Goose Gossage Goes to Cooperstown

NEW YORK (AP) - Former relief pitcher Goose Gossage is finally headed to the Baseball Hall of Fame, making it on the 9th try.

The fireballing right-hander is only the 5th relief pitcher elected to the shrine in Cooperstown, New York.

Gossage received 466 of 543 votes, or 85.8%, from the Baseball Writers' Association of America. It takes 75% of the vote to get in.

Former Red Sox outfielder Jim Rice was passed over yet again, 72.2%, but that was up from 63.5% last year, and 16 short of what was needed. He will appear on the writers' ballot for the 15th and final time next year. That's the year Rickey Henderson is eligible.

Andre Dawson was 3rd at 65.9%.

Mark McGwire, who stonewalled before Congress when called to testify in their investigation on the use of steroids in baseball, received just 128 votes -- the exact total he had last year.

Gossage will wear a New York Yankees cap on his plaque. Gossage spent the first five years of his career with the Chicago White Sox.

Gossage, the 25th Yankees player in the Hall of Fame, a Major League Baseball high, played for nine teams in all. The starter-turned-reliever, known for his bushy mustache, saved 310 games during his 22-year career.