The Class of 2015 -- John Smoltz, Craig Biggio, Pedro Martinez and Randy Johnson -- were enshrined in the Baseball Hall of Fame on July 26.
John Smoltz, Craig Biggio, Pedro Martinez and Randy Johnson are now baseball hall of famers.
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According to Bill Francis of BaseballHall.org, the induction of the four legends now ups the number of the Baseball's Hall of Fame to 310. Smoltz, Biggio, Martinez and Johnson were inducted in Cooperstown, N.Y. on July 26.
MLB commissioner Rob Manfred was on hand for his first induction ceremony since taking over for Bud Selig in Jan. 2015. He spoke about the essence of Cooperstown when he took the stage on Sunday, per Francis:
"Cooperstown is all about baseball and its players. As long as I serve as commissioner, I'm sure that my annual visit for the induction ceremony will serve as a reminder of our obligation to grow, protect and preserve the game of baseball as a tribute to those who have created our history and traditions."
Biggo, who spent his entire 20-year MLB career with the Houston Astros, amassed 3,060 hits, 291 home runs and 1,175 RBIs as a major leaguer, per Baseball-Reference.com.
Biggio was the first inductee called to the stage on Sunday. He described the accomplishment as an honor, per BaseballHall.org:
"What an incredible honor it is to be standing in front of these great men. I played against a lot of them, I admired a lot of them, but I respected all of them.
"I'd like to thank the writers for the invitation to be part of the greatest team ever, the Baseball Hall of Fame. I truly am honored. The big question is how do you get to the Hall of Fame? You've got to have a little bit of talent and you got to have a lot of help along the way.
Smoltz formed the vaunted trio of Atlanta Braves pitchers with fellow hall of famers Greg Madduz and Tom Glavine in the 1990s. He finished his MLB career with 213-155 (.579) win-loss record, a 3.33 ERA and 3,084 strikeouts, per Baseball-Reference.com.
Smoltz paid tribute to his two contemporaries in his speech while wearing a wig on Sunday, per Francis:
"The starting rotation will be talked about for the rest of time and maybe always compared to things. But to do something and make it come full circle, to talk about the two greatest teammates, the two greatest pitchers that got inducted, I was watching them actually rip me a new one, enjoying every second of it.
"I thought we would go back in time and just do this for a second. Glav, Maddux, back when I had hair, we had the time of our lives. It's the only time, Greg, you're not going to be able to talk about my bald head."
When it was Johnson's turn to speak, he gave tribute to his mother, whom he dubbed as "the Hall of Famer."
Johnson, known as the "Big Unit" in his heyday and is now working as a photographer, spoke about his excitement at being a hall of famer, per BaseballHall.org:
"So many of the reasons that I've been inducted in the Hall of Fame are long gone now. I no longer have a fastball. I no longer have a bad mullet. And my scowl is long gone.
"I'm so happy to be elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame and be in the greatest fraternity of all time. And you the fans to share this great moment with me."
Johnson wound up with a 303-166 (.646) win-loss record, a 3.29 ERA and 4,875 strikeouts in 22 MLB seasons, per Baseball-Reference.com.
Finally, Martinez soaked in the adulation of hundreds of fans from the Dominican Republic in the crowd who chanted, "Pedro! Pedro!"
Martinez then requested those in attendance to see him as a symbol of hope for Latin America, per Francis:
"I would like all of you to not look at me as numbers, as baseball, as achievements. I would like you to actually me as a sign of hope for a third-world country, for Latin America, someone that you can really look up to, and feel comfortable enough to say, ' I'm proud of you.'
"Today I don't want to roll into numbers and games that I pitched. I just want to make sure that my people get a little message across from me and see me as a sign of hope for a future generation."
Martinez and Juan Marichal are the only two players from the Dominican Republic to be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. The former asked the latter to join him on stage and when he did, they both waved the Dominican flag to the delight of the crowd, per ESPN.
Martinez said that moment should be a moment to remember for Dominicans, per ESPN:
"We waited 32 years for another Dominican. I hope all Dominicans remember this. I don't think the Dominican Republic will have a better image than me and Marichal on Father's Day (in the Dominican Republic) to be up there."
Martinez concluded his 18-year MLB career with a 219-100 (.687) win-loss record, a 2.93 ERA and 3,154 strikeouts, per Baseball-Reference.com.
The Baseball Hall of Fame inducted Smoltz, Biggio, Martinez and Johnson in the presence of 49 existing Hall of Famers, a national television audience and 45,000 fans at the Clark Sports Center in Cooperstown, N.Y. on Sunday, per a separate Baseball.org update.
The Baseball Writers of America elected the quarter into the Baseball Hall of Fame in Jan. 2015, marking the first time four players were inducted in 60 years, per BaseballHall.org.
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