McGee also among first-timers on ballot

NEW YORK -- Five-time AL batting champion Wade Boggs, eight-time All-Star Darryl Strawberry and two-time NL batting champion Willie McGee are among 12 players who will appear on the Hall of Fame ballot for the first time.

Ryne Sandberg, Bruce Sutter, Jim Rice, Andre Dawson and Rich Gossage head the returning players on the ballots, which will be
mailed this week to eligible voters in the Baseball Writers'
Association of America.

Also among the newcomers announced Monday are three-time All-Star outfielder Chili Davis, 1993 AL Cy Young Award winner Jack McDowell, three-time All-Star reliever Jeff Montgomery, four-time All-Star pitcher Mark Langston and longtime knuckleballer and ESPN.com analyst Tom Candiotti.

Pete Rose, once again, will not be on the ballot because he is
on baseball's permanently ineligible list, the result of a 1989
agreement that followed an investigation of his gambling.

Rose, who earlier this year admitted he bet on baseball while managing the
Cincinnati Reds in the 1980s, must gain reinstatement within the
next year to appear on the 2006 ballot, the final year he would be
eligible for the BBWAA vote.

While Rose applied for reinstatement in 1997, baseball
commissioner Bud Selig has not ruled and will not give a timetable
for a decision.

Paul Molitor and Dennis Eckersley were elected to the Hall last year, while Sandberg was 71 votes short of the required 75 percent needed for election.

Boggs, a 12-time All-Star during 18 major league seasons with Boston, the New York Yankees and Tampa Bay, is 23rd on the career list with 3,010 hits, and he was the only player to homer for his 3,000th hit.

Boggs had a .328 career average and set an AL record by
reaching 200 hits for seven straight seasons, and won two Gold
Gloves at third base.

McGee, a four-time All-Star outfielder, was a .295 career hitter with 2,254 hits and 352 steals

Strawberry hit 335 homers during a 17-year major league career with the New York Mets and Yankees, Los Angeles and San Francisco.

Strawberry was suspended from baseball in 1995 and 2000 for testing positive for cocaine and in 1999 following an arrest on a
possession charge. He served 11 months in prison in 2002-03 for
violating probation on a cocaine possession charge.

Voting ends Dec. 31, and the results will be announced Jan. 4. Writers who have been members of the BBWAA for 10 consecutive years or more are eligible for vote.

The complete ballot (x-first time eligible)
x-Jim Abbott, Bert Blyleven, x-Wade Boggs, x-Tom Candiotti, Dave Concepcion, x-Chili Davis, Andre Dawson, Steve Garvey, Rich Gossage, Tommy John, x-Mark Langston, Don Mattingly, x-Jack McDowell, x-Willie McGee, x-Jeff Montgomery, Jack Morris, Dale Murphy, x-Otis Nixon, Dave Parker, x-Tony Phillips, Jim Rice, Ryne Sandberg, Lee Smith, x-Terry Steinbach, x-Darryl Strawberry, Bruce Sutter, Alan Trammell.