Eckersley Voted into Hall of Fame

New Hall of Famer Dennis Eckersley

Dennis Eckersley and Paul Molitor are going to the Hall of Fame. They were both elected by the Baseball Writer's Association of America on Tuesday. Molitor received 431 out of a possible 506 votes and Eckersley finished just behind with a total of 421 votes.

Eckersley spent seven seasons with the Sox from 1978-84, primarily as a starting pitcher. He amassed an 84-70 record during that time in Boston, including a 20 win season in 1978, his first season with the Red Sox. "Eck" returned to close out his career with the Sox in 1998.

He then went to Chicago and eventually Oakland, where he would become the dominant closer most people remember him as. Eckersley finished third on the all time saves list with 390, trailing only Lee Smith and John Franco.

Eckersley's best year came in 1992 when he was with the Oakland A's. He went 7-1 with a 1.91 ERA and 51 saves on his way to becoming the Cy Young winner as well as AL MVP. His dominating presence in the pen helped lead the A's to four division titles and a World Series championship.

Eckersley becomes the second reliever inducted into the Hall, joining Hoyt Wilhelm and Rollie Fingers.

Paul Molitor was a fixture atop the league leaders in hitting every year. Molitor never really hit for power, but used his patience at the plate to register 3,319 hits, good for eighth on the all-time list.

Molitor spent the majority of his career with the Milwaukee Brewers before moving on to Toronto and finally Minnesota. Molitor won his only World Series ring with the Blue Jays in 1993 and he was also named MVP. He finished with a career batting average of .306.

The news was not all good for Sox fans today as once again former Sox outfielder Jim Rice did not get enough votes to qualify for the Hall. Rice got 276 votes, 104 short of the 380 needed for election. Rice now has only 5 more chances to be elected by the Baseball Writers before his name goes to the Veteran's Committee.

Other former Sox players Lee Smith and Andre Dawson also fell short of the necessary 380 votes. Dawson got 253 votes and Smith got 185.

Eckersley and Molitor will be inducted on July 25 in Cooperstown, NY.

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