While the Baseball Writers Association of America will not reveal their decision for whom they will select as members of the Baseball Hall of Fame is still weeks away, six former professional ball players and pioneers have been selected to join the 2022 class of Hall of Famers.

The honour eluded former Negro League player Buck O’Neil while he was alive, but he will now be a part of history in two museums – the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum and the Baseball Hall of Fame.  Minnie Minoso, Gil Hodges, Tony Oliva, Jim Kaat, and Bud Fowler have also been selected to join the Hall of Fame.

At 83, Tony Oliva and  Jim Kaat are the only former players are the only two on the list still living.

Rule for entry into the Hall of Fame were changed last year which allowed former Negro League players to be eligible for induction.  Buck O’Neil, Minnie Miñoso and Bud Fowler are the first players to be honoured under the new rules.

While Jackie Robinson was the first player to cross the colour line in 1947, Buck O’Neil was the first man of colour to be a coach.  The two time All Star and Presidential Medal of Freedom honouree already has a life sized statue in the Hall of Fame.  He died in 2006 at the age of 94.

Born Saturnino Orestes Armas Miñoso in Cuba, he was the first non-white player to play for the Chicago White Sox.  He was a seven time All Star and a three time Golden Glove winner.

Born after the “colour line” was crossed in 1958, Bud Fowler is viewed as the first “Black professional baseball player”.

Gil Hodges will join Jackie Robinson, Duke Snider, Roy Campanella and Pee Wee Reese as a member of the “Boys of Summer” in The Hall.  Hodges was the manager for the New York Mets when he died as the result of a heart attack at the age of 47.

Tony Oliva had his career cut short after a knee injury; but prior to that he was a three time batting champion in the American League.

Pitcher Jim Kaat had a record of 283 wins and 237 losses in a 25 year career that also brought him 16 Gold Goves.

The players will be officially inducted into The Hall in a ceremony at The Hall in Cooperstown, New York  on July 24, 2022.