Ken Griffey Jr. and Mike Piazza will enter the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY in July as the sole members of the Class of 2016 as voted by the Baseball Writer’s Association of America (BWAA).
Griffey received over 99 percent of the vote, while Piazza received 83 percent.
Known as “The Kid,” Griffey played 22 seasons with the Seattle Mariners, Cincinnati Reds and Chicago White Sox. Blessed with, quite possibly, the prettiest swing in the history of the game, he had a .284 lifetime batting average and hit 630 career home runs to put him sixth on the all-time list. Griffey also won 10 Gold Gloves, made 13 All-Star teams and was named the 1997 American League MVP when he hit .304 with 56 home runs and 147 RBI. He was never a World Series champion and injuries derailed a shot at becoming baseball’s easy all-time home runs leader, but there’s no doubt that he was one of the most feared and respected hitters of his generation.
And then, there’s Piazza, easily the best offensive catch since Hall-of-Famer Johnny Bench. In a career with the Los Angeles Dodgers, Florida Marlins, New York Mets, Oakland Athletics and San Diego Padres, he hit .308 with 427 home runs and 1,335 RBI. His 396 home runs as a catcher are still a baseball record. He won the 1993 National League Rookie of the Year trophy and played in 12 All-Star Games. He was never an MVP, nor did he ever win a World Series, but there’s no doubt that he was the best of his generation at his position and it’s great to see him finally get what’s due.
Campus Sports sends its sincerest congratulations to both Griffey and Piazza.
*Featured Photo (above) credit to MLB