Long-time Royals All-Star first baseman Mike Sweeney is one of fifteen new candidates on the BBWAA Hall of Fame ballot released today. Joining Sweeney are former Royals second baseman Mark Grudzielanek and catcher Jason Kendall. Former All-Stars Ken Griffey Jr. and Trevor Hoffman headline the first timers, joining Garrett Anderson, Brad Aumsus, Luis Castillo, David Eckstein, Jim Edmonds, Troy Glaus, Mike Hampton, Mike Lowell, Billy Wagner, and Randy Winn. Those newcomers join 17 holdovers from last year's ballot: Jeff Bagwell, Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Nomar Garciaparra, Jeff Kent, Edgar Martinez, Fred McGriff, Mark McGwire, Mike Mussina, Mike Piazza, Tim Raines, Curt Schilling, Gary Sheffield, Lee Smith, Sammy Sosa, Alan Trammell, and Larry Walker.
Mike Sweeney was a five-time All-Star with the Royals, spending 13 years in Kansas City. He hit .297/.366/.486 in his career with 1,540 hits and 215 home runs, finishing his career with the Athletics, Mariners, and Phillies. Mark Grudzielanek is a 15 year MLB vet who spent three seasons in Kansas City. The second baseman was an All-Star once in his career, back in 1996, and won a Gold Glove with the Royals in 2006. In his career with the Expos, Dodgers, Cubs, Cardinals, Royals, and Indians, Grudzielanek hit .289/.332/.393 with 2,040 hits. Jason Kendall also spent 15 years in the big leagues, spending the final year of his career with the Royals in 2010. He was a three-time All-Star with the Pirates, hitting .288/.366/.378 in his career with 2,195 hits.
To be eligible for the BBWAA Hall of Fame ballot, a player must have spent ten years in Major League Baseball. The BBWAA then narrows the list of eligible players. Former Royals outfielder Jose Guillen was eligible, but did not make the ballot. To be elected to the Hall of Fame, a player must be on 75% of the 475 ballots sent out. Results will be announced January 6, 2016. To remain on the ballot, a player must be on 5% of ballots for a maximum of 10 years.
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