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

© AP Photo/Bill Chan Ken Griffey Jr. of the Seattle Mariners watches his third inning home run fly away in game against the Boston Celtics in Seattle, April 21, 1993.
© AP Photo/Bill Chan Ken Griffey Jr. of the Seattle Mariners watches his third inning home run fly away in game against the Boston Celtics in Seattle, April 21, 1993.

Ken Griffey Jr. and Mike Piazza were voted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame on Wednesday. 

Griffey posted a .284 career batting average with 2,781 hits, 630 home runs and 1,836 RBIs over 22 seasons. The outfielder spent the majority of his career with the Seattle Mariners but also played nine seasons for the Cincinnati Reds and one with the Chicago White Sox. Griffey won the 1997 American League MVP award, was a 13-time All-Star (with 11 consecutive Midsummer Classic trips from 1990 to 2000), a 10-time Gold Glove Award recipient and a seven-time Silver Slugger award winner. He led the league in home runs in four seasons en route to the sixth-highest home run total in MLB history.

Piazza was in his fourth year of eligibility after coming just shy of the required 75% last year with 69.9%. The catcher spent eight years with the Mets and seven with the Dodgers, but also spent time with the Athletics, Padres and Marlins over his 16-year career. Piazza’s 427 home runs carry the MLB record for homers hit by a catcher, and his .308 career batting average helped him earn 12 All-Star selections and 10 Silver Slugger awards. He won the NL Rookie of the Year in 1993 with the Los Angeles, and retired after one season in Oakland in 2007.

Notably absent from the list of selections were home run king Barry Bonds and Cy Young record-holder Roger Clemens, who have become some of the most controversial names on the ballot since they became eligible in 2012 because of their links to PED use.

First baseman Jeff Bagwell and outfielder Tim Raines narrowly missed election.

Bagwell spent all 15 of his MLB seasons with the Houston Astros and finished his career with a .297 batting average, 449 home runs and 1,529 RBIs. The four-time All-Star was the NL Rookie of the Year in 1991 and won the NL MVP in 1994. Bagwell has four years of ballot eligibility remaining.

Raines, a 23-year pro, spent 13 seasons with the Montreal Expos and won a World Series with the Yankees in 1996. He was a career .294 hitter with 2,605 hits for six MLB teams. A seven-time All Star, Raines was the NL batting champion in 1986 with a .334 average. Raines has one more year of ballot eligibility before his case for Hall of Fame election will be handled by the veterans committee.

Relievers Trevor Hoffman and Billy Wagner missed election in their first year of eligibility. Hoffman saved 601 games over 18 seasons and pitched for a 2.87 career ERA. Wagner’s 422 saves are fifth-most in MLB history, and his .184 opponent batting average is the lowest of all-time among qualified pitchers. Only five relief pitchers have been elected to the Hall of Fame.

Curt Schilling and Mike Mussina also failed to earn enough votes.

The 2016 Hall of Fame class will officially be inducted on July 24 in Cooperstown, N.Y.

Source: Sports Illustrated | Kayla Lombardo and Erin Flynn