Negro National League, which flourished throughout the decade.