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Raines, Rickey running toward Cooperstown

Updated: January 11, 2007, 3:18 AM ET
By Jerry Crasnick | ESPN.com

The votes are in, and Cal Ripken Jr.. and Tony Gwynn are free to ponder how it might feel to stand on a stage and compress a lifetime's worth of emotions into a 15-minute speech. They have an appointment in upstate New York in late July with 50 fellow immortals, 30,000 admirers, J.G. Taylor Spink Award winner Rick Hummel and a Ford C. Frick Award recipient to be named.

To the 30 other players on this year's Hall of Fame ballot -- the close calls and lost causes -- it's time to look forward ...

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