Thu, Jan 06, 2005 - Page 19 News List

Hall of Fame wants to induct Sandberg, Boggs on July 31


Wade Boggs was overwhelmingly elected to the US Baseball Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility on Tuesday, and Chicago Cubs great Ryne Sandberg made it on his third try.

Boggs, a five-time American League batting champion for the Boston Red Sox, was selected by 474 of the record 516 voters who are 10-year members of the Baseball Writers' Association of America.

In total votes, Boggs trailed only Nolan Ryan (491) and George Brett (488).

"It's mind-boggling to be put in the same category," said Boggs, who credited his success to his 79-year-old father, Winfield. "He coached me in Little League and sort of nurtured me along -- was there every phone call in the minor leagues."

Boggs was a 12-time All-Star during an 18-year career, finishing with 3,010 hits. He finished with a .328 career average and was the only player in the 20th century with seven straight 200-hit seasons. The third baseman also helped the New York Yankees win the 1996 World Series.

Sandberg, the 1984 National League MVP, made it to the Hall with just six votes to spare. Sandberg hit 277 career homers, the most by a second baseman at the time of his retirement, and led the NL with 40 in 1990. His .989 fielding percentage is the highest at the position.

"I think defense had everything to do with me getting into the Hall of Fame," Sandberg said.

Boggs and Sandberg will increase the Hall of Fame's membership to 260. The induction ceremony will be on July 31 in Cooperstown.

Shortstop Pokey Reese agreed to a US$1.2 million, one-year contract with the Seattle Mariners on Tuesday, an agreement with a club option that could make the deal worth up to US$4.45 million over two seasons.

Reese received a US$100,000 signing bonus with a base salary for next season of US$800,000 and up to US$300,000 in performance bonuses.

Seattle has a US$2.25 million option that could escalate to US$2.75 million depending on starts this year.

The 31-year-old Reese played in 96 games with the World Series champion Boston Red Sox last season.

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