Jan 8, 2014, 2:05 PM EDT
The 2014 induction class of the Baseball Hall of Fame was announced Wednesday afternoon and Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine and Frank Thomas are on their way to Cooperstown.
Players must be named on 75% of the Baseball Writers Association of America’s ballots to get in. Maddux was named on 97.2%, Glavine 91.9% and Thomas 83.7%. The highest total for a non-electee went to Craig Biggio who fell just short at 74.8%. The full results can be seen here.
This summer’s induction will mark the first time since 1999 that three players were selected by the baseball writers. That year saw George Brett, Nolan Ryan and Robin Yount make the cut. The last time as many as four made it in via the writers’ ballot was 1955, when Joe DiMaggio, Gabby Hartnett, Dazzy Vance and Ted Lyons made it in. In all, six men will be on the stage in Cooperstown, as Maddux, Glavine and Thomas will be inducted alongside Tony La Russa, Bobby Cox and Joe Torre, all of whom were unanimously selected by the Veteran’s Committee in December.
But while this year’s induction class will be big by historical standards, the names of the players who did not gain induction are pretty big themselves. Craig Biggio had over 3,000 hits in his career and did everything one can do on a baseball diamond, yet somehow continues to be on the outside looking in. Baseball’s all-time home run leader, Barry Bonds, is in the cold as well, as is seven-time Cy Young Award winner Roger Clemens. Mike Piazza, perhaps the greatest hitting catcher in the game’s history will have to face the voters again next winter, as will Jeff Bagwell, Tim Raines, Mike Mussina, Curt Schilling, Jeff Kent and several others who, if you go by historical standards, fit in quite well alongside current inductees and dwarf the accomplishments of a great many of them.
Of course, historical standards are no longer operative given that the players currently under consideration plied their trade during the so-called Steroids Era and thus either took performance enhancing drugs (e.g. Bonds at 34.7% and Clemens at 35.4%) or, in the case of some, are merely suspected of doing so, often based on little if any evidence other than the number of home runs they hit or the company they kept (e.g. Jeff Bagwell, at 54.3% and Piazza at 62.2%). In the case of others, such as Tim Raines (46.1%) and Mike Mussina (20.3%), the ballot logjam occasioned by so many strong candidates lingering on the ballot for many years combined with the fact that voters can only select ten players, is squeezing them out. We will be discussing the particular cases of these players and the role of PEDs in the Hall of Fame process later today at HardballTalk.
But better to be overlooked or squeezed out than to fall off the ballot entirely. Such is fate for Jack Morris, who received 61.5% of the vote on his fifteenth and final time up for election. Multiple other players fell short of 5% of the vote and, per Hall of Fame rules, will not be eligible for election by the baseball writers again. Of these, only Rafael Palmeiro, who received 4.4%, actually had arguable Hall of Fame credentials. Morris and the rest will now be fodder for the Veteran’s Committee in future years.
But oversights and eliminations notwithstanding, this year’s induction class is strong by any measure. And given that last year’s induction class included absolutely no one who had been alive since 1930, it looks especially strong with reference to recent precedent.
Oct 30, 2014, 6:08 PM EDT
Haren’s option vested when he reached the 180-inning mark in September, but he had the ability to decline it and test free agency. However, he has decided to stick around.
Oct 30, 2014, 5:47 PM EDT
Gallardo posted an ERA above 4.00 last season for the first time in his career, but bounced back to throw 192 innings with a 3.51 ERA this year at age 28.
Oct 30, 2014, 5:22 PM EDT
Street saved a career-high 41 games this season.
Oct 30, 2014, 5:07 PM EDT
Overall in two seasons with the Red Sox he threw 139 innings with a 1.75 ERA and 181/17 K/BB ratio.
Oct 30, 2014, 4:36 PM EDT
The A’s opted to stay internal in replacing Chili Davis.
Oct 30, 2014, 4:16 PM EDT
Both players are now free agents.
Oct 30, 2014, 3:50 PM EDT
After a disappointing first season in Washington he bounced back to hit .302 with 31 steals and a .771 OPS, leading the league with 184 hits.
Oct 30, 2014, 3:31 PM EDT
The Greek God of Walks retires to Olympus. Or maybe Ohio.
Oct 30, 2014, 3:15 PM EDT
He’ll play for the minimum salary at age 36.
Oct 30, 2014, 2:34 PM EDT
40-man roster housecleaning, mostly.
Oct 30, 2014, 2:07 PM EDT
Minnie Minoso, Tony Oliva and Ken Boyer are among those back on the 2014 ballot.
Oct 30, 2014, 1:49 PM EDT
New York has not hired a replacement for fired hitting coach Kevin Long yet and they also have an opening at first base coach after letting Mick Kelleher go.
Oct 30, 2014, 1:15 PM EDT
Adams threw 44 innings in two seasons for the Phillies.
Oct 30, 2014, 12:49 PM EDT
A look at the tough calls the Royals will have to make following their World Series run.
Oct 30, 2014, 12:16 PM EDT
“He’s 20 years old. We think a lot of him and he has a bright future.”
Oct 30, 2014, 11:48 AM EDT
Mathis a career .196 hitter and has never topped a .650 OPS in nine seasons as a big leaguer.
Oct 30, 2014, 11:17 AM EDT
He’s the longest-tenured Royal, but his production has slipped.
Oct 30, 2014, 10:35 AM EDT
“Obviously, he definitely would have been one of our starters.”
Oct 30, 2014, 10:20 AM EDT
Asked about his free agency, Panda only says: “I’m just going to celebrate.”
- Kevin Youkilis opts for retirement at age 35 15
- 10 nominees for Hall of Fame’s Veterans Committee announced 71
- Bochy’s championship resume ranks among game’s best 13
- Alex Gordon would have been a dead duck had he tried to score 80
- Video: Pablo Sandoval catches final out in foul territory, Giants win 2014 World Series 9
- Madison Bumgarner pitches the Giants to their third World Series win in five seasons 92
- Madison Bumgarner named World Series MVP … obviously 21
- Pablo Sandoval sets new postseason hits record 10
- A veteran says enough is enough when it comes to tributes for the soldiers (280)
- Jose Canseco shot his middle finger off (148)
- Shocker! Joe Maddon to opt out of his contract and leave the Rays (142)
- Oscar Taveras dies after car accident in the Dominican Republic (140)
- 10-0! The Royals romp, tie it up at three games a piece (109)