Former Cincinnati Reds shortstop Barry Larkin was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame after a 19-year career that included the 1995 National League Most Valuable Player award.
Larkin, a 12-time All-Star, was selected on 86 percent of ballots submitted by members of the Baseball Writers Association of America, the Cooperstown, New York-based Hall of Fame said today in a statement. Nominees need at least 75 percent of the votes for induction.
Larkin, who was on the ballot for the third year, garnered 62.1 percent of the vote in 2011, a year after receiving 51.6 percent. It’s the fourth time in seven years that only one player was voted into the hall by the writers’ association.
“I am so excited,” Larkin said in a televised interview. “I’m just incredibly proud, moved and appreciative of this induction. It’s amazing, just amazing.”
Former New York Yankees center fielder Bernie Williams, who was on the ballot for the first time, received 10 percent of the vote, while 20-year veteran Ruben Sierra drew no votes and will be removed from the list.
Jack Morris received 67 percent, while Jeff Bagwell (56 percent), Lee Smith (51 percent), Tim Raines (49 percent), Edgar Martinez (37 percent), Alan Trammell (37 percent), Fred McGriff (24 percent), Larry Walker (23 percent) and Mark McGwire (19.5 percent) also came up short.
McGwire’s Lowest Total
McGwire, who set the single-season home run record of 70 that Barry Bonds eventually broke, has admitted steroid use and never has received more than 23.7 percent of votes from the writers. His 19.5 percent total this year was his lowest in the six years he has been eligible.
In a career spent entirely with the Reds, Larkin had 2,340 hits, 198 home runs and stole 379 bases to go with a .295 batting average. In 1990, he batted .353 to help the Reds win the World Series. Larkin joins former catcher Johnny Bench as the only two players who spent their entire careers with the Reds to be elected.
“I am so looking forward to being part of that elite team, reaching baseball immortality,” Larkin said. “When my kids are old and their grandkids are grown, they’re always going to be able to say, ‘Yeah, that guy, my grandfather, my great grandfather, great-great grandfather, he was one of the best in the game.’ I am so phenomenally proud.”
At the July 22 induction ceremony, Larkin will enter the hall with former Chicago Cubs third baseman Ron Santo, who was elected with 15 votes from the 16 members of the Golden Era Committee late last year.
Santo, a nine-time All-Star who battled diabetes throughout his career, died in December 2010 at the age of 70. He had 342 home runs and won five Gold Gloves for his defense while playing for the Chicago Cubs and White Sox from 1960 through 1974.
Next year’s class of candidates will includeBonds, the major league career home run leader and seven-time NL MVP, and Roger Clemens, a 300-game winner and record seven-time recipient of his league’s Cy Young Award as the best pitcher.
Bonds was convicted of obstructing a federal investigation into steroid use in baseball, and Clemens faces trial in U.S. District Court in Washington for allegedly lying to a congressional committee about using banned performance-enhancing drugs.
Others on this year’s ballot were 2003 American League batting champion Bill Mueller, 1993 AL Rookie of the Year Tim Salmon, Rafael Palmeiro, Juan Gonzalez, Jeromy Burnitz, Vinny Castilla, Brian Jordan, Javy Lopez, Don Mattingly, Terry Mulholland, Dale Murphy, Phil Nevin, Brad Radke, Tony Womack and Eric Young.
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