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On This Date in Cardinals History: Jan. 15, 1981

On this day 32 years ago legendary Cardinals pitcher Bob Gibson was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame at Coopertown, N.Y.

Gibson won 251 games with St. Louis from 1959-75. During that span, he earned a pair of Cy Young Awards and a National League Most Valuable Player Award. But his most famous achievement was setting the modern era record for earned run average at 1.12 in 1968. That year he allowed 198 hits in 304 2/3 innings.

Gibson got 337 votes in his first season of eligibility for enshrinement when a minimum of 301 were required. He was the only player elected by the Baseball Writers Association of America in 1981. Don Drysdale was the next-highest vote getter at 247. He was named on only 60.6 percent of the ballots while a score of 75 percent was needed to make the cut. 

Also falling short in 1981 were Gil Hodges (241 votes), Harmon Killebrew (239), Hoyt Wilhelm (238), Juan Marichal (233), Nellie Fox (168), Cardinals second baseman, coach and manager Red Schoendiesnt (166) and Jim Bunning (164). All but Hodges eventually got the call from Cooperstown.

Much farther down in the balloting, former Cardinals slugger Orlando Cepeda got only 77 votes and would have to wait until 1999 to get in the Hall of Fame when he was enshrined by the Veteran's Commitee.

In 1981 former Cardinals Lindy McDaniel (one vote) and Dal Maxvill (no votes) fell off the ballot.