Pete Rose's eligibility for the baseball writers' Hall of Fame ballot expired yesterday when the 2006 candidates were announced, a group that includes Cy Young Award winners Orel Hershiser and Dwight Gooden.
Albert Belle, Will Clark and Chicago White Sox Manager Ozzie Guillen were among 14 first-time candidates on the 29-man ballot. Bruce Sutter is the holdover who came closest to election, falling 43 votes shy last year.
Following an investigation of his gambling, Rose agreed in August 1989 to a lifetime ban. The Hall's board of directors voted unanimously in February 2001 that anyone on the permanently ineligible list couldn't appear on the BBWAA ballot.
Rose, baseball's career hits leader, applied for reinstatement in September 1997 and met with Commissioner of Baseball Bud Selig in November 2002. His efforts to end his suspension appeared to falter after he admitted in his 2004 autobiography, "Pete Rose: My Prison Without Bars," that he bet on the Cincinnati Reds while managing the team in the late 1980s.
First-year candidates include pitchers Rick Aguilera, Alex Fernandez, Doug Jones and John Wetteland, and infielders Gary DiSarcina, Gary Gaetti, Gregg Jefferies, Hal Morris and Walt Weiss.
To gain election, a player must be selected on 75 percent or more of the ballots. Sutter was on 66.7 percent of the ballots last year, followed by Jim Rice (59.5), Rich Gossage (55.2) and Andre Dawson (52.3).
Gooden was the NL rookie of the year in 1984 and won the Cy Young the following season after going 24-4 with a 1.53 ERA. Hershiser won the Cy Young in 1988, when he pitched a record 59 consecutive scoreless innings during the regular season, then was selected MVP of the NL Championship Series and the World Series.
Belle led the AL in RBI three times and finished with a .295 career batting average, 381 homers and 1,239 RBI. Clark had a .303 career average, 284 homers and 1,205 RBI.
Guillen was AL rookie of the year in 1985.
Reporters who have been in the BBWAA for 10 or more consecutive years are eligible to vote, and the totals will be announced Jan. 10.
The complete ballot:
Aguilera, Belle, Bert Blyleven, Clark, Dave Concepcion, Dawson, DiSarcina, Fernandez, Gaetti, Steve Garvey, Gooden, Gossage, Guillen, Hershiser, Jefferies, Tommy John, Jones, Don Mattingly, Willie McGee, Hal Morris, Jack Morris, Dale Murphy, Dave Parker, Rice, Lee Smith, Sutter, Alan Trammell, Weiss and Wetteland.
-- From News Services