NEW YORK -- Career steals leader Rickey Henderson heads 10 first-time candidates on this year's Hall of Fame ballot, joining holdovers Mark McGwire and Jim Rice -- eligible for the final time.
Other newcomers are Jay Bell, David Cone, Ron Gant, Mark Grace, Jesse Orosco, Dan Plesac, Greg Vaughn, Mo Vaughn and Matt Williams.
Just 23 players are on the ballot, the smallest group ever. Holdovers include Harold Baines, Bert Blyleven, Andre Dawson. Tommy John, Don Mattingly, Jack Morris, Dale Murphy, Dave Parker, Tim Raines, Lee Smith and Alan Trammell.
A 10-time All-Star who played from 1979-2003, Henderson holds the career records for steals (1,406) and runs (2,295), and his 2,190 walks are second to Barry Bonds' 2,558. Henderson also is first in caught stealing with 335.
Henderson played for nine teams, winning the 1990 AL MVP award with Oakland.
McGwire, eighth on the career home-run list with 583, has denied using illegal performance-enhancing substances but evaded questions when he appeared before a congressional committee, saying: "I'm not here to talk about the past."
He received 128 votes in the 2008 election from 10-year members of the Baseball Writers' Association of America -- matching his total from 2007, when he was eligible for the first time. His percentage of 23.6 percent was well short of the 75 percent necessary for election.
Rice received 392 votes (72.2 percent) in 2008, 16 short of the 75 percent needed.
Reporters who have been in the BBWAA for 10 or more consecutive years are eligible to vote, and the totals will be announced Jan. 12. Inductions, which will include anyone elected by the Veterans Committee, are scheduled for July 26 at Cooperstown, N.Y. The Veterans Committee vote will be announced Dec. 8.