1999 INDUCTEES

George Brett

Born May 15, 1953, Glen Dale, W.Va.

Batted left, threw right.

A 12-time all-star, Brett was the American League's MVP in 1980 after compiling the highest batting average (.390) since Hall of Famer Ted Williams hit .406 in 1941. He finished his 21-year career as the only player in major league history to combine for over 3,000 hits (3,154), 300 home runs (317), 600 doubles (665), 100 triples (137) and 200 stolen bases (201). Brett finished with a .305 career batting average, batted over .300 11 times, and is the only player in history to win batting titles in three decades. Brett was a major reason for the Royals' pair of World Series appearances (1980 and '85) and holds American League Championship Series records for slugging percentage (.728), triples (4), home runs (9), extra-base hits (18) and total bases (75).

Orlando Cepeda

Born Sept. 17, 1937, Ponce, Puerto Rico.

Batted right, threw right.

A career .297 hitter with 379 home runs, 1,365 RBI and 417 doubles in 17 seasons, Cepeda was consistently one of the best-hitting first basemen of the 1960s. Cha Cha played for the Giants, Cardinals, Braves, Athletics, Red Sox and Royals from 1958 to '74. He compiled a .499 career slugging percentage and had 13 seasons with 25-plus doubles, 12 with 20-plus home runs and nine with 90-plus RBI. Giants manager Bill Rigney called him "the best young right-handed power hitter I've ever seen." The son of the great Puerto Rican slugger Perucho (The Bull) Cepeda, the Baby Bull earned NL rookie of the year honors in 1958 with the Giants after hitting .312 with 25 home runs, 96 RBI, 88 runs and a league-leading 38 doubles. The seven-time all-star was comeback player of the year in 1966 and designated hitter of the year in 1973. He was unanimously voted the NL most valuable player in 1967, the league's first unanimously elected MVP since Carl Hubbell in 1936.

Nestor Chylak

Born May 11, 1922, Peckville, Pa.

Died Feb. 17, 1982, Dunmore, Pa.

Though Chylak took an unusual road to the major leagues, his big league career spanned a quarter-century. Chylak received the Silver Star and the Purple Heart during the Battle of the Bulge in World War II. After his tour of duty, in 1946 he attended St. Thomas University in Scranton, Pa., finishing the requirements for a degree in engineering. It was while working as a civil engineer that Chylak began officiating part-time and found he had a knack for umpiring, earning a chance with the American League in 1954. A mainstay in the majors until a mild stroke in 1978, Chylak was regarded as the best AL umpire of his generation. Chylak worked six all-star games, three AL Championship Series and five World Series.

Nolan Ryan

Born Jan. 31, 1947, Refugio, Tex.

Batted right, threw right.

Ryan holds a host of major league records, including strikeouts (5,714), no-hitters (7), complete games with one hit or less (19), 300-strikeout seasons (6), 200-strikeout seasons (15), 100-strikeout seasons (24), games with 15 or more strikeouts (26), games with 10 or more strikeouts (215) and strikeouts in a season (383). The Ryan Express never slowed, and he became the only pitcher to strike out 16 or more batters in a game after age 40, accomplishing the feat three times. Ryan's 27 major league seasons are the most of anyone in baseball history. Only Hall of Famer Cy Young started more games (815) than Ryan (773). He finished fifth on the all-time innings-pitched list (5,386) and is tied for 12th with most career wins (324). He struck out an average of 9.55 batters per nine innings, the highest ratio among pitchers with 1,500 or more innings pitched. Ryan's 491 Hall of Fame votes constituted 98.79 percent of all ballots cast, the second-best percentage in history behind Tom Seaver (98.84%).

Frank Selee

Born Oct. 26, 1859, Amherst, N.H.

Died July 5, 1909, Denver.

Known as a man of great integrity and an advocate of clean play, Selee managed five pennant winners in 16 big league campaigns with the Boston Beaneaters and Chicago Cubs. His .598 career winning percentage ranks fourth best all-time. In 1891, his second year as a major league manager, Selee guided the Boston Beaneaters to the NL pennant. Selee's teams won again in '92, establishing the Boston club as one of the great baseball dynasties of the 19th century. In 12 full seasons with Selee at the helm, Boston finished under .500 only once and amassed a record of 1,004 wins with 649 losses -- a winning percentage of .607. Selee took over the struggling Chicago Cubs in 1902 and quickly turned around the club. Illness forced Selee from the game in 1905, but the Cubs team he helped build won pennants in 1906, '07, '08 and '10.

Joe Williams

Born April 6, 1886, Seguin, Tex. Died March 12, 1946, New York. Batted right, threw right.

A 6-foot-4, 200-pound fireballer, Smokey Joe Williams is acknowledged as one of the greatest pitchers in the history of the game. Williams dominated the Negro leagues for more than 20 years. He began his career in 1905 with San Antonio, pitching for the Black Bronchos and winning well over 100 games in five years with the club. In 1910, Rube Foster brought Williams to the Leland Giants and thus began a long and storied career in the Negro leagues. Perhaps his most famous feat came on Aug. 2, 1930, as a 45-year-old pitcher for the Homestead Grays. That evening against the Kansas City Monarchs (the game was played in the glow of the Monarchs' portable lighting system), Williams struck out 27 batters and gave up just one hit in a 12-inning, 1-0 victory. Throughout his career, Williams regularly pitched -- and won -- exhibitions against top major league pitchers such as Pete Alexander, Waite Hoyt, Walter Johnson and Rube Marquard.

Robin Yount

Born Sept. 16, 1955, Danville, Ill.

Batted right, threw right.

Yount broke in with the Milwaukee Brewers at age 18, and in his 20-year career led the club in nearly every career offensive category. No Brewer has more games (2,856), at-bats (11,008), runs (1,632), hits (3,142), singles (2,182), doubles (583), triples (126), home runs (251) or runs batted in (1,406). The three-time all-star finished his career ranked 15th on baseball's all-time hits list, and was the third-youngest player ever to amass 3,000 hits, behind Hall of Famers Ty Cobb and Hank Aaron. Yount, Willie Mays and George Brett are the only players to compile more than 3,000 hits, 250 home runs, 200 stolen bases and 100 triples. Yount was the seventh player in history to both steal 250 or more bases (271) and hit 250 or more homers. He is the only player to play at least 1,000 games at both shortstop (1,479) and in the outfield (1,218). He earned an MVP award at both positions, joining Hall of Famers Stan Musial and Hank Greenberg as the only players to win MVPs at two positions.