Ken Griffey Jr. and Mike Piazza were voted into the Baseball Hall of Fame Wednesday, with Griffey falling three votes shy of the first unanimous election.
Griffey got 437 of 440 votes cast, giving him a record 99.3 percent vote. Griffey surpassed the previous record holder, Tom Seaver, who got 98.8 percent of the votes. He was left off just five ballots. Griffey, the top pick in the 1987 draft, is the first No. 1 overall pick elected to the Hall of Fame.
"To have the highest percentage is a shock," he told reporters.
Piazza, on the other hand, got 83 percent of the vote. Piazza, a 62nd-round pick, is the lowest drafted player to be elected, as he was the 1,390th pick in 1988.
Players needed 330 (75 percent) of the 440 ballots cast. Some 35 eligible voters did not return ballots. Jeff Bagwell fell short at 71.6 percent, but his increase from a year ago bodes well for his 2017 election hopes, while Tim Raines (69.8 percent) and Trevor Hoffman (67.3 percent) would seem to have good chances next January.
Others who got sizable voting interest were Curt Schilling (52.3 percent), Roger Clemens (45.2), Barry Bonds (44.3), Edgar Martinez (43.4), Mike Mussina (43), and Alan Trammell (40.9).
Players may remain on the ballot for up to 10 years provided they receive five percent of the vote, which this year meant 22 votes. Thirteen players failed to achieve that total. In their final year on the ballot, shortstop Alan Trammell received 180 votes (40.9) and first baseman Mark McGwire 54 (12.3). They will be eligible for consideration by the Expansion Era Committee in the fall of 2019.
Players who failed to receive the required five percent of the vote and will not be on next year's ballot include Jim Edmonds (2.5), Nomar Garciaparra (1.8), Mike Sweeney (0.7), David Eckstein (0.5), Jason Kendall (0.5) and Garret Anderson (0.2).