|Tony Gwynn's .338 lifetime average made him a first-ballot Hall of Famer.|
Padres hitting machine Gwynn and Orioles iron man Ripken came agonizingly close to being the first-ever unanimous selections. Ripken received 98.5% of the vote, with Gwynn getting 97.6%.
Some players still languish on the ballot and may continue to do so for many years. Mark McGwire's steroid issues kept him out this year, as less than a quarter of voters cast their ballots for him. He'll have to wait for popular opinion to change before he has a chance. Long-time ballot stalwarts Rich Gossage and Jim Rice will wait until next year, when a mediocre 2008 class may help their causes.
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