2 Dec 2008

Ten first timers in line for Baseball's Hall of Fame

6:01 pm on 2 December 2008

Rickey Henderson, American baseball's all-time stolen base leader, headlines the 2009 Hall of Fame ballot released on Monday.

Henderson is one of 10 first-time candidates on the ballot, whose 23 players is the smallest number ever.

Others eligible for the first time are David Cone, Ron Gant, Mark Grace, Jay Bell, Jesse Orosco, Dan Plesac, Greg Vaughn, Mo Vaughn and Matt Williams.

Henderson, a 10-time All-Star and the American League Most Valuable Player in 1990, played from 1970-2003 and seems a top candidate to make to be elected on the first try.

Holdovers on the ballot include Jim Rice, Mark McGwire, Harold Baines, Bert Blyleven, Andre Dawson, Tommy John, Don Mattingly, Jack Morris, Dale Murphy, Dave Parker, Tim Raines, Lee Smith and Alan Trammell.

Rice received 392 votes last year, just 16 short of the 75 percent needed to gain entry.

McGwire ranks eighth on baseball's all-time career home runs list with 583, but continues to be hurt by allegations that he used performance-enhancing drugs.

McGwire received just 128 votes in each of the last two years, and his 23.6 percent of the vote was well short of the requirement.

Results of the voting will be announced on January 12.