Hall calls Alomar, Blyleven

Sluggers from Steroids Era shunned by Cooperstown voters

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NEW YORK --- Roberto Alomar and Bert Blyleven became Hall of Famers on Wednesday, the two-time World Series champions easily elected after narrow misses last year.

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Former Minnesota Twins pitcher Bert Blyleven smiles he addresses the media during a news conference in Fort Myers, Fla., Wednesday, after being elected to baseball's Hall of Fame.  Associated Press
Associated Press
Former Minnesota Twins pitcher Bert Blyleven smiles he addresses the media during a news conference in Fort Myers, Fla., Wednesday, after being elected to baseball's Hall of Fame.

Sluggers Rafael Palmeiro, Mark McGwire, Jeff Bagwell and Juan Gonzalez came nowhere close. Hall voters, for now, seem intent to prevent the cloud of the Steroids Era from covering Cooperstown.

Alomar was a 12-time All-Star and won a record 10 Gold Gloves at second base. He hit .300 and helped the Toronto Blue Jays win titles in 1992-93.

Blyleven won 287 games, threw 60 shutouts and is fifth with 3,701 strikeouts. This was his 14th time on the ballot and his career stats have gotten a boost in recent years by sabermetricians who have new ways to evaluate baseball numbers.

"It's been 14 years of praying and waiting," Blyleven said in a conference call. "And thank the baseball writers of America for, I'm going to say, finally getting it right."

Palmeiro, McGwire, Bagwell and Gonzalez fared poorly in the election, with BBWAA members apparently reluctant to choose bulky hitters who posted big numbers in the 1990s and 2000s.

"Guys cheated," Blyleven said. "They cheated themselves and their teammates. The game of baseball is to be played clean.

"I think we went through a Steroid Era and I think it's up to the writers to decide when and who should go in through that era."

Palmeiro was listed on only 64 ballots in his first try despite lofty career numbers -- he is joined by Hank Aaron, Willie Mays and Eddie Murray as the lone players with more than 3,000 hits and 500 home runs.

But Palmeiro failed a drug test and was suspended by Major League Baseball in 2005.

Alomar and Blyleven will be joined by Pat Gillick at the induction ceremonies July 24 in Cooperstown. The longtime executive was picked in December by the Veterans Committee.

Hall of Fame voting

There were 581 votes cast and 436 (75 percent) were needed to be inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

PLAYERVOTESPCT.
x-Roberto Alomar52390.0
x-Bert Blyleven46379.7
Barry Larkin36162.1
Jack Morris31153.5
Lee Smith26345.3
Jeff Bagwell24241.7
Tim Raines21837.5
Edgar Martinez19132.9
Alan Trammell14124.3
Larry Walker11820.3
Others of interest
Mark McGwire11519.8
Fred McGriff10417.9
Don Mattingly7913.6
Dale Murphy7312.6
Rafael Palmeiro6411.0
Marquis Grissom40.7

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