|Tony Gwynn's .338 lifetime average made him a first-ballot Hall of Famer.|
Millions of words were expended in heated debate over this year's Hall of Fame selections, but in the end, only a few mattered: Tony Gwynn and Cal Ripken Jr.
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.
SportsNation, it's time for you to determine if the writers got it right. Give us your vote!