Cleveland, OH – CARLOS BAERGA, one of the best second basemen in Cleveland Indians history and a member of the 1995 World Series team, will be inducted into the Indians Hall of Fame on June 22, while former general manager JOHN HART will be inducted into the club’s Distinguished Hall of Fame for non-uniformed personnel.
Of the 1,700-plus players who have worn a Blues, Bronchos or Indians uniform since 1901, Baerga is the hall’s 39th member. He and Hart will be honored in a ceremony before the Indians’ game against the Minnesota Twins and later will be recognized in Heritage Park, behind the center field wall at Progressive Field.
“Carlos and John are responsible for some of the best memories in Cleveland Indians history, and we’re proud to honor their contributions,” Indians president MARK SHAPIRO said.
In just his second season, at age 22, Baerga batted .288 and racked up 171 hits. His next four years were even better: He averaged 180 hits, 19 home runs and 97 RBIs, and batted .312 or better in each of those seasons. All told, he accumulated 1097 hits in an Indians uniform, and ranks in the club’s top 20 all time in home runs, RBIs and batting average.
He led the team in hits from 1991-1993 and in 1995, and in the 1992-93 seasons became the first second baseman since Rogers Hornsby in 1922 to have back-to-back seasons of 200 hits, 20 home runs and 100 RBI.
He made three All-Star teams (1992, 1993, 1995) and won two Silver Slugger awards (1993, 1994), and batted .292 with 9 RBIs in the 1995 postseason as the Indians advanced to the World Series.
Baerga works as an Alumni Ambassador for the club and will assist new manager Terry Francona’s staff at Spring Training in Goodyear, Ariz. Most recently, he was named Manager of the Year in la Liga de Béisbol Profesional Roberto Clemente Walker in Puerto Rico.
Hart, the Indians’ general manager from 1991 to 2001, will be the sixth member of the Indians’ Distinguished Hall of Fame, which was established in 2010. He joined the team in 1989 as a special assignment scout, but managed the team for the final 19 games of that season, posting an 8-11 mark.
He was the Indians’ director of baseball operations from 1990-1991, and then succeeded Hank Peters as the club’s general manager. In his 10 seasons at the helm, the Indians were 870-681 (.561), won six American League Central Division championships, and won two American League championships and appeared in the World Series in 1995 and 1997.
Sporting News in 1994 and 1995 named Hart its Baseball Executive of the Year. He was the Texas Rangers’ general manager from 2002 to 2005, and now is an analyst for MLB Network.
Other Distinguished Hall of Fame members include owners Bill Veeck and Dick Jacobs, GM/Super Scout Cy Slapnicka, athletic trainer Jim Warfield and longtime broadcaster Jack Graney.
The Cleveland Indians Hall of Fame was established in 1951, and players who spent at least three seasons with the club and have been retired for at least one year are eligible.
This year’s Hall of Fame celebration will include fireworks, an opportunity for fans to pre-register for pictures with Indians players, and a Rally Alley presented by the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority, at which fans can access games, live music and other entertainment on Larry Doby Way, north of Progressive Field. Game time for June 22 is 7:15 p.m.
Indians season ticket packages are on sale now; visit Indians.com or call (216) 420-HITS for more information. Single-game tickets go on sale on Monday, Feb. 25.