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Former Royals pitcher Cone among Hall of Fame nominees

Former Royals pitcher David Cone, who was born in Kansas City and attended Rockhurst High School, is among 23 nominees on the ballot released Monday by the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

Cone, 45, was a five-time All-Star who compiled a 194-126 record in 17 seasons with five clubs. He won the 1994 Cy Young Award while pitching for the Royals.

Former Royals shortstop Jay Bell joined Cone and outfielder Rickey Henderson among 10 first-time nominees. The leading holdovers from last year are outfielders Jim Rice and Andre Dawson along with pitchers Bert Blyleven, Lee Smith, Jack Morris and Tommy John.

The ballot also includes outfielder Tim Raines and first baseman Mark McGwire.

Election requires nominees to receive 75 percent of the votes cast by 10-year members of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America. Ballots must be cast by Dec. 31, and results will be announced Jan. 12.

A BBWAA screening committee compiles first-time nominees from a list of players who have been retired for five years. Players remain on the ballot for up to 15 years as long as they receive 5 percent of the votes cast.

Cone was the Royals’ third-round pick in the 1981 draft and reached the majors in 1986. He was traded after the season to the New York Mets but returned to the Royals as a free agent for 1993-94.

Bell, 42, spent just one of his 18 seasons with the Royals, but he was picked as the club’s player of the year in 1997 after batting .291 with 21 homers and 92 RBIs in 153 games.

Other nominees: Outfielder Harold Baines, outfielder Ron Gant, first baseman Mark Grace, first baseman Don Mattingly, outfielder Dale Murphy, pitcher Jesse Orosco, outfielder Dave Parker, pitcher Dan Plesac, shortstop Alan Trammell, outfielder Greg Vaughn, first baseman Mo Vaughn and third baseman Matt Williams.

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