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January 3, 2013

Controversy looms over 2013 baseball induction ballot

Election results will be announced Jan. 9

(Continued)

How about those who have waited for years to be inducted? Will any of them finally break through?

Pitcher Jack Morris looks to have the best shot. In last year’s voting, Morris received 66.7 percent of the vote. The previous year, he was on 53.5 percent of ballots. Morris finished his 18-year Major League career with a 254-186 record in 549 appearances (527 starts). He pitched 14 seasons for the Detroit Tigers, one with the Minnesota Twins, two with the Toronto Blue Jays and one for the Cleveland Indians.

He’s a borderline case for induction, as he didn’t win 300 games and his 3.90 ERA is rather high compared to other Hall of Fame pitchers.

At 37 candidates, the 2013 BBWAA Hall of Fame ballot is the largest since 1995, when 39 candidates were on the ballot. Candidates need 75 percent of the votes to be elected.

There are 24 newcomers on this year’s ballot. They are Sandy Alomar Jr., Craig Biggio, Barry Bonds, Jeff Cirillo, Royce Clayton, Roger Clemens, Jeff Conine, Steve Finley, Julio Franco, Shawn Green, Roberto Hernandez, Ryan Klesko, Kenny Lofton, Jose Mesa, Mike Piazza, Reggie Sanders, Curt Schilling, Aaron Sele, Sammy Sosa, Mike Stanton, Todd Walker, David Wells, Rondell White and Woody Williams.

Returning on the list is Jack Morris (14th time eligible, named on 66.7 percent of ballots last year); Jeff Bagwell (third, 56.0 percent); Lee Smith (11th, 50.6 percent); Tim Raines (sixth, 48.7 percent); Alan Trammell (12th, 36.8 percent); Edgar Martinez (fourth, 36.5 percent); Fred McGriff (fourth, 23.9 percent); Larry Walker (third, 22.9 percent); Mark McGwire (seventh, 19.5 percent); Don Mattingly (13th, 17.8 percent); Dale Murphy (15th, 14.5 percent); Rafael Palmeiro (third, 12.6 percent); and Bernie Williams (second, 9.6 percent).

The Hall of Fame is composed of 297 elected members. There are 64 living members. The induction ceremony is set for 1:30 p.m. July 28 at the Clark Sports Center. It is free and open to the public. It will also be broadcast on the MLB Network.

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