Ken Griffey Jr. has been elected to the 2016 National Baseball Hall of Fame, but Barry Bonds, Major League Baseball’s home run king has to wait another year.
Griffey was an almost unanimous choice for the Hall of Fame, missing a perfect score by a mere three points. Griffey was named on 437 ballots out of 440 needed by the Baseball Writers Association of America.
He is only the 51st player selected for Hall of Fame on the first ballot, which dates back to 1936. Griffey was elected to the Hall of Fame with catcher Mike Piazza, who received 365 votes or 83 percent of the votes.
Griffey said “I am very honored, humbled by this tremendous—wow. It’s something that you can only dream of. I knew I could play baseball, but I didn’t know at this level until later in my career what I was able to do. At age 19, it’s pretty much trying to survive the day in and day out of baseball. As I got older I think I started realizing around 35 my place in baseball.”
Griffey became so concerned about his ability to play Major League Baseball he considered committing suicide. He also feuded with his father Ken Griffey Sr., who also played Major League Baseball.
To be admitted to the Hall of Fame, a nominated player needed 330 votes to surpass the 75 percent threshold.
Bonds, who hit 762 homers during his career, received 44.3 percent of the votes needed for future consideration into the hall of fame. Players can remain on the ballot for up to 10 years provided they receive five percent of the vote. Although Bonds did not have enough votes to get elected to the Major League All of Fame, he was elected to the Bay Area Sports Hall of Fame. Dusty Baker, Bonds’ former manager at the San Francisco Giants, was also inducted into the Bay Area Sports Hall of Fame.
Bonds played 22 seasons in the major leagues. He played his final season in 2007 with the Giants. Next season he will be the hitting coach for the Florida Marlins.
The 46-year-old Griffey, a 13-time All Star and a 10-time Gold Glove, played for the Seattle Mariners, Cincinnati Reds and the Chicago White Sox. During his career, he hit 630 home runs. He also won seven slugger awards and in 2005, he was named Comeback Player of the Year with the Cincinnati Reds.
Griffey shared his election to the Major League Hall of Fame with his father Ken Griffey Sr. The two played together on the Reds and the Mariners.
Griffey Jr. will be inducted into the Hall of Fame the weekend of July 22-25 in Cooperstown, N.Y.