Roberto Alomar

is among 15 first-time candidates on this year's Hall of Fame ballot, joining holdovers

Mark McGwire, Andre Dawson


Bert Blyleven.

Edgar Martinez, Barry Larkin and Fred McGriff also are new to the ballot this year. There are 26 candidates, three more than last year when Rickey Henderson was elected in his initial appearance and Jim Rice made it on his 15th and final try. Dawson fell 44 votes shy of the 75 percent needed and Blyleven was 67 short.

Also on the ballot for the first time are Kevin Appier, Ellis Burks, Andres Galarraga, Pat Hentgen, Mike Jackson, Eric Karros, Ray Lankford, Shane Reynolds, David Segui, Robin Ventura and Todd Zeile.

Other holdovers on the list announced yesterday include Harold Baines, Don Mattingly, Jack Morris, Dale Murphy, Dave Parker, Tim Raines, Lee Smith and Alan Trammell.

McGwire has received little support since avoiding questions about steroids in an appearancee before a congressional committee.

Alomar, a 12-time All-Star and 10-time Gold Glove second baseman, had a .300 batting average, 210 homers and 474 steals in 17 major league seasons.

Martinez spent all 18 seasons with Seattle, winning two AL batting titles and finishing with a .312 average and 309 homers. A seven-time All-Star, he was a designated hitter in 1,412 of 2,055 career regular-season games.

Larkin was a 12-time All-Star and three-time Gold Glove shortstop in 19 seasons, all with Cincinnati. He had a .295 career average with 198 homers and won the 1995 NL MVP award.

McGriff is tied with Lou Gehrig for 26th on the career home run with 493 and had a .284 average in 19 seasons. He led the AL in homers for Toronto in 1989 and the NL for San Diego in 1992.

Philly File

* Lew Meehl has resigned as the men's soccer coach at Drexel after 17 years. He will retire as the second winningest coach in program history. He was a three-time conference coach of the year and a five-time Soccer Six Coach of the Year while at Drexel, while leading the team to eight top-five finishes in conference play and five Soccer Six titles, including winning a share of this year's Soccer Six championship. *