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Piazza, Griffey earn baseball's highest honor

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Mets catcher Mike Piazza and Mariners outfielder Ken Griffey, Jr. earned induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown on Wednesday. Both received more than the required 75% of the vote from the Baseball Writers Association of America. Griffey is a first ballot Hall of Famer while Piazza gets in on his 4th year of eligibility.

Griffey in fact, set a record for voting percentage with 99.32%, surpassing the previous record of 98.84% set by Tom Seaver. Piazza received 83.0% of the vote.

Piazza spent the first seven years of his career with the Los Angeles Dodgers before a 1998 trade to the Florida Marlins. Nine days later he was traded to the New York Mets where he became more of a household name and, along with Seaver, the face of the franchise. After his contract expired following the 2005 season he signed with the San Diego Padres before ending his career with the Athletics in 2007. He hit 427 home runs, including 396 as a catcher which is the most all-time for the position. Perhaps no home run was bigger than the go-ahead home run in the 8th inning against the Braves on September 21, 2001, the first professional sports game in New York City after the terrorist attacks of 9/11, a towering 2-run shot to center field that became affectionately known as "the home run that healed New York."

While there was some doubt that Piazza may not be elected into the Hall of Fame as his name was often times connected to steroid use, despite no proof ever surfacing, there was never such doubt for Griffey.

Griffey made his major league debut at age 19 and spent 22 seasons in the big leagues. Playing alongside his father, Ken Griffey, Sr., in 1990, he and his dad hit back-to-back home runs for the Mariners - the first time a father-son duo had accomplished the feat in baseball history. Junior, nicknamed "the Kid," would his 630 home runs in his major league career, but could have had many more.

Prior to the 2000 season he was traded to the Cincinnati Reds, a sort of homecoming as his father spent 12 years in Cincy while Junior was growing up. Despite hitting 210 home runs in nine years with the Reds, age seemed to be catching up with "the Kid." Injuries sidelined him for long stretches as he went from playing 160 games his last year in Seattle to 145 his first year in Cincy. His lowest game total was 53 in 2003 preceded by 70 in 2002 and followed by 83 in 2004. It's hard to say that 630 home runs (6th all-time) is a disappointment, but one can speculate that a healthy Ken Griffey, Jr could have given the all-time home run record a run for its money.

The 2016 Hall of Fame class not only boasts to of the generations greatest sluggers, but historical polar opposites. Griffey is the first number one overall draft pick to be inducted into the Hall of Famer where as Piazza is the lowest drafted player. Piazza was the 1,390th pick (62nd round) of the 1988 First Year Players Draft. He was selected by the Dodgers as a favor to his Tommy Lasorda, a friend of his father's. In 1993 he was named National League Rookie of the Year. Safe to say, the best 62nd round pick in the history of the game.

The pair will officially be enshrined in Cooperstown on July 24, 2016.