Ken Griffey Jr., Mike Piazza Elected to the Hall of Fame

By
Ken Griffrey Jr.
Photo: Tomasso Derosa

Ken Griffey Jr. and Mike Piazza were elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame today, with Griffey receiving the highest percentage of votes in history. In his first year on the ballot, Griffey appeared on 437 of 440 ballots (or 99.3 percent), breaking Tom Seaver’s record. As expected, Piazza made it in on his fourth try, appearing on 83 percent.

Griffey, one of the premier sluggers of his generation, was considered a shoo-in to be elected in his first year of eligibility. Unlike many of the other power hitters of his era, Griffey has never been linked to performance-enhancing drugs, and so unlike many of his contemporaries, his election was never in doubt. The top overall pick in the 1987 draft, Griffey is sixth all time with 630 home runs, won the American League MVP award in 1997, and was named to the All-Star team 13 times, including every year in the 1990s.

Piazza hit 427 home runs in his career, including a record 396 as a catcher. Famously selected in the 62nd round of the 1988 draft, Piazza won the Rookie of the Year award with the Dodgers in 1993. Piazza failed to reach the 75 percent threshold in his first three years on the ballot, with some writers choosing not to vote for him because of suspicions he used PEDs. A career .308 hitter who was named to 12 All-Star teams, Piazza spent part of eight seasons with the Mets, helping lead them to the World Series in 2000.