These Draft Day Stars Ended Up in Cooperstown

Since start of MLB Draft, Averages Point to One Hall of Famer Per Year

June 08, 2010
Kirby Puckett was the last player drafted who earned Hall of Fame election. (National Baseball Hall of Fame Library)

COOPERSTOWN, NY – Some of the nation’s best amateur players embarked on their professional careers Monday night as selections in the 2010 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft.

For some, that journey could take them all the way to Cooperstown.

Of the tens of thousands of players drafted since MLB’s amateur draft began in 1965, 22 players who were signed by the team that drafted them have gone on to earn a place in Cooperstown. The last player drafted who earned Hall of Fame election was Kirby Puckett, who was taken by the Twins with the third overall pick in January 1982. In the first 20 years of the annual selection process, about one future Hall of Famer per year was drafted.

Puckett is one of three players taken with the third overall pick to be elected to the Hall of Fame, joining Robin Yount (drafted by the Brewers in 1973) and Paul Molitor (drafted by the Brewers in 1977). Reggie Jackson, drafted No. 2 by the A’s in 1966, is the highest draftee ever to be enshrined in Cooperstown.

Recently retired Ken Griffey Jr. was the No. 1 overall pick by the Mariners in 1987. If he remains retired, Griffey will become eligible for the Hall of Fame in 2016.

A list of drafted players who eventually were elected to the Hall of Fame, in chronological order of their draft selection:

  • Johnny Bench – Drafted by Reds in June 1965 with second-round pick
  • Nolan Ryan – Drafted by the Mets in June 1965 with 12th-round pick
  • Reggie Jackson – Drafted by the A’s in June 1966 with first-round pick (No. 2 overall)
  • Carlton Fisk – Drafted by the Red Sox in Jan. 1967 with first-round pick (No. 4 overall)
  • Goose Gossage – Drafted by the White Sox in June 1970 with ninth-round pick
  • Jim Rice – Drafted by the Red Sox in June 1971 with first-round pick (No. 15)
  • George Brett – Drafted by the Royals in June 1971 with second-round pick (No. 29 overall)
  • Mike Schmidt – Drafted by the Phillies in June 1971 with second-round pick (No. 30 overall)
  • Dennis Eckersley – Drafted by the Indians in June 1972 with third-round pick (No. 50 overall)
  • Gary Carter – Drafted by the Expos in June 1972 with third-round pick (No. 52 overall)
  • Robin Yount – Drafted by the Brewers in June 1973 with first-round pick (No. 3 overall)
  • Dave Winfield – Drafted by the Padres in June 1973 with first-round pick (No. 4 overall)
  • Eddie Murray – Drafted by the Orioles in June 1973 with third-round pick
  • Andre Dawson – Drafted by the Expos in June 1975 with 11th-round pick
  • Rickey Henderson – Drafted by the A’s in June 1976 with fourth-round pick
  • Wade Boggs – Drafted by the Red Sox in June 1976 with seventh-round pick
  • Paul Molitor – Drafted by the Brewers in June 1977 with first-round pick (No. 3 overall)
  • Ozzie Smith – Drafted by the Padres in June 1977 with fourth-round pick
  • Cal Ripken Jr. – Drafted by the Orioles in June 1978 with second-round pick
  • Ryne Sandberg – Drafted by the Phillies in June 1978 with 20th-round pick
  • Tony Gwynn – Drafted by the Padres in June 1981 with third-round pick
  • Kirby Puckett – Drafted by the Twins in Jan. 1982 with first-round pick (No. 3 overall)

For more information about these and other Hall of Famers, please visit www.baseballhall.org.

The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum is open from 9 a.m. until 9 p.m. seven days a week through Labor Day. Off-season hours are from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. daily until Memorial Day Weekend. Ticket prices are $16.50 for adults (13 and over), $11 for seniors (65 and over) and for those holding current memberships in the VFW, Disabled American Veterans, American Legion and AMVets organizations, and $6 for juniors (ages 7-12). Members are always admitted free of charge and there is no charge for children 6 years of age or younger. For more information, visit our Web site at baseballhall.org or call 888-HALL-OF-FAME (888-425-5633) or 607-547-7200.