Derek Jeter and Larry Walker were elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame on Tuesday in balloting conducted by the Baseball Writers' Association of America.
Jeter received votes on 396 of the 397 ballots, falling one vote short of joining former New York Yankees teammate Mariano Rivera as a unanimous selection in balloting revealed on MLB Network.
Jeter, a shortstop, was named on 99.7 percent of the ballots.
Walker, an outfielder, received 76.6 percent and was elected by six votes over the minimum. The requirement for induction is 75 percent.
Pitcher Curt Schilling missed election by getting 70 percent of the vote, finishing 20 votes short of election. Pitcher Roger Clemens received 61 percent and outfielder Barry Bonds got 60.7 percent.
Jeter's 3,465 career hits rank sixth in baseball history. He had a .310 career average and had 260 homers, 1,923 runs, 1,311 RBIs, 544 doubles, 66 triples and 358 steals.
Walker batted .313 with 383 homers and 1,311 RBIs in 17 seasons with the Montreal Expos (1989-94), Colorado Rockies (1995-2004) and St. Louis Cardinals (2004-05). He won three National League batting titles in a four-season span with the Rockies from 1998-2001.
Jeter and Walker will be enshrined in Cooperstown on July 26.
Also to be inducted are former MLB Players Association executive director Marvin Miller and eight-time All-Star catcher Ted Simmons. Those two were elected to the Hall of Fame by the Modern Baseball Era committee last month.
There wasn't much suspense per whether Jeter would earn induction in his first year of eligibility. However, he said he was nervous when it was time for the call to come from BBWAA secretary/treasurer Jack O'Connell.
"When you start off your career, you're never thinking about the Hall of Fame," Jeter told MLB Network. "I mean, this is the highest honor that can be given to any individual that plays this game. I was speechless."
Jeter, the long-time captain of the Yankees, was a 14-time All-Star and five-time Gold Glove winner in a career that ran from 1995-2014. The 1996 American League Rookie of the Year played on five World Series-winning title teams and was named World Series MVP in 2000 when the Yankees beat the crosstown New York Mets in five games.
Jeter's flair for the dramatic was still evident in his final at-bat at Yankee Stadium on Sept. 25, 2014, when he sent a walk-off, opposite-field single to right field to give the Yankees a 6-5 win over the Baltimore Orioles.
Jeter also reflected back to when he began playing minor league baseball in the Yankees' organization in 1992. It didn't go well, and he batted a collective .210 in 58 games at two stops. The next season, he made 56 errors in 126 games.
"I was homesick, I was completely overmatched," Jeter said. "There were a lot of phone calls back home every night thinking that I made a mistake signing professionally, but just having that support and people I could lean on (helped). ...
"I was blessed to play a long career and play on some great teams and have a lot of support."
Jeter is currently the chief executive officer of the Miami Marlins.
Earlier Tuesday, Walker sent out a tweet expressing he didn't think he was going to get elected.
"I didn't think it was happening and I truly meant that," Walker said on MLB Network. "I had the numbers in my head, and I was prepared for no call, and then the opposite happens, and that call comes and suddenly you can't breathe."
Walker is the second Canadian player named to the Hall of Famer. Pitcher Ferguson Jenkins was the first in 1991.
"Being Canadian, you are born into this world with a stick in your hand and skates on your feet," Walker said. "That's how it was as a kid. You played hockey. ... I literally had to learn everything in the minor leagues. I didn't have high school baseball."
Walker was a quick learner and developed into a five-time All-Star. Walker won NL MVP honors with Colorado in 1997, when he batted .366 with a career-high 49 homers to go with 130 RBIs and a career-best 33 steals.
Some people feel Walker's stats are inflated due to playing so long in hitter-friendly Coors Field. He had a .381 batting average in 2,136 at-bats at the Mile High-ballpark.
Walker said he has heard all the theories, good and bad. And he is OK with the debate but knows it has been put aside for good as of Tuesday.
"I get the arguments, I've heard them all," Walker said. "Like I say, 76.6 percent of the voters didn't think that way, so I'm as grateful as can be."
Schilling will be on the ballot for up to two more years and figures to have a strong chance to get in next season.
There are observers who say Schilling has hurt his candidacy with controversial comments over the past few years, often made from his Twitter account, but his credentials sparkle.
Schilling was a six-time All-Star who went 216-146 with a 3.46 ERA, 3,116 strikeouts, 83 complete games and 20 shutouts in 20 seasons from 1988-2007 with the Baltimore Orioles (1988-90), Houston Astros (1991), Philadelphia Phillies (1992-2000), Arizona Diamondbacks (2000-03) and Boston Red Sox (2004-07). He walked just 711 batters in 3,261 innings.
He was twice runner-up for the NL Cy Young Award (2001-02) and also finished second for the AL Cy Young Award in 2004. Schilling won more than 20 games in each of those three seasons, including a career-best 23 for the Diamondbacks in 2002.
Schilling was a big-game pitcher in the postseason, going 11-2 with a 2.23 ERA and two shutouts in 19 starts. He was World Series co-MVP with Randy Johnson in 2001 when Arizona defeated the Yankees in seven games.
The candidacies of both Clemens and Bonds have been controversial due to suspicions they used illegal performance-enhancing drugs during their careers.
Bonds is the sport's all-time leader with 762 homers and won a record seven NL MVP awards over his 22 seasons (1986-2007). He played for the Pittsburgh Pirates (1986-92) and San Francisco Giants (1993-2007).
Clemens owns a record seven-time Cy Young Awards and went 354-184 with a 3.12 ERA, 4,672 strikeouts and 46 shutouts during 24 seasons from 1984-2007. He pitched for the Red Sox (1984-96), Toronto Blue Jays (1997-1998), Yankees (1999-2003, 2007) and Astros (2004-06).
Shortstop Omar Vizquel received 52.6 percent of the votes on this third year on the ballot. The defensive mastermind won 11 Gold Glove Awards and had 2,877 career hits over 24 big league seasons, 11 of them with the Cleveland Indians.
Miller was chief of the players association from 1966-82 during a stretch in which there were two strikes (1972 and 1981). He helped usher in the free agency era as baseball's long-standing reserve clause that bound players to one team was struck down and salaries began to soar. He died in November 2012 at age 95.
Simmons, a switch hitter who played in parts of 21 seasons starting in 1968, finished with a batting average of .285 with 2,472 hits, 483 doubles, 248 homers and 1,389 RBIs. He spent 13 seasons with the Cardinals, five with the Milwaukee Brewers and three with the Atlanta Braves.
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