Longest Hall of Fame Waits
Not every player is an obvious choice for the Hall of Fame. Some players have to wait several years, and some over a decade, before earning enshrinement in Cooperstown.<br><br>Pitchers feared Rice throughout his heyday in the 1970s and '80s, but voters had little trouble denying the eight-time All-Star and 1978 AL MVP entry to the Hall for over a decade. It took him six years to reach the 50 percent mark and another six before he finally cracked 60 percent. He came within 16 votes of election in 2008 before finally getting the call in 2009, his last year on the BBWAA ballot.
Ruffing won 273 games in a 22-year career, but it took him the full 15 years to win the roughly 230 votes needed for election. Ruffing's career got off to a slow start with the Red Sox, but after a 1930 trade to the Yankees he blossomed, once winning 20 games for four consecutive seasons.
Vance didn't even play his first full season until he was 31, in 1922, but still pitched long enough to win 197 games. The 1924 NL MVP, Vance finally gained election with 81.7 percent of the vote in 1955.
A scrappy shortstop who was closer to David Eckstein than Hanley Ramirez at the plate, Maranville at first had a roller coaster ride in the balloting, dropping from 20.6 percent in 1945 to 11 percent in 1946, then zooming to 56.5 percent in '47 and back down to 31.4 percent in '48. From there, though, it was a steady rise until he finally passed the threshold in 1954.
Kiner spent more time on the ballot than he did in the major leagues. His 10-year career was cut short by back injuries, but he hit 369 home runs and averaged over 100 RBIs per season. His 13th year on the ballot was lucky enough: he received 273 votes, one more than was needed for election.
One of the more controversial players to earn enshrinement due to his underwhelming numbers, Sutter received less than a quarter of the vote in 1999, his sixth year on the ballot, before a steady climb that finally pushed him over the top in 2006.
Lemon started his pro career as an infielder, but after switching to the mound, he reached the majors and won 20 games seven times. His career total of 207 wins may have contributed to his long wait. He missed by more than 100 votes as recently as 1973, but three years later, he was headed to the Hall.
Hartnett is best known for his Homer in the Gloamin' that all but clinched the 1938 pennant for the Cubs, but it was primarily as a defensive player that he earned his way into the Hall of Fame. Hartnett seemed to have little chance to get in, reaching just 39.4 percent in 1953, his ninth year on the ballot, but he jumped to 59.9 in 1954 and to 77.7 in 1955 to gain election.
Harry the Horse galloped into the Hall with ease in 1952, receiving 86.8 percent of the vote, but for a decade he had a much tougher time convincing voters that he and his .342 lifetime average deserved a place in Cooperstown.
The Duke of Flatbush finished his career with 407 home runs but got off to a slow start in the voting. His vote total grew steadily each year he was on the ballot, going from 17 percent in 1970 to 86.49 % in 1980. Interestingly, Snider missed election the previous year by 16 votes, when he would have joined fellow New York centerfield legend Willie Mays in the same Hall class.