But Ramirez, considered one of Major League Baseball's best
right-handed hitters of his generation, may have a difficult
time winning enough support from voting members of the Baseball
Writers' Association of America due to his doping past.
Ramirez, who batted .312 with 555 homers and 1,831 RBIs in a
19-year career spent mainly with Cleveland and Boston, failed
tests for performance-enhancing drugs twice - with the Dodgers
in 2009 and the Rays in '11, his last major league season.
Doping suspicions have so far kept seven-time most valuable
player Barry Bonds and seven-time Cy Young winner Roger Clemens
from membership in the Cooperstown shrine.
Catcher Jorge Posada is also newly on the ballot that includes
first baseman Jeff Bagwell, outfielder Tim Raines and closer
Trevor Hoffman, who all came close to election for the Class of
Election requires at least 75 percent of the vote by eligible
BBWAA members. The Class of 2017 will be announced on Jan. 18
with the induction ceremony to be held on July 30 in
Cooperstown, New York.
Bagwell, who played his 15-year career with the Astros, fell 15
votes shy of the 330 required for induction last year. Raines,
in his final year on the ballot, was 23 votes short in 2015,
while Hoffman missed by 34 votes.
Of the newcomers, Guerrero might have the best chance of
becoming a first-ballot Hall of Famer.
In a 16-year career spent mostly with the Expos and Angels,
rifle-armed right-fielder Guerrero had a career batting average
of .318 with 449 homers and 1,496 RBIs.
Rodriguez played 21 seasons for six teams, spending 2,427 games
behind the plate - the most ever in Major League Baseball.
(Reporting by Larry Fine in New York; Editing by Steve Keating)
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