Baseball Hall Of Fame Extends Welcome To Yankees Star Derek Jeter, Longtime Outfielder Larry Walker

Yankees celebrate Derek Jeter’s Hall Of Fame award Derek Jeter, a 14-time All-Star with five World Series championship rings, and outfielder Larry Walker were the only two candidates voted...

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Yankees celebrate Derek Jeter’s Hall Of Fame award

Derek Jeter, a 14-time All-Star with five World Series championship rings, and outfielder Larry Walker were the only two candidates voted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame. The results of the balloting were released Tuesday night.

Jeter, the standout New York Yankees shortstop, got 99.7 percent of the vote, falling by one vote to become the second unanimous selectee. The other was his teammate, relief pitcher Mariano Rivera.

It was Jeter’s first year of eligibility and Walker’s last. Walker, who played for the Montreal Expos, Colorado Rockies and St. Louis Cardinals, earned 76.6 percent of the vote – 75 percent is the cutoff. He made it by six votes. This was his 10th and final shot at admission via a vote from the Baseball Writers’ Association of America.

Jeter, of course, gained far more fame during his career than Walker. Playing in New York and in the postseason 16 times will boost a player’s profile.

“Remember those old 45s we used to listen to, and they had the song on the A-side and then the song on the B-side you really didn’t know about?” Walker said on the MLB Network. “I’m the B-side.”

But he was still a hit … and a hitter. And more. The National League’s MVP in 1997, Walker was a three-time batting champion while also winning the Gold Glove for his play in the right field seven times.

Jeter and Walker will be inducted in Cooperstown, New York, on July 26. The late Marvin Miller, the players union leader who helped bring about free agency, and catcher Ted Simmons were previously selected for enshrinement by the Modern Baseball Era committee.

A close runner-up in the voting was pitcher Curt Schilling, who was named on 70 percent of the ballots. He will be eligible for two more years. Pitcher Roger Clemens and all-time home run leader Barry Bonds, notorious for their roles in baseball’s shameful dalliance with steroids and performance-enhancing drugs, both got more than 60 percent of the votes. They were fourth and fifth respectively, and both have two more years of eligibility.

 
 
Post By: Larry Weisman, a longtime sportswriter for USA TODAY, blogs for Twistity.com. Follow him on Twitter @MrLarryWeisman

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