There were no surprises today as Rickey Henderson and Jim Rice became the newest members of baseballs Hall of Fame. Henderson in his first year on the ballot was named on 94.8% of the ballots while Rice in his last year of eligibility sneaked in with 76.4% – 75% is needed for induction. Henderson has generally been regarded as the best leadoff hitter in baseball history while Rice was perceived as the “most feared hitter of his era”.
Henderson in a career that spanned 25 years collected 3055 hits (21st all time) and is the major league record holder in runs (2295) and stolen bases (1406). His 130 stolen bases in 1982 remain a single season record. A 10 time all-star he was also the American League’s MVP in 1990.
Rice, an 8 time all-star, hit 382 home runs in a 16 year career that was spent entirely with the Boston Red Sox. The 1978 AL MVP also had 2452 hits and 1451 RBI’s. Always a borderline candidate his election mayÂ now pave the way for future induction for Andre Dawson and Dale Murphy, similar sluggers of his era.
Bert Blyleven fell short once again with 62.7% support and in his final year on the ballot 288 game winner Tommy John received only 31.7%. David Cone, the 1994 AL Cy Young award winner and the owner of five Worls Series rings, recieved only 3.9% in his one and only year on the ballot. Candidates must receive 5% to remain on the ballot.
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