Baseball

HALL NOMINEES: Tim Raines and David Justice head 11 first-time candidates on the baseball writers' 2008 Hall of Fame ballot, joining Mark McGwire, Rich Gossage, Jim Rice and 11 other holdovers.

McGwire, his candidacy hurt by suspicions of steroids use, was selected on just 23.5 percent of ballots when he was eligible for the first time in 2007.

When Cal Ripken Jr. and Tony Gwynn were elected in January, Gossage fell 21 votes shy of the necessary 75 percent and Rice was 63 votes short.

Rice is on the ballot for the 14th time and Gossage for the ninth. Players can be on the Baseball Writers' Association of America ballot for up to 15 years.

Brady Anderson, Rod Beck, Shawon Dunston, Chuck Finley, Travis Fryman, Chuck Knoblauch, Robb Nen, Jose Rijo and Todd Stottlemyre also are first-time candidates. The five-year waiting rule was waived for Beck, who died June 23.