Monday, January 12, 2009

Henderson and Rice voted into Hall of Fame

NEW YORK (AP) -- Rickey Henderson sped his way into the Hall of Fame on the first ballot Monday, and Jim Rice made it in on his 15th and final try. Henderson, baseball's career leader in runs scored and stolen bases, received 94.8 percent of the vote from the Baseball Writers' Association of America, well above the 75 percent needed.

Rice, among baseball's most feared hitters in the late 1970s and early 1980s, got 76.4 percent of the vote after falling just shy with 72.2 percent last year.

Henderson became the 44th player elected in his first year of eligibility. Rice was only the third elected by the BBWAA in his final year, joining Red Ruffing (1967) and Ralph Kiner (1975).

The pair will be inducted into the Hall during ceremonies on July 26 in Cooperstown, N.Y. They will be joined by former Yankees and Indians second baseman Joe Gordon, elected posthumously last month by the Veterans Committee.

Henderson was picked on 511 of 539 ballots and Rice was selected on 412, just more than the 405 needed.

Andre Dawson fell 44 votes short with 67 percent. He was followed by Bert Blyleven (62.7 percent), Lee Smith (44.5), Jack Morris (44.0), Tommy John (31.7) and Tim Raines (22.6). John appeared on the ballot for the final time.

Mark McGwire, stigmatized by accusations he used performance-enhancing drugs, received 118 votes (21.9 percent) in his third year of eligibility, down from the 128 votes he got in each of his first two tries.

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