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Alomar, Blyleven gain election to Hall of Fame

By Larry Fine

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Roberto Alomar, a 12-time All-Star second baseman, and Bert Blyleven, a right-handed pitcher who won 287 games, were elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in results announced Wednesday.

They will be inducted into the Hall in Cooperstown, New York, on July 24 along with former general manager Pat Gillick, sportswriter Bill Conlin, and longtime Montreal Expos broadcaster Dave Van Horne.

Alomar and Blyleven came agonizingly close to being elected last year in the voting by the Baseball Writers' Association of America but fell just short of being named on the required 75 percent of ballots cast.

This time voters made 10-time Gold Glove winner Alomar a resounding choice as he was named on 90 percent of 581 ballots. Blyleven, who ranks fifth on the all-time strikeout list, received 463 votes, nearly 80 percent of the ballots.

Their election brings to 295 the number of elected Hall members.

Finishing outside the 436 votes required for election this year were former Cincinnati Reds shortstop Barry Larkin (361) and pitcher Jack Morris (311).

The voting produced another negative response to candidates from the so-called steroids era, as Rafael Palmeiro, who slugged 569 home runs and collected 3,020 hits in his career, fell far short.

Palmeiro, who tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs, received only 64 votes (11 percent) in his first year on the ballot.

Alomar batted .300 with a .371 on-base average and a .443 slugging percentage over a 17-season career with the Padres, Blue Jays, Orioles, Indians, Mets, White Sox and Diamondbacks.

Blyleven pitched in 22 seasons with the Twins, Rangers, Pirates, Indians and Angels and compiled a 287-250 record with a 3.31 earned run average, 242 complete games, 60 shutouts and 3,701 strikeouts.

(Editing by Steve Ginsburg)