Hall vote: Will Griffey set record, can Bonds get big boost?

Ken Griffey Jr. Could Beat Cal Ripken Jr. In Hall of Fame Voting


NEW YORK (AP) — Fewer than 500 people get a vote, but most every baseball fan seems to have a vehement opinion on who belongs in the Hall of Fame.

With the election results on deck, a look at what to watch for when the newest members of Cooperstown are announced today at 6 p.m. EST:

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JUNIOR'S JURY: Ken Griffey Jr. takes his first swing at a truly huge number — will he break the record for the highest voting percentage ever? Tom Seaver set the bar at 98.84 percent when he was picked on 425 of 430 ballots in 1992. About one-third of the voters revealed their choices early, and www.bbhoftracker.com said they all listed Griffey. What would hurt his chances? His last 10 years were injury filled, resulting in no seasons with 100 RBIs and just one over .300.

See photos of Ken Griffey Jr. and Sr.

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Ken Griffey Jr. and Sr.
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Hall vote: Will Griffey set record, can Bonds get big boost?
BOSTON, MA - CIRCA 1990: Outfielder Ken Griffey Jr. (L) and his father and teammate Ken Griffey Sr. (R) of the Seattle Mariners are being interviewed circa 1990 before a Major League Baseball game against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts. Griffey Jr. played for the Mariners from 1989-99 and 2009-2010. Griffey Sr. played for the Mariners from 1990-91. (Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images)
CINCINNATI, OH - JULY 1989: Ken Griffey Jr. #24 of the Seattle Mariners poses with his father Ken Griffey Sr. #30 of the Cincinnati Reds in July ,1989 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Ronald C. Modra/Sports Imagery/Getty Images)
Special to the Denver Post, Att: Bill O' Connell -- Ken Griffey Jr. wears a big gin in this March 1 file photograph, as he and his father, Ken Sr., exercise in the rain at Seattle Mariners spring training camp in Tampa. Ken J. signed a $2.5 million contract the day before. 1991 (Photo By The Denver Post via Getty Images)
OAKLAND, CA - CIRCA 1993: Outfielders Ken Griffey Jr. #24 (R) and coach Ken Griffey Sr. (L) of the Seattle Mariners laugh together circa 1993 before the start of a Major League Baseball game against the Oakland Athletics at the Oakland Coliseum in Oakland, California. Griffey Jr. played for the Mariners from 1989-99 and 2009-2010. (Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images)
CINCINNATI, OH - JULY 13: Ken Griffey Jr. (R) hugs his father Ken Griffey Sr. after throwing out the first pitch prior to the Gillette Home Run Derby presented by Head & Shoulders at the Great American Ball Park on July 13, 2015 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
CINCINNATI, OH - JULY 13: Former Major League Baseball players Ken Griffey Jr. (L) and his father Ken Griffey Sr. stand together on the field prior to the Gillette Home Run Derby presented by Head & Shoulders at the Great American Ball Park on July 13, 2015 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Mark Cunningham/MLB Photos via Getty Images)
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JUICED UP: Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa haven't come close to getting the required 75 percent for induction. Tarnished by links to steroids, they're almost certain to get shut out this time, too. Yet they could get a boost because about 100 retired writers have lost their vote. There's an assumption — not proven — that a younger electorate might take a different stance on the issue of performance-enhancing drugs.

CLOSING TIME: Trevor Hoffman is second on the career saves list with 601 and clearly ranks among the best relief pitchers ever. Even so, the early returns show him falling short in his first try. Why? Only a handful of relievers have been enshrined, and Hall voters don't quite seem to have a handle on how to evaluate modern-day closers. Mariano Rivera will have no such worries when he's eligible in a few years.

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THE TWEENERS: Mike Piazza, Jeff Bagwell and Tim Raines all drew over 50 percent in the last election and figure to be knocking on the door this time. Raines might be the most curious case. The leadoff man was among the game's most dynamic players in the 1980s and had perhaps only one major fault — he wasn't as good as Rickey Henderson.

PETE AND REPEAT: Every year, Pete Rose gets a couple of write-in votes. They don't count, of course, because he's not allowed on the ballot. Commissioner Rob Manfred recently rejected Rose's appeal to overturn a lifetime ban for gambling. The career hits leader still has his sympathizers, but at 74, it's getting harder and harder to imagine he'll ever see his plaque hanging in the Hall.

See the 25 best players of the last 25 years

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Hall vote: Will Griffey set record, can Bonds get big boost?

Honorable Mentions:

Craig Biggio, Roy Halladay, Trevor Hoffman, Mike Mussina, Joe Mauer, Clayton Kershaw, Felix Hernandez, Jeff Bagwell, Eric Gagne, CC Sabathia, Tim Hudson, Chase Utley, Nomar Garciaparra, Miguel Tejada, Juan Gonzalez, Mark Buehrle, Roy Oswalt, Andy Pettitle, Curt Schilling, Bobby Abreu, Andrew McCutchen, Carlos Beltran, Edgar Martinez, Johan Santana, Jason Giambi, Raphael Palmiero, Barry Larkin, Fred McGriff.

(The Sporting News via Getty Images)

25. Mike Trout

Rookie of the Year, MVP, 4-time All-Star

(Harry How via Getty Images)

24. Jim Thome

600+ home runs, 5-time All-Star, 72.9 bWAR

(BRIAN BAHR via Getty Images)

23. John Smoltz

200+ wins, 150+ saves, 8-time All-Star

(Doug Pensinger via Getty Images)

22. Frank Thomas

2-time MVP, 4-time All-Star, 500+ home runs

(TIM ROBERTS via Getty Images)

20. David Ortiz

9-time All-Star, 3-time World Series champion, 400+ home runs

(Jim Rogash via Getty Images)

19. Vladimir Guerrero

9-time All-Star, MVP, 400+ home runs, .318 batting average, 126 outfield assists

(Doug Pensinger via Getty Images)

18. Tom Glavine

2-time Cy Young, 10-time All-Star, 300+ wins

(MARCOS TOWNSEND via Getty Images)

17. Randy Johnson

10-time All-Star, 5-time Cy Young winner, World Series champion

(The Sporting News via Getty Images)

16. Manny Ramirez

12-time All-Star, 9-time Silver Slugger winner, 2-time World Series champion, 2,500+ hits, 555 home runs

(Stephen Dunn via Getty Images)

15. Greg Maddux

4 consecutive Cy Youngs, 8-time All-Star, 18-time Gold Glove

(The Sporting News via Getty Images)

14. Miguel Cabrera

10-time All-Star, 2-time MVP, 400+ home runs

(Leon Halip via Getty Images)

13. Ivan Rodriguez

14-time All-Star, World Series champion, MVP, 13-time Gold Glove award, 7-time Silver Slugger winner, 300+ home runs

(Rich Pilling via Getty Images)

12. Albert Pujols

3-time MVP, 10-time All-Star, 500+ home runs, 2-time Gold Glove

(Rich Pilling via Getty Images)

11. Sammy Sosa

600+ home runs, 7-time All-Star, 6-time Silver Slugger

(New York Daily News Archive via Getty Images)

10. Mark McGwire

12-time All-Star, 583 home runs, 2-time World Series champion

(Sporting News Archive via Getty Images)

9. Ken Griffey Jr.

13-time All-Star, 10-time Gold Glove winner, MVP, 4-time home run champion

(Scott Rovak via Getty Images)

8. Derek Jeter

14-time All-Star, 5-time World Series champion, 3,000 hits, 5-time Gold Glove

(The Sporting News via Getty Images)

3. Tony Gwynn

15-time All-Star, 7-time Silver Slugger winner, 8-time batting champion, 3,000+ hits

(Sporting News Archive via Getty Images)

2. Roger Clemens

7-time Cy Young winner, 357 wins, 11-time All-Star Game, 2-time World Series champion, MVP

(TIMOTHY A. CLARY via Getty Images)

1. Barry Bonds

Home run king (762), 14-time All-Star, 7-time MVP

(MIKE FIALA via Getty Images)

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