Ken Griffey Jr. on Wednesday became the first No. 1 major league draft pick to be elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame. As Jayson Stark noted, only one previous No. 1 draft pick even received enough Hall of Fame votes to remain on the ballot more than one year: Harold Baines.
How does Major League Baseball compare in this respect to the other three major North American professional sports? Well, since you asked:
NFL (including two in AFL): 14
1942 Bill Dudley, HB/TB/QB, Pittsburgh: Led NFL in rushing, punt returns, interceptions and lateral passes attempted in 1946. Selected first- or second-team all-NFL six times.
1945 Charley Trippi, QB/HB/DB, Chicago Cardinals: Helped Cardinals to 1947 league championship. Selected to Pro Bowl in 1953 and 1954.
1949 Chuck Bednarik, C/LB, Philadelphia: Named all-NFL as a linebacker each season from 1951 to 1957. Part of two NFL championship teams. Named to the 1950s all-decade team, the NFL 50th anniversary team and the NFL 75th anniversary two-way team.
1957 Paul Hornung, RB, Green Bay: Led NFL in scoring in 1959, 1960, and 1961, posting a then-record of 176 in 1960. Named Associated Press MVP in 1961. First-team All-Pro in 1960 and 1961. Won three NFL titles and one Super Bowl with Packers.
1963 Buck Buchanan, DT, Kansas City: Selected for AFL All-Star Game six times. Named first-team All-Pro four times. Selected to the AFL Hall of Fame second-team all-1960s team.
1965 Joe Namath, QB, New York Jets: Led Jets to victory in Super Bowl III in what is widely regarded as among the biggest upsets in professional sports history. Selected to Pro Bowl five times. Passed for 4,007 yards in 1967, which was a single-season record at the time of his retirement.
1968 Ron Yary, OT, Minnesota: Selected All-Pro six consecutive seasons. Seven-time Pro Bowl selection. Member of 1970 All-Decade Team.
1969 O.J. Simpson, RB, Buffalo: Set then-NFL record with 2,003 rushing yards in 1973. Won four rushing titles. Selected to five Pro Bowls.
1970 Terry Bradshaw, QB, Pittsburgh: Led Steelers to four Super Bowl victories in six-season span. Three Pro Bowl selections.
1976 Lee Roy Selmon, DL, Tampa Bay: Six-time Pro Bowl selection. Voted Associated Press defensive player of the year in 1979.
1978 Earl Campbell, RB, Houston Oilers: Selected to Pro Bowl five times. Led NFL in rushing three times.
1983 John Elway, QB, Indianapolis: Career total of 51,475 passing yards ranks sixth all-time. Won Super Bowl his final two seasons. Mounted 40 career game-winning drives in the fourth quarter or overtime of games.
1985 Bruce Smith, DE, Buffalo: Registered NFL-record 200.0 career sacks. Selected Defensive Player of the Year twice.
1989 Troy Aikman, QB, Dallas: Three-time Super Bowl champion. Led quarterbacks in the 1990s with 90 wins.
1968 Elvin Hayes, F, San Diego: Ranks ninth all-time in the NBA in points (27,313) and fourth in rebounds (16,279). All-Star for 12 consecutive seasons (1969 through 1980). Won NBA championship with Bullets in 1978.
1969 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, C, Milwaukee: First all-time in points (38,387) and third in rebounds (17,440 ). One NBA championship with Bucks and five with the Lakers.
1970 Bob Lanier, C, Detroit: Ranks 47th in the NBA in all-time points (19,248) and 38th in rebounds (9,698). Eight-time NBA All-Star. Pistons’ all-time leader in scoring average at 22.7 points per game.
1974 Bill Walton, C, Portland: NBA Finals MVP in 1977 after leading Trail Blazers to their only championship. Regular-season MVP in 1978 as the Trail Blazers were 50-10 before he was sidelined for remainder of regular season. Won NBA championship in 1986 with Celtics.
1975 David Thompson, G/F, Atlanta: All-NBA First-Team in 1977 and 1978 with the Nuggets. Four-time NBA All-Star and selected an ABA All-Star once. Scored 73 points in 1978 regular-season finale as he finished second in the scoring race.
1979 Magic Johnson, G, Los Angeles Lakers: Retired as NBA’s all-time assists leader (10,141). As a rookie, was voted MVP of the 1980 NBA Finals. Was a 12-time All-Star and nine-time NBA First-Team selection.
1982 James Worthy, F, Los Angeles Lakers: Won NBA title three times in seven trips to the Finals. Made All-Star Game seven consecutive seasons (1986 to 1992). MVP of Finals in 1988.
1983 Ralph Sampson, C, Houston Rockets: Rookie of the Year in 1984. Four-time All-Star (1984 through 1987). Finished in top 10 in rebounding in three seasons.
1984 Hakeem Olajuwon, C, Houston Rockets: Voted NBA Finals MVP both years in leading Rockets to back-to-back championships (1994 and 1995). Selected to 12 All-Star Games and was 1994 regular-season MVP. The only NBA player with more than 3,000 blocked shots and 2,000 steals, he ranks 10th in points (26,946) and 13th in rebounds (13,748).
1985 Patrick Ewing, C, New York Knicks:Ranks 21st all-time in the NBA with 24,815 points and 24th with 11,607 rebounds. Led Knicks to NBA Finals twice.
1987 David Robinson, C, San Antonio: Won two NBA titles and was a 10-time All-Star. Led NBA in scoring in 1994 with a 71-point game in finale. Defensive Player of the Year in 1992.
1970 Gilbert Perreault, C, Buffalo: The 16th NHL player to register 1,000 points. Career total of 1,326 ranks 32nd all-time.
1971 Guy Lafleur, RW, Montreal: Won the Stanley Cup five times in 14 seasons with the Canadiens. Career total of 1,353 points ranks 26th all-time. Retired at age 33, inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1988 but returned to the NHL and played one season with the Rangers (45 points in 67 games).
1973 Denis Potvin, D, New York Islanders: The first NHL defenseman to score 1,000 points. Won the Stanley Cup four consecutive seasons (1980 to 1983) with the Islanders. Selected to the NHL First All-Star Team five times.
1981 Dale Hawerchuk, C, Winnipeg: The 23rd player to reach 500 goals. Final career totals of 518 goals, 891 assists and 1,409 points put him 19th on the career NHL points list.
1984 Mario Lemieux, C, Pittsburgh: Won Conn Smythe Trophy as Stanley Cup playoff MVP in back-to-back years, leading the Penguins to their first two championships (1990-91 and 1991-92 seasons). Won the Hart and the Art Ross trophies in 1995-96 after sitting out a full year with medical issues. Eighth all-time with 1,723 points.
1988 Mike Modano, C, Minnesota:: Had 16 seasons scoring 20 or more goals, including nine with 30 or more. Ranks 23rd all-time with 1,374 points. Holds NHL records for most regular-season goals (557) and most regular-season points by an U.S.-born player, and for the most playoff points (146) by a U.S.-born player.
1989 Mats Sundin, RW, Quebec: The first European-born player selected with the No. 1 pick in an NHL draft. The 35th player to reach 500 goals. Ranks 27th in points with 1,349.