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January 12, 2009

Rice And Henderson To Baseball Hall Of Fame

Rickey Henderson was a no doubter for the Hall and for Jim Rice it's about damn time.

Rickey Henderson sped his way into the Hall of Fame on the first ballot Monday, and Jim Rice made it in on his 15th and final try.

Henderson, baseball's career leader in runs scored and stolen bases, received 94.8 percent of the vote from the Baseball Writers' Association of America, well above the 75 percent needed.

Rice, among baseball's most feared hitters in the late 1970s and early 1980s, got 76.4 percent of the vote after falling just shy with 72.2 percent last year.

"The only thing I can say is I'm glad it's over with," Rice said. "I'm in there and they can't take it away."

The undisputed standard for leadoff hitters, Henderson became the 44th player elected in his first year of eligibility. Rice was only the third elected by the BBWAA in his final year, joining Red Ruffing (1967) and Ralph Kiner (1975).

The pair will be inducted into the Hall during ceremonies on July 26 in Cooperstown, N.Y. Former Yankees and Indians second baseman Joe Gordon, elected posthumously last month by the Veterans Committee, will also be inducted.

"I feel great about it. It's been a long time coming," said Henderson, who wanted to be a football star before excelling in pro baseball. "I was nervous, waiting."

Odds makers in Vegas have set the over/under on Henderson referring to himself in the third person during his induction speech at 27. I'm taking the over.

How many days until pitchers and catchers?

And while we're talking about balloting, don't forget to vote for Ace in the Weblog Awards.


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posted by DrewM. at 05:11 PM

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