Fifteen new players on ballot
NEW YORK -- Dennis Eckersley and Paul Molitor headline the 15 newcomers on baseball's Hall of Fame ballot.
Former MVPs Kevin Mitchell and Terry Pendleton, Cy Young winner Doug Drabek and World Series star Joe Carter also are on the ballot, released Saturday by the Baseball Writers' Association of America.
|2004 Hall of Fame ballot|
Bert Blyleven, x-Joe Carter, Dave Concepcion, x-Danny Darwin, Andre Dawson, x-Doug Drabek, x-Dennis Eckersley, x-Jim Eisenreich, x-Cecil Fielder, Steve Garvey, Rich Gossage, Keith Hernandez, Tommy John, x-Jimmy Key, x-Dennis Martinez, Don Mattingly, x-Kevin Mitchell, x-Paul Molitor, Jack Morris, Dale Murphy, x-Randy Myers, Dave Parker, x-Terry Pendleton, Jim Rice, x-Juan Samuel, Ryne Sandberg, Lee Smith, x-Dave Stieb, Bruce Sutter, x-Bob Tewksbury, Alan Trammell, Fernando Valenzuela.
x-first time eligible
Bruce Sutter, Jim Rice, Andre Dawson, Ryne Sandberg, Lee Smith and Rich Gossage are the leading returning candidates.
Sutter came the closest to making the Hall out of that group in last year's voting, appearing on 53.6 percent of the ballots. Gary Carter and Eddie Murray were the only players elected in 2003.
Rice (52.2 percent) and Dawson (50 percent) were the only other players to be chosen on at least half the ballots.
To be elected, a player must appear on at least 75 percent of the ballots, which are cast by BBWAA members who have been a part of the organization for 10 or more years.
Eckersley won the AL MVP and Cy Young awards in 1992 for Oakland with one of the greatest seasons ever by a reliever, going 7-1 with 51 saves and a 1.91 ERA. Eckersley began his career as a starter and finished with 197 victories and 390 saves.
Molitor had 3,319 career hits, the eighth most in history. He batted .306 with 1,782 runs and 1,307 RBIs in 21 seasons. Molitor also was the MVP of the 1993 World Series for Toronto. The Blue Jays won that Series on Carter's game-winning three-run homer in Game 6 against Philadelphia.
Voting ends Dec. 31, and the results will be announced Jan. 6.
Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press
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