Your Newest Hall of Famers: Rickey Henderson and Jim Rice

Congratlations to both Rickey Henderson and Jim Rice, your 2009 members of the National Baseball Hall of Fame. I figured most knew that Henderson was going to get in based on his incredible stats and accomplishments; however, the verdict was still out on Jim Rice.

Rice, I felt was good enough to get in based on the stats of his era; however, I figured some members of the media might have still held a grudge against him. Time must definitely heal all wounds, and since he was so close last year, it was pretty much a foregone conclusion that Rice would finally get in this time around.

NEW YORK – Rickey Henderson sped his way into the Hall of Fame on the first ballot Monday, and Jim Rice made it in on his 15th and final try. Henderson, baseball’s career leader in runs scored and stolen bases, received 94.8 percent of the vote from the Baseball Writers’ Association of America, well above the 75 percent needed.

Rice, among baseball’s most feared hitters in the late 1970s and early 1980s, got 76.4 percent of the vote after falling just shy with 72.2 percent last year. Henderson became the 44th player elected in his first year of eligibility.

Rice was only the third elected by the BBWAA in his final year, joining Red Ruffing (1967) and Ralph Kiner (1975). The pair will be inducted into the Hall during ceremonies on July 26 in Cooperstown, N.Y.

They will be joined by former Yankees and Indians second baseman Joe Gordon, elected posthumously last month by the Veterans Committee.