Ripken, Gwynn elected to Hall of Fame

Jan. 9, 2007 at 3:04 PM
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COOPERSTOWN, N.Y., Jan. 9 (UPI) -- Cal Ripken, Jr., and Tony Gwynn were elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame but the electors rejected slugger Mark McGwire's try for induction.

Ripken, who played his 21-season entire career for the Baltimore Orioles, was named on a record 537 of the 545 ballots turned in by eligible members of the Baseball Writer Association of America. Gwynn, one of the best hitters of his generation, was right behind on 532 ballots in voting announced Tuesday.

Ripken was on 98.5 percent of the ballots -- the third highest total in Hall of Fame history -- and Gwynn was named on 97.6 percent. A player must get 75 percent support to gain entry. Relief pitching specialist Rich Gossage was third in this year's voting at 71.2 percent -- 21 votes short of joining the Hall of Fame class of 2007. Jim Rice (63.5 percent) and Andre Dawson (56.7 percent) were the only other players on at least half the ballots.

Ripken owns the record for consecutive games played at 2,632. He was a 19-time All-Star and twice was voted the American League most valuable player.

Gwynn also played for one team -- the San Diego Padres -- his entire career. Over 20 seasons he hit .338 and won eight National League batting titles -- including four in row from 1994-97.

McGwire broke Roger Maris' single-season home run mark and normally his 583 career home runs would guarantee him a Hall of Fame spot. But there are allegations that steroids helped his hitting. As a result, he was on 128 ballots -- 23.5 percent -- well short of the 409 needed for induction.

Baseball Hall of Fame induction ceremonies are scheduled for July 29 in Cooperstown, N.Y.

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