The Associated Press
TAMPA, Fla. Ä Richie Ashburn, a classic leadoff man during his 15-year career, and Negro Leagues pitcher Leon Day led a list of four people elected yesterday to the Hall of Fame by the Veterans Committee.
National League founder William Hulbert and 247-game winner Vic Willis also were selected by the 17-member committee.
''I appreciate the fact that I was chosen in my 50th year of pro ball,'' said Ashburn, now an announcer for the team he mostly played with, the Philadelphia Phillies.
The panel's voting rules were revised this year to allow it to pick up to four people, rather than the usual two. The four new honorees will join Mike Schmidt, elected by the Baseball Writers Association of America in January, when they are enshrined in Cooperstown, N.Y., July 30.
The last time the Veterans Committee voted in as many as four people was 1971, when seven were chosen. Hall of Famers Ted Williams, Stan Musial and Yogi Berra are panel members.
The 67-year-old Ashburn, who ended his career in 1962, batted .308, had 2,574 career hits, stole 234 bases and set major league records with his glove. He was a five-time All-Star, a two-time batting champion and had a .397 on-base percentage.
Day, 78, was considered one of the best pitchers in the Negro Leagues from 1934-39. He starred for the Newark Eagles, also playing the outfield and second base.
Willis, who died in 1947, was 247-206 from 1898-1910. He won 20 games eight times and pitched for Boston, Pittsburgh and St. Louis in the National League.
Hulbert, who died in 1882, originated the idea of organizing the National League and helped form it in 1876. He later served as president of the league, and also was president of Chicago's team in the NL during that time.
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