Griffey, in his first year of eligibility, was selected on a record 99.32% of the ballots. The previous record: Tom Seaver, elected with 98.84% in 1992.
Piazza, in his fourth year on the ballot, was selected on 83% ballots. He repeatedly has expressed his preference to enter the Hall of Fame wearing the cap of the
Griffey became the first player drafted with the first overall pick to be elected to the Hall of Fame. Piazza became the lowest-drafted player to be elected. The Dodgers picked him – as a favor to his godfather, Tom Lasorda – in the 62nd round of the 1988 draft. John Smoltz, a 22nd-round pick, had been the lowest-drafted among the Hall of Famers.
Jeff Bagwell finished third at 71.6%, with
The two candidates on the ballot for the final time this year fell short of election, with Alan Trammell at 40.9% and
Griffey hit 630 home runs. Of the five players with more, three are in the Hall:
Bonds, baseball's only seven-time MVP, and
Among the factors: The Hall of Fame's board of directors purged voting rolls of older writers who had not actively covered baseball in the last 10 years – and who tended to take a more hard-line stance against players associated with performance-enhancing drugs. Bonds and Clemens each have six more years on the ballot.
Follow Bill Shaikin on Twitter @BillShaikin
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