Rickey Henderson, Jim Rice elected to Baseball Hall of Fame

Rickey Henderson, widely regarded as the greatest leadoff hitter of all-time, headlines baseball’s 2009 Hall of Fame induction class, announced Monday afternoon.

Henderson is the game’s all-time leader in stolen bases (1,406) and runs (2,295). He won the 1990 AL MVP award and played on world championship teams with Oakland in 1989 and Toronto in 1993.

Also gaining entry is Jim Rice, the former Red Sox slugger who won the 1978 AL MVP award and hit 382 home runs in a 16-year career. This was Rice’s last year on the ballot before he would’ve needed to get in through the veterans’ committee.

Twins pitcher and 287-game winner Bert Blyleven headlines those who fell short once again, a list that most prominently also includes outfielder and 1987 NL MVP Andre Dawson.

Henderson and Rice will join veterans committee selection Joe Gordon in the induction ceremony in Cooperstown, N.Y., this summer.