Ken Griffey Jr. & Mike Piazza head to Cooperstown

FILE - This is an Oct. 3, 2009, file photo showing Seattle Mariners' Ken Griffey Jr. hitting a solo home run on a pitch from Texas Rangers' Tommy Hunter during the fourth inning of a baseball game in Seattle. Ken Griffey Jr. seems assured of election to the Baseball hall of Fame on the first try Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2016, possibly with a record vote of close to 100 percent. Mike Piazza, Jeff Bagwell and Tim Raines also were strong candidates to gain the 75 percent needed for baseball's highest honor. (AP Photo/John Froschauer, File)

NEW YORK (AP) – Ken Griffey Jr. was a near-unanimous first-year selection to the baseball Hall of Fame, gathering 99.3 percent of the votes by the baseball writers association. Griffey was a 13-time All-Star who was a slugger of the Steroids Era never tainted by accusations of drug use.

Griffey was on 437 of 440 votes in his first appearance on the Baseball Writers’ Association of America ballot. His 99.3 percentage topped Tom Seaver’s 98.84 in 1992. Griffey won seven Silver Slugger awards and hit 630 home runs.

The other selection was catcher Mike Piazza (pee-AHT’-zah), who got in with 83 percent of the vote. Piazza, on the ballot for the fourth time, received 365 votes. Piazza was a 12-time All-Star with the Mets and Dodgers and leads all catchers with 427 home runs.

Jeff Bagwell and Tim Raines were also strong candidates, but failed to gain the 75 percent needed for baseball’s highest honor.

Induction ceremonies at Cooperstown are July 24.

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