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Gehrig Tops All-Century Team

Lou Gehrig narrowly topped Babe Ruth to finish first in voting for baseball's All-Century team, with Hank Aaron third followed by Ted Williams and Willie Mays.

In the most controversial selection on the 30-man team announced Saturday, banned outfielder Pete Rose was elected to the ninth and final outfield spot.

Four active players were among the 25 elected by fans: New York Yankees pitcher Roger Clemens, scheduled to start Game 4 of the World Series; St. Louis first baseman Mark McGwire; Seattle outfielder Ken Griffey Jr., and Baltimore's Cal Ripken Jr. at shortstop.

Five players bypassed by fans were added to the team by a panel of experts: shortstop Honus Wagner, outfielder Stan Musial and pitchers Lefty Grove, Christy Mathewson and Warren Spahn.

Voting, sponsored by MasterCard International, was conducted by fans from July 13-Sept. 19, and all 18 living members of the team are expected to attend on-field ceremonies Sunday night. Fans were asked to pick two players at each infield position, two catchers, six pitchers and nine outfielders.

Rose was invited to the ceremonies, even though he accepted a lifetime ban from baseball in 1989 following an investigation of his gambling. He told baseball he will miss the pregame news conference to make a casino appearance in New Jersey, then arrive for the on-field ceremonies.

Baseball commissioner Bud Selig didn't invite Rose to the All-Star game, when the living members among the 100 on the ballot were honored.

"Attendance at any function like that was forbidden," Selig said then.

He reversed course a month later and said Rose would be allowed to come to the Series if elected. He repeated Saturday that he didn't think Rose's inclusion will diminish the ceremony.

"My only hope is it will be as good as the ceremonies from the All-Star game," he said.

"I don't think it detracts from it at all," Braves manager Bobby Cox said. "I know that's going to be a big deal. That's fine. I've always liked Pete Rose. I feel bad under the circumstances which he stands today. But the rules are the rules. If he's allowed to come here, that's great. And I will be the first to shake his hand."

Rose's former teammate, Johnny Bench (1,010,403), finished first at catcher, easily ahead of Yogi Berra (704,208) and Carlton Fisk (322,384).

"It's a great honor," Berra said. "Think of all the great catchers: Bill Dickey, Josh Gibson, Roy Campanella, Mickey Cochrane."

Babe Ruth led all outfielders with 1,158,044 votes.
Gehrig (1,207,992) was tops among first basemen, followed by McGwire (517,181) and Jimmie Foxx (351,488). Jackie Robinson (788,116) led second basemen, followed by Rogers Hornsby (630,761) and Joe Morgan (608,660).

Ripken (669,033), who switched to third base in recent years, topped the voting for shortstops. Ernie Banks (598,168) beat out Ozzie Smith (589,025) for second in the closest voting for a spot on the team. Wagner was fourth at 526,740.

"I saw all of 'em," Banks said. "I feel like I played 100 years."

In a spot dominated by players from late in the century, Mike Schmidt (855,654) led at third base, followed by Brooks Robinson (761,700) and George Brett (656,511), with Eddie Mathews (174,529) far behind in fourth.

Ruth (1,158,044) led the outfielders, followed by Aaron (1,156,782), Williams (1,125,583), Mays (1,115,896), Joe DiMaggio (1,054,423), Mickey Mantle (988,168), Ty Cobb (777,056), Griffey (645,389) and Rose (629,742).

Roberto Clemente (582,937) was 10th, followed by Musial (571,279), Shoeless Joe Jackson (326,415) and Reggie Jackson (296,039).

Nolan Ryan (992,040) topped pitchers, followed by Sandy Koufax (970,434), Cy Young (867,523), Clemens (601,244), Bob Gibson (582,031) and Walter Johnson (479,279).

Greg Maddux (431,751), who started Saturday night's World Series opener for Atlanta, was seventh, followed by Steve Carlton (405,365), Satchel Paige (399,657), Spahn (337,215) and Tom Seaver (330,219).

Mathewson (249,747) was 14th in fan voting and Grove (142,169) finished 18th.

Five fans who won a sweepstakes will sit with living members of the All-Century team during Game 2.

©1999 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed

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