Former Cincinnati Reds shortstop Barry Larkin, who at times was overshadowed at the position by his contemporary -- the Orioles’ Cal Ripken Jr. -- was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame this afternoon.
Larkin, in his second year of eligibility, was named on 86.4 percent (495 votes of 573 ballots) of possible ballots submitted by qualifying members of the Baseball Writers Association of America.
A player needs 75 percent inclusion on the ballots to gain enshrinement. The next closest was longtime pitcher Jack Morris, who jumped up from 53.5 percent to 67 percent in his 13th year on the ballot. He’ll have two more chances to be elected by the writers. Former Houston Astros first baseman Jeff Bagwell finished third with 56 percent, up from 42 percent last year.
Ex-Orioles first baseman Rafael Palmeiro, who received just 11 percent in his first year of eligibility in 2011, received 13 percent this year. His vote total jumped from 64 to 72 even though the number of ballots received dropped from 581 to 573.
Former Orioles closer Lee Smith finished fourth (51 percent), and Tim Raines Sr., who also briefly played for the Orioles, finished fifth overall with 49 percent.
Former Orioles catcher Javy Lopez garnered one vote and did not receive the 5 percent needed to stay on for a second year. Baltimore native Brian Jordan did not receive any votes. Overall, 13 players received at least 5 percent, including New York Yankees outfielder Bernie Williams (10 percent), the only first-year eligible player who stayed on for 2013.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun