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Mormon Jeff Kent misses out on Hall of Fame in first year of eligibility

Published: Thursday, Jan. 9 2014 5:00 a.m. MST

Jeff Kent, a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, received just 15.2 percent approval from voters when the 2014 baseball Hall of Fame class was announced Wednesday, missing the cut in his first year of eligibility.

Kent, a second baseman who retired in 2009, had a successful career with a handful of teams, but arguably made his biggest impact with the San Francisco Giants, where he had 175 home runs and drove in 689 runs during his tenure in the Bay Area. He also won the National League MVP award in 2000 and made three all-star teams with the Giants.

Kent, who converted to Mormonism in 1989, recently appeared on the popular reality program “Survivor.”

Former BYU pitcher Jack Morris fell short of enshrinement for the 15th time — this time, by less than 14 percent. Hall of Fame candidates are allowed 15 years to garner at least 75 percent of national writers’ votes, after which they are removed from the ballot. Morris received 61.5 percent of possible votes in 2014. He will not be eligible to be inducted in 2015, but will be reconsidered for the Expansion Era Committee’s ballot in three years.

Morris pitched 18 years in the major leagues and won world championships with Detroit, Minnesota and twice with Toronto. He pitched for BYU from 1975-76.

Other famous baseball players with ties to the baseball Hall of Fame and the LDS Church include Harmon Killebrew and Dennis Eckersley, who were inducted into the Hall in 1984 and 2004, respectively, and Dale Murphy, who failed to obtain the required 75 percent of votes during his 15-year candidacy.

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