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Ken Griffey Jr. Could Beat Cal Ripken Jr. In Hall Of Fame Voting

Ken Griffey Jr. could be the first player unanimously selected to the Baseball Hall of Fame.

By Matt Moreno | January 5, 2016

Ken Griffey Jr. is one of baseball's greats and more than deserving of a Hall of Fame induction. But is he one of baseball's "greatest" greats?

On Wednesday, Griffey has a chance to become the first player unanimously inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. He would surpass pitcher Tom Seaver, who has the all-time highest percentage of votes (98.84 percent) for Hall of Fame induction.

Third on that list overall is legendary Orioles third baseman Cal Ripken Jr. at 98.53 percent, the highest percentage for any position player.

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So does Griffey have what it takes to pass a player like Ripken?

Well, let's start at the top. Both Ripken and Griffey played 20 or more years and in similar eras of baseball — Ripken from 1981 to 2001 and Griffey from 1989 to 2010.

As far as accolades goes, Ripken's got the edge. Ripken has two MVPs, 19 All-Star game selections and eight Silver Slugger Awards. The biggest accolade Griffey beats Ripken in is Gold Gloves — 10 for the high-flying outfielder compared to two for Ripken.

When you take a look at the stats though, in 9,800 at bats, Griffey knocked out 2,781 hits, 1,836 RBIs, 1,662 runs and 630 home runs. That's better than Ripken in nearly every category, except for hits — although Ripken had about 1,500 more at bats than Griffey.

As for nicknames, that's pretty much a wash — both have great ones. Cal Ripken Jr., also known as "The Iron Man," earned his nickname from playing 2,632 consecutive games in the majors — no small task.

Griffey's "The Kid" nickname doesn't have as specific of a tie to a milestone, though. It could be from making his major league debut at 19 years old or it could be from the way he made amazingly athletic catches while flashing that infectious smile.

Off the field, both guys have stayed clean, especially of steroid accusations.

That's important in the eyes of baseball voters who've kept the likes of Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire, Roger Clemens and Sammy Sosa on the outside looking in.

Baseball Hall of Fame inductees will be announced Wednesday. Along with Griffey, catcher Mike Piazza, first baseman Jeff Bagwell and outfielder Tim Raines have a good shot at being inducted.

This video includes images from Getty Images and statistics from Baseball-Reference.com.

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