Palmeiro receives 12.6 percent of Hall vote

Palmeiro receives 12.6 percent of Hall vote

Palmeiro receives 12.6 percent of Hall vote
ARLINGTON -- Former Rangers first baseman Rafael Palmeiro, one of four players in history to have finished their careers with over 500 home runs and 3,000 hits, only received eight more votes in the Hall of Fame balloting than he did a year before.

Palmeiro's chances of being elected to the Hall of Fame remain extremely dim after receiving just 12.6 percent of support in the latest voting announced on Monday. Candidates needed to be named on at least 430 out of the 573 ballots cast to be elected to the Hall of Fame.

Palmeiro, whose candidacy was clearly wrecked by a positive test for steroids in 2005, received just 72 votes. He received 64 a year ago in his first appearance on the ballot.

Palmeiro will at least stay on the ballot. Former Rangers outfielder Juan Gonzalez, also on the ballot for the second straight year, will be dropped after receiving just 23 votes. That was just four percent and a candidate needs at least five percent to remain on the ballot. Ruben Sierra, in his first year of eligibility, failed to receive any votes.

Sierra is at least in the Rangers Hall of Fame. Palmeiro and Gonzalez have not yet been accorded that honor either, being passed over last season for former pitcher Kenny Rogers. Sierra was inducted in 2009.

Palmeiro, a four-time All-Star, played 20 seasons in the Major Leagues and finished his career with a .288 batting average, 3,020 hits, 569 home runs and 1,835 RBIs. He is 12th in home runs all-time and 16th in RBIs. Willie Mays, Hank Aaron and Eddie Murray are the only other three players with at least 3,000 hits and 500 home runs.

Besides Pete Rose, Palmeiro is the only player with at least 3,000 hits who is eligible for the Hall of Fame and not yet elected. Of the 15 players with more RBIs, only Alex Rodriguez and Ken Griffey Jr. are not in the Hall of Fame, Rodriguez is still active and Griffey, who retired in 2010, has not completed the five-year waiting period before going on the ballot.

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But Palmeiro was suspended for 10 games in 2005 while with the Orioles after testing positive for steroids. He has not played since that season. He has steadfastly maintained that he did not use steroids as a player and insisted that the positive test in 2005 was the result of a tainted B-12 injection.

Gonzalez, a two-time American League MVP and four-time Rangers Player of the Year, remains the franchise's all-time leader in home runs and RBIs. But the Rangers traded him after the 1999 season to the Tigers and his career went downhill from there because of injuries. He finished his career with 434 home runs and 1,404 RBIs.

Gonzalez is 40th all-time in home runs and 70th in RBIs. He is also 17th with a .561 slugging percentage and 61st with a .904 OPS.

There are currently five players in the Hall of Fame who spent at least a portion of their careers with the Rangers. They are all pitchers: Ferguson Jenkins, Gaylord Perry, Nolan Ryan, Rich Gossage and Bert Blyleven. Ryan is the only one who went into the Hall of Fame as a Ranger. He and Jenkins are the only two who have been elected to the Rangers Hall of Fame.

T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.