Ken Griffey Jr. and Mike Piazza were voted into the Baseball Hall of Fame Wednesday.
It was Griffey's first year on the ballot. The criteria for entry is appearance on 75% of ballots submitted by tenured members of the Baseball Writers' Association of America (BBWAA).
An official induction ceremony will take place July 24 in Cooperstown, New York, the remote town where the Hall of Fame museum is located.
Jeff Bagwell, Tim Raines, and Trevor Hoffman were the closest runners up to the 2016 inductees.
The Hall of Fame relies on a controversial voting process. Ballots are received by BBWAA writers after they have spent 10 years as BBWAA members. Each voter is allowed to vote for up to ten candidates. The 2016 ballot listed 22 retired players. Voters have recently pushed the Hall of Fame to consider expanding the voting allowance to twelve candidates per ballot.
Candidates appear five years post-retirement, and until 2014, could stay on the ballot for up to fifteen years in order to gain the 75% of votes necessary for induction. But as more steroid-era players (Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa) hit the ballot, the Hall of Fame reduced the period of eligibility to ten years per candidate, a passive but obvious attempt to throttle the campaigns of known PED users. This year was McGwire's tenth and last season on the ballot. He finished with votes from only 12.3% of voters.
Ken Griffey Jr.: 99.3%.
No Hall of Fame candidate in history has ever received votes on 100% of ballots, but Griffey's 22-year career got him close. Griffey was voted in by all but 3 voters, giving him a tally of over 99%, shattering Tom Seaver's record of 98.8%.
Junior was named Rookie of the Year in 1989 and was named American League MVP in 1997. In his MVP season he hit .304/.382/.646 — batting average, on base percentage, and slugging percentage — and with 56 home runs. Griffey finished his career with 630 career home runs. Only five players in baseball history have had more career home runs.
Griffey, who spent thirteen seasons in Seattle, including the entirety of the 1990s, is the first Mariner to be inducted into the Hall of Fame.
Mike Piazza: 83%.
Beloved catcher Mike Piazza was drafted in the 62nd round of the 1988 MLB Draft as a favor from Dodgers legend Tommy Lasorda. In July, after four years on the ballot, he'll finally get his face on a plaque in Cooperstown.
Piazza was awarded Rookie of the Year during his 1993 season with the Dodgers. He was an All-Star twelve times in his 16-year career. After seven seasons with the Dodgers, he became a New York Met in 1998. Piazza hit .308/.377/.545 during his career. Piazza is well-known for the home run he hit September 21, 2011 during the Mets' first game in New York City after the 9/11 attacks.
He will likely appear in a Mets hat on his Hall of Fame plaque. The only other player to be immortalized in a Mets hat is Tom Seaver, who previously held the record for highest voting percentage, at 98.8%.
Astros first baseman Jeff Bagwell and Expos outfielder Tim Raines came close to induction this year, but will likely have to wait until next year. Bagwell, whose Astros teammate Craig Biggio was inducted in 2015, received votes from 71.6% of voters. Raines, whose next year will be his last of eligibility, finished at 69.8%.
Here's how everyone else fared:
Griffey and Piazza will be introduced as inductees during a press conference Thursday.
Lindsey Adler is a sports reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
Contact Lindsey Adler at email@example.com.
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