On January 8, the public announcement of the results of the BBWAA Baseball Hall of Fame election was made. After choosing no candidates in 2013, the electorate, for the first time since 1999 when George Brett, Nolan Ryan and Robin Yount were elected, added three players to the honored rolls of the Cooperstown museum.
All three successful candidates were on the ballot for the first time and were clear choices of the voters. The name of Greg Maddox appeared on the ballots of 97.2% of the voters, a percentage exceeded by only seven previous candidates. His teammate on the Atlanta Braves and a man only 20 days older, Tom Glavine, was chosen by 91.9% of the voters and Frank “The Big Hurt” Thomas by 83.7% of those voting.
Despite the respect in which Maddox’s career is held, he could not best the previous high vote of 98.84% for Tom Seaver in 1992. Maddox’s accomplishments in baseball were many. He compiled 355 wins, eighth highest in MLB, won the Cy Young Award in the National League four straight seasons, his outstanding fielding earned him 18 Gold Glove Awards and he was elected to the N.L. All-Star team eight years.
Tom Glavine also filled his lengthy career in the majors with a long string of achievements. He earned 305 victories, was a two-time Cy Young Award winner, a 10 time N.L. All-Star, an MVP in the 1995 World Series and his batting prowess earned him four Silver Slugger awards.
Frank Tomas, despite his physical size of 6-5 and 240 pounds, was never tainted with the charge or suspicion that he used PEDs to amass his power stats in the majors. In fact, he has publicly advocated drug testing in baseball for nearly 20 years. Tomas has blasted 521 home runs, more than 1,000 extra base hits, driven in 1,704 runs yet compiled a lifetime batting average of .301 and an on-base percentage of .419. He was a five time American League All-Star and the MVP in his league in two consecutive years.
Craig Biggio, in his second year on the ballot, drew votes from 74.8% of the voters. Missing election by 0.2% is heartbreaking but the increase in his votes this year makes it likely he will reach election in the very near future.
The only other candidate whose vote increased was former catcher Mike Piazza. It is also likely his vote will increase in later years.
Two BBWAA rules will eliminate 16 players from any future ballots. There is a maximum of 15 years in which one’s name can be on the ballot. This was the last ballot for pitcher Jack Morris, who was not elected. His only chance to be in the HOF is by selection of the Veterans; Committee.
Another requirement that eliminated 15 players from being on the ballot again was the need of receiving at least 5% of the voted for your name to remain on the ballot.
The day after the announcement of the result,, Thursday, January 9, the three newest Hall of Fame members will hold an 11 am press conference in New York City.