Ah, the road to the Class of 2018 is officially underway as the Baseball Hall of Fame ballot has been released with 33 candidates who are on the ballot.
The candidates in alphabetical are:
Barry Bonds: Bonds is on his sixth ballot and enjoyed his biggest jump last year with a 53.8% finish. That increase gives a lot of hope to the PED associated players for Hall of Fame entry. He is ranked # 2 on Notinhalloffame.com.
Chris Carpenter: Carpenter is on his first ballot and the former Starting Pitcher went 144 and 94 and won the Cy Young Award in 2005. He was also a three time All Star.
Roger Clemens: Like Bonds, Clemens enjoyed a significant increase in his vote tally moving up to 54.1%. If the seven time Cy Young Award winner enjoys another gain in his sixth year on the ballot we could see him inducted before his time on the ballot ends. He is ranked #1C on Notinhalloffame.com.
Johnny Damon: Damon is on his first ballot and will struggle to make a second. He was a two time All Star and a two time World Series Champion. He is ranked #99 on Notinhalloffame.com.
Vladimir Guerrero: Guerrero is on his second year of eligibility and came off a 71.7% result. The 2004 American League MVP likely we will see enough of a rise to gain entry to Cooperstown. He is ranked #9 on Notinhalloffame.com.
Livan Hernandez: A two time All Star, Livan Hernandez had a career record of 178 and 177. This is his first time on the ballot
Trevor Hoffman: Hoffman was only one percentage point away from Cooperstown last year, thus only a marginal increase in his third year of eligibility should get him in. His 601 career Saves puts him second all-time and he is also a seven time All Star. He is ranked #20 on Notinhalloffame.com.
Orlando Hudson: Making his first appearance on the ballot, Hudson would go to two All Star Games and was a four time Gold Glove winner.
Aubrey Huff: Huff would accumulate 1,699 Hits and 242 Home Runs over his career. He is also a two time World Series Champion with the San Francisco Giants.
Jason Isringhausen: Isringhausen is also on his first year of eligibility and he was a two time All Star.
Andruw Jones: Jones is entering his first year of eligibility and brings a decent resume with eight All Star Games, ten Gold Gloves and 434 career Home Runs. He is ranked #47 on Notinhalloffame.com.
Chipper Jones: The career Atlanta Brave is debuting on the ballot and is the most likely newly eligible former player to get inducted immediately. Jones was the National League MVP in 1999 and is an eight time All Star. He won the Batting Title in 2008. He is ranked #3 on Notinhalloffame.com.
Jeff Kent: Kent is on his fifth year of eligibility and finished with 16.7% of the vote last year, his highest to date. The Third Baseman was the 2000 National League MVP and was a five time All Star. He is ranked #50 on Notinhalloffame.com.
Carlos Lee: Lee is making his first appearance on the ballot and was a two time All Star. He hit 358 Home Runs with 2,273 Hits.
Brad Lidge: The former Relief Pitcher recorded 225 Saves and was a two time All Star. He was also a World Series Champion with Philadelphia and he is entering his first year on the ballot.
Edgar Martinez: The former Designated Hitter is on his ninth try but his 58.6% gives him hope to possibly get in as it was a 15.2% increase from the previous vote. He is ranked #17 on Notinhalloffame.com.
Hideki Matsui: “Godzilla” was a two time All Star with the New York Yankees and was the 2009 World Series MVP.
Fred McGriff: It is not looking good for Fred McGriff who is on his ninth year of eligibility following a 21.7% vote tally last year. McGriff is a five time All Star with 493 career Home Runs. He is ranked #33 on Notinhalloffame.com.
Kevin Millwood: An All Star in 1999, Kevin Millwood is on the ballot for the first time. He went 169 and 152 with 2,083 Strikeouts.
Jamie Moyer: Playing almost to age of 50, Jamie Moyer makes his Hall of Fame ballot debut. Moyer was an All Star once and retired with a record of 269 and 209 with 2,441 Strikeouts. He is ranked #105 on Notinhalloffame.com.
Mike Mussina: Mussina is on his fifth year of eligibility and finished with a high of 51.8% of the vote. Mussina retired with 270 Wins against only 153 Losses. He would be named to five All Star Games. He is ranked #4 on Notinhalloffame.com.
Manny Ramirez: Manny debuted last year with only 23.8% of the ballot but the two time World Series Champion and 500 Home Run Club member should see an increase this year. He is ranked #7 on Notinhalloffame.com.
Scott Rolen: Rolen will be one of the most hotly debated new arrivals to the ballot as his sabremetric numbers far exceed his traditional ones. Still, this is a seven time All Star with a World Series Ring. He is ranked #17 on Notinhalloffame.com.
Johan Santana: Santana was a two time Cy Young Award winner and four time All Star. He is making his first appearance on the ballot. He is ranked #65 on Notinhalloffame.com.
Curt Schilling: Unlike many others who were on the ballot previously, Schilling actually trended downwards mostly due to his comments against the media finishing with 45% last year as opposed to the 52.3% he had the year before. Schilling is a three time Cy Young runner-up, two time World Series winner and a six time All Star. He is ranked #8 on Notinhalloffame.com.
Gary Sheffield: Sheffield is on his fourth year of eligibility and received 13.3% of the vote last year. He has 509 career Home Runs with nine All Star Game appearances. He is ranked #21 on Notinhalloffame.com.
Sammy Sosa: Sosa is entering his sixth year on the ballot following an 8.6% vote total. That is concerning as he has only finished in double digits on his first year of eligibility. He is ranked #30 on Notinhalloffame.com.
Jim Thome: Thome is on the ballot for the first time and brings five All Star Games and 612 Home Runs for consideration. He will likely get in but possibly not on his first try. He is ranked #6 on Notinhalloffame.com.
Omar Vizquel: Vizquel is also entering his first year of eligibility and the defensive specialist should receive enough ballots to remain on future ballots. He is ranked #76 on Notinhalloffame.com.
Billy Wagner: The seven time All Star is entering his third year on the ballot and he received 10.2% on the ballot last year.
Larry Walker: The 1997 National League MVP is running out of time. He is on his eight year of eligibility and he finished 21.9% last year. He is ranked #15 on Notinhalloffame.com.
Kerry Wood: The former flamethrower is on his first year of eligibility. Wood was a two time All Star and was the 1998 NL Rookie of the Year.
Carlos Zambrano: On his first year of eligibility, Zambrano was a three time All Star who finished with a career record of 132 and 91.
Not everyone who was Hall of Fame eligible for the first time made the ballot. This includes Miguel Batista,Francisco Cordero, Brian Fuentes, Adam Kennedy, Guillermo Mota, Carl Pavano, Scott Podsednik, J.C. Romero, Ben Sheets, Jeff Suppan and Jack Wilson.
As always, we here at Notinhalloffame.com will be very interested to see what will transpire with this latest ballot and we will love watching all of the debates begin!