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Saturday, November 30
Updated: December 3, 6:16 PM ET
Smith, Sandberg also among 17 players on ballot

Associated Press

NEW YORK -- Eddie Murray, Lee Smith, Ryne Sandberg and Fernando Valenzuela are among 17 players on baseball's Hall of Fame ballot for the first time this year.

Darryl Kile, who died during the 2002 season, is also on the ballot. The rule that requires players to be retired for five seasons before appearing on the ballot was waived.

Gary Carter, who missed election by 11 votes last year, is among 16 holdovers on the ballot released Saturday by the BBWAA, as are Jim Rice and Bruce Sutter.

Pitcher Jim Kaat is on the ballot for the final time. Players can remain on the ballot for up to 15 years as long as they are on at least 5 percent of the ballots each year.

To be elected, a player must appear on at least 75 percent of the ballots, which are cast by members of the Baseball Writers' Association of America who have been a part of the organization for 10 or more years. Voting ends Dec. 31, and the results will be announced Jan. 7.

St. Louis shortstop Ozzie Smith was the only player inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2002, becoming the 37th player picked in his first year of eligibility.

Smith was selected on 433 of 472 ballots (91.7 percent), and Carter got 343 votes (72.7 percent). Carter was at 33.8 percent in 1999, 49.7 percent in 2000, and 64.9 percent in 2001.

Murray, an eight-time All-Star, had 504 homers and 3,255 hits in 21 seasons. The first baseman became the only switch-hitter to reach 500 homers and 3,000 hits.

Smith had a record 478 saves in 18 seasons. Sandberg, a 10-time All-Star and the 1984 NL MVP, had a .285 career average with 282 homers. He won nine Gold Gloves at second base.

Valenzuela, the NL Cy Young Award and Rookie of the Year winner in 1981, was 173-153 with a 3.54 ERA and 2,074 strikeouts in 17 seasons.

Mark Davis, the 1989 NL Cy Young winner, also is on the ballot for the first time. He had a 51-84 record, 96 saves and a 4.17 ERA.

The complete ballot (x-first time eligible): Bert Blyleven, x-Brett Butler, Gary Carter, x-Vince Coleman, Dave Concepcion, x-Darren Daulton, x-Mark Davis, Andre Dawson, x-Sid Fernandez, Steve Garvey, Rich Gossage, Keith Hernandez, x-Rick Honeycutt, x-Danny Jackson, Tommy John, Jim Kaat, x-Darryl Kile, Don Mattingly, Jack Morris, Dale Murphy, x-Eddie Murray, Dave Parker, x-Tony Pena, Jim Rice, x-Ryne Sandberg, x-Lee Smith, Bruce Sutter, x-Danny Tartabull, x-Mickey Tettleton, Alan Trammell, x-Fernando Valenzuela, x-Mitch Williams, x-Todd Worrell.

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