The Baseball Writers Association of America announced the election of two candidates to the National Baseball Hall of Fame on Wednesday.
Outfielder Ken Griffey Jr.and catcher Mike Piazza will be enshrined in the Hall of Fame this summer in Cooperstown, New York, cementing themselves alongside baseball's greatest players of all time.
Griffey was almost a unanimous selection, getting 99.3 percent (437 of 440) of the vote. He breaks the record for the highest percentage of the vote, previously held by Mets' starter Tom Seaver, who got 98.8 percent of the vote in 1992.
Griffey, known as "The Kid," will become baseball's first No. 1 overall pick to make it to the Hall of Fame. Selected by the Mariners in the 1987 MLB Draft, Griffey made his Major League debut at 19 and quickly became one of the greatest sluggers of his time.
He hit 40 home runs in just 493 plate appearances in 1994, winning his first of four home run titles. Just three years later, at the age of 27, Griffey hit .304/.382/.646 with 56 home runs and 147 RBIs in 704 plate appearances, unanimously taking home the American League MVP.
Griffey followed up his 56 homer campaign with another one in 1998. He slugged a cool 112 home runs and drove in 293 RBIs in 318 games from 1997 to 1998. He was worth a staggering 15.6 fWAR in those two years combined.
Griffey was named to 11 consecutive All-Star Games and 13 total. Spending most of his career with the Mariners, Griffey retired with a career .284/.370/.538 slash line and 630 home runs, good for sixth on the all-time list.
While Griffey was the trailblazer in one regard, Piazza is in almost the complete opposite, becoming the latest player drafted to enter the Hall of Fame. Piazza was selected in the 62nd round of the 1988 draft as a favor by Tommy Lasorda, a friend of his dad's. That round no longer exists.
All Piazza did was hit. Even with such a low draft selection, Piazza eventually turned heads inside the Dodgers' organization with his explosive bat and made his Major League debut at 23.
Piazza went on to become the face of the Dodgers, breaking out in his first full season in 1993. He hit for a .318/.370/.561 slash line with 35 home runs and 112 RBIs in 602 plate appearances.
He continued his excellence at the plate, hitting 30 or more home runs every year from 1993 to 2002, excluding the strike-shortened 1994 season (he still hit 24 in just 112 games).
Piazza ended up being traded to the Mets in 1998. He then spent the majority of his career with New York. Overall, Piazza finished with a .308/.377/.545 slash line with 427 home runs (the most by a catcher ever) and 1,335 RBIs in 16 big league seasons. He received 83 percent of the ballot in his fourth try.
Congratulations to both Ken Griffey Jr. and Mike Piazza on being elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame.
Full voting results are here.