This is one of our favorite days of the year.
Today the Baseball Hall of Fame announced the Class of 2016 and two former baseball greats will be immortalized in Cooperstown.
As expected, Ken Griffey Jr. breezed through on his first attempt. Griffey Jr. set a new record for voting percentage, receiving 99.3% of the vote.
Griffey’s Hall of Fame co-entrant will be former Catcher, Mike Piazza who enters on his fourth try with 83.0%.
While Griffey and Piazza are excited today, there are certainly a lot of disappointed former baseball stars that were hoping for a certain Hall of Fame call.
Longtime Houston Astro, Jeff Bagwell, continues to be snubbed. Like Piazza, Bagwell is on his fourth year of eligibility however like many on this ballot, he received his highest vote total, with 71.6%.
It had been projected that this could have been Tim Raines year, but it was not to be as he finished fourth on the ballot with 69.8%. Raines only has one more year of eligibility, as next year will be his tenth year on the ballot and under the new rules, the duration on the Hall of Fame ballot reduced from fifteen years to ten. Still, this is the highest vote tally by far that he has received and this makes his vote next year the one with the biggest story attached to it.
Relief Pitcher, Trevor Hoffman made his Hall of Fame ballot debut and while he was not expected to enter on his first try, his 67.3% shows that he won’t likely have to wait long.
Curt Schilling made a sizable jump to 52.3%
Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds, the most decorated pitcher and hitter of the last thirty years have been snubbed to their association with Performance Enhancing Drugs. With the elimination of voters who had not covered baseball over the past ten years, it was believed that both Clemens and Bonds would increase their vote totals, which they did. Clemens had 45.2% and Bonds had 44.3%. This is not a major increase for either, but it is the highest that both have posted thus far.
Edgar Martinez remains in DH purgatory at 43.4%, Mike Mussina nearly doubled his total to 43.0, and on his last year on the ballot, Alan Trammell had his largest total by a wide margin in 40.9%. Veteran’s ballot, here he comes!
Lee Smith continued to tread water at 34.1%. Considering the emergence of both Hoffman and Billy Wagner to the ballot, this tally is a mild surprise.
At 20.9%, 16.6% and 15.5% respectively, Fred McGriff, Jeff Kent and Larry Walker remained in the same range and appear to be on a course to stay on the ballot for ten seasons without many significant jump to serious contention.
Mark McGwire ends his ten year run on the ballot with a whimper with 12.3%. If the reduction of the Hall’s voting to ten years was in fact intended to eliminate the PED users early, they have gotten rid of their first heavyweight in “Big Mac”.
Gary Sheffield and Sammy Sosa are clinging to the ballot with 11.6% and 7.0%.
A mild surprise occurred with the debuting Billy Wagner remaining on the ballot with 10.5%.
There were some notable names who did not make the cut.
Jim Edmonds was hopeful to make the second year, but his 2.5% tally takes him off for good.
Nomar Garicaparra who was on the ballot last year, has now been kicked off on his second year with a serious drop off to 1.8%.
Receiving a vote(s) were Mike Sweeney (0.7%), David Eckstein (0.5%), Jason Kendall (0.5%) and Garret Anderson (0.2%). Brad Ausmus, Luis Castillo, Troy Glaus, Mark Grudzielanek, Mike Hampton, Mike Lowell and Randy Winn did not receive any votes.
The ballot will crowd even more next year as Vladimir Guerrero, Ivan Rodriguez and Manny Ramirez will become eligible.
We are in the process now of updating our Rock and Roll list and will begin work on revising our baseball list once the Rock one is complete.
Congratulations to Ken Griffey Jr. and Mike Piazza, and let’s continue to debate the next wave of immortals from the world of professional baseball!