Ken Griffey Jr, whose timeless swing and grace in the outfield made him one of the most exciting players in baseball history, has been elected to the American Baseball Hall of Fame.
Griffey, in his first year of eligibility, received a record 99.3 per cent of the vote of Baseball Writers' Association of America members, easily surpassing the required 75 per cent needed for induction into the Cooperstown, New York-based baseball shrine.
He will be joined in the class of 2016 by power hitter Mike Piazza, a 12-time All-Star and former rookie of the year who owns the Major League Baseball (MLB) record for most home runs by a catcher with 396.
Griffey, whose father was an outfielder for the Cincinnati Reds, was known as "The Kid" but his accomplishments stood on their own after becoming the first pick of the 1987 draft and breaking into the league two years later as a 19-year-old.
He went on to thrill fans with acrobatic catches while flashing an infectious smile and establishing himself as one of the greatest centre fielders.
Considered one of the pre-eminent players of his era, Griffey earned 13 All-Star Game selections and 10 consecutive American League Gold Glove Awards during a 22-year MLB career with the Seattle Mariners, Reds and Chicago White Sox.
Among the former players who again were denied the sport's top honour were home run hitter Barry Bonds and pitcher Roger Clemens, two stars whose links to performance-enhancing drugs tainted their statistics.