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Tuesday, January 7
Updated: July 25, 8:17 PM ET
Murray gains Hall entry in first year on ballot.
NEW YORK -- Eddie Murray silently led with his bat. Gary Carter spurred teams with his enthusiasm.
Murray, the only switch-hitter with 500 home runs and 3,000 hits, was elected to the Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility, and Carter finally made on his sixth try Tuesday.
"I got overly excited and screamed," Carter said. "Now we can do a little celebrating."
No one else came close in voting by the Baseball Writers' Association of America.
Carry-over candidates Bruce Sutter, Jim Rice and Andre Dawson were right around 50 percent, and first-timers Ryne Sandberg and Lee Smith didn't even reach that mark. Darryl Kile, the St. Louis pitcher who died last season, got token support.
Murray, who made his mark as a first baseman for the Baltimore Orioles, became the 38th player picked as a first-timer. He easily exceeded the 75 percent necessary for election, getting chosen on 85 percent of the ballots (423 of 496).
Murray's ticket to Cooperstown came on a somber day for him. Later Tuesday, he was to attend the funeral of his sister in Southern California. She died Jan. 2 at 38.
"Unfortunately, I cannot speak with you today because of the passing of my younger sister, Tanja, after her long-fought battle with kidney disease. Although I dedicated my professional career to the game, I have dedicated my life to my family," Murray said in a statement.
"The elation I feel by being recognized for my achievements on the field is overshadowed by the anguish of losing someone so dear to me," he said.
Carter, an 11-time All-Star catcher, got in with 78 percent (387). He completed a climb that had seen him fall 11 votes short last year at 72.7 percent.
Murray and Carter played together for Los Angeles in 1991. They became the sixth set of teammates to be elected together; Minnesota's Kirby Puckett and Dave Winfield made it in 2001.
Carter played his first 11 seasons with Montreal and became the first person to have spent a significant portion of his career with the Expos to be elected. He is the just the 13th catcher to make the Hall.
Carter helped lead the New York Mets to the 1986 World Series title. Overall, he played five seasons for them.
Though players can express a preference as to which cap will appear on their Cooperstown plaque, the final choice rests with the Hall of Fame.
The Expos' future has put some doubt in Carter's mind, and he pointed to the Mets' success when he was in New York.
"Maybe they might wind up splitting the hat," Carter said from Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.
Pete Rose, ineligible for the ballot because he's on baseball's permanently banned list, got 18 write-in votes -- the same as last year. Rose and commissioner Bud Selig's aides have been negotiating terms of a possible reinstatement for the career hits leader.
The reconfigured Veterans Committee, which is considering former manager Whitey Herzog, former players' union head Marvin Miller and many others, will announce its voting results Feb. 26.
Induction ceremonies will be July 27 in Cooperstown, the small village in upstate New York. Murray and Carter bring the Hall's total to 256 members.
Carter's father, Jim, turns 85 three weeks before the festivities.
"He was beyond words," Carter said. "I know how much it means to him."
Murray and Carter both got key hits the last time their teams won the World Series.
Murray, currently the Cleveland Indians' hitting coach, was an eight-time All-Star and finished with 504 homers and 3,255 hits in 21 seasons. Hank Aaron and Willie Mays are the only other players in the 500-3,000 club.
He hit 19 career grand slams, second in major league history to Lou Gehrig's 23, and played a record 2,413 games at first base. Murray batted .287 overall.
In 1983, Murray homered twice for the Orioles in the clinching Game 5 of the World Series against Philadelphia.
Murray never led the league in hitting, homers or RBI in a full season, was never an MVP and never was friendly with the media, the people who do the Hall voting. Still, his sheer numbers -- posted mostly before baseball's offensive outbursts -- made him an automatic pick.
Carter, a three-time Gold Glove winner, got the two-out hit that started the Mets' incredible three-run rally in the bottom of the 10th inning to beat Boston in Game 6 of the 1986 Series. The Mets won the championship in Game 7.
Carter hit .262 with 324 homers and 1,225 RBI in 19 seasons. He holds the major league record for putouts by a catcher and played an NL-record 2,056 games at the position.
Murray spent his first 12 years with Baltimore and also played for the Mets and Cleveland. He finished his career with the Orioles.
Carter also played with San Francisco and wound up with Montreal.
Sandberg got 49.2 percent (244 votes). A 10-time All-Star second baseman for the Chicago Cubs, he holds the record for most homers as a second baseman (277) and highest fielding percentage at the position (.989).
The 1984 NL MVP and a nine-time Gold Glove winner, Sandberg hit .285 lifetime.
"I have to remember struggling through the minor leagues and struggling that first year as a rookie. I just have to keep things in perspective, that it's just great to be considered," he said.
Smith got 42.3 percent (210 votes). He is baseball's career saves leader with 478 and was a seven-time All-Star in 18 seasons. Too bad for him, he pitched in just four playoff games and was 0-2 with one save and an 8.49 ERA in them.
Only two relievers -- Rollie Fingers and Hoyt Wilhelm -- have been elected to the Hall.
Jim Kaat, who won 283 games, got 26.2 percent in his 15th and final year of eligibility with the BBWAA.
Kile, who got seven votes, was among several players who did not receive the necessary 5 percent to stay on the ballot. The others: Vince Coleman, Brett Butler, Sid Fernandez, Rick Honeycutt, Tony Pena, Darren Daulton, Mark Davis, Danny Tartabull, Danny Jackson, Mickey Tettleton, Mitch "Wild Thing" Williams and Todd Worrell.
Williams, Jackson, Tettleton and Worrell did not get a vote.