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Bernie Williams Is Among 13 Newcomers to Baseball Hall Ballot

Former New York Yankees center fielder Bernie Williams and 20-year veteran Ruben Sierra are among 13 players included on the baseball Hall of Fame ballot for the first time today.

Also on the list are 2003 American League batting champion Bill Mueller, 1993 AL Rookie of the Year Tim Salmon, Vinny Castilla, Javy Lopez, Tony Womack, Terry Mulholland, Brad Radke, Jeromy Burnitz, Brian Jordan, Eric Young and Phil Nevin.

They join 14 holdovers from this year’s balloting, in which second baseman Roberto Alomar and pitcher Bert Blyleven were elected, the Cooperstown, New York-based National Baseball Hall of Fame said in a news release. Players receiving at least 5 percent of votes remain on the ballot for up to 15 years.

Results of voting by members of the Baseball Writers Association of America will be announced Jan. 9.

Nominees need at least 75 percent of the votes for induction. Shortstop Barry Larkin came closest of those that didn’t make it this year, with 62.1 percent. Jack Morris received 53.5 percent, while first-year candidates included Jeff Bagwell (41.7 percent), Larry Walker (20.3 percent) Rafael Palmeiro (11 percent) and Juan Gonzalez (5.2 percent).

Others remaining on the ballot are Edgar Martinez, Don Mattingly, Fred McGriff, Mark McGwire, Dale Murphy, Tim Raines, Lee Smith and Alan Trammell.

Williams played his entire 16-year major-league career with the Yankees, posting a .297 batting average with 287 home runs and 1,257 runs batted in. The five-time All-Star also won four Gold Glove Awards as the best center fielder in the AL.

Sierra, a four-time All-Star, played for nine teams including the Texas Rangers and Yankees, hitting 306 homers with 1,322 RBI.

Steroid Ties

Palmeiro and McGwire each return to the ballot with statistically dominant careers that later were marked by ties to performance-enhancing drugs.

Palmeiro, who had 569 home runs and 3,020 hits, tested positive for steroids in 2005. He has denied knowingly using the drug. McGwire, a 12-time All-Star who hit 583 homers, acknowledged last year that he used steroids during his career. He received 19.8 percent of votes in 2011 Hall balloting, the first since his statement.

Barry Bonds, the major leagues’ career home-run leader; Roger Clemens, the winner of a record seven Cy Young awards; and Sammy Sosa, one of eight major leaguers to hit 600 home runs, will be on the ballot for the first time next year. All have been linked to steroid use and denied the allegations.

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