Miami's Andre Dawson finally elected to baseball Hall of Fame
Andre Dawson is headed to Cooperstown.
On Wednesday, the Miami native got the phone call he has been waiting nine years to receive, the one delivering the news of his election to baseball's Hall of Fame.
Dawson, 55, was the only player elected this year, receiving 420 votes out of 539 ballots cast (77.9 percent).
Dawson had fallen short of election his previous eight years on the ballot.
But after finishing with 67 percent of the vote last year, he finally crossed the 75 percent barrier necessary for enshrinement with baseball's all-time greats.
Dawson spent 21 seasons in the majors, most with the Montreal Expos and Chicago Cubs, before ending his playing career in 1996 with the Marlins.
Now an executive with his hometown team, Dawson is the first Marlins player to make it to the Hall of Fame.
Dawson grew up in South Florida, graduating from Southwest Miami Senior High and Florida A&M University.
Meanwhile, Bert Blyleven and Roberto Alomar fell short of earning baseball's highest honor.
Blyleven had 400 votes (74.2 percent), up from 338 last year, and the pitcher will likely get in because he has two more tries on the BBWAA ballot. The highest percentage for a player who wasn't elected in a later year was 63.4 by Gil Hodges in 1983, his final time on the ballot.
``Hopefully, next year will be my time,'' Blyleven said in an interview on MLB Network.
Alomar received 397 votes (73.7 percent) in the second baseman's first appearance and was followed by pitcher Jack Morris with 282 (52.3 percent), a big rise from his 237 last year.
``I feel disappointed, but next year hopefully I make it in,'' Alomar said at his home in New York. ``At least I was close.''
Cincinnati shortstop Barry Larkin, also making his first appearance, was on 278 ballots (51.6 percent), followed by reliever Lee Smith at 255 (47.3 percent) and Edgar Martinez at 195 (36.2 percent). Martinez, on the ballot for the first time, is viewed as an early test of how voters will receive players who were primarily designated hitters.
Mark McGwire received 128 votes (23.7 percent), 10 more than last year and matching the total from his first two times on the ballot. Eighth on the career list with 583 homers, he has been stigmatized since evading questions from Congress in 2005 about steroids use.
Dawson will be inducted July 25 at Cooperstown along with manager Whitey Herzog and umpire Doug Harvey, elected last month by the Veterans Committee.
This report was supplemented with material from Herald wire services.