A few weeks ago, three more Major League Baseball players were selected to enter into the hallowed ranks of the Hall of Fame, and the results likely didn’t surprise a whole lot of people.
Pitching greats Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine made the cut this year and are headed to Cooperstown, accompanied by big-named slugger Frank Thomas. Craig Biggio was close behind along with Mike Piazza.
Greg Maddux appeared on 97.2 percent of the Hall of Fame ballots, which was a very convincing campaign for the former Atlanta Braves great. In fact, that was the seventh highest percentage of Hall of Fame votes in history.
Maddux was like fine wine, he seemed to get better with age. This is probably why his career spanned from 1986 all the way to 2008. He spent a decade with the Atlanta Braves before bouncing around from the Dodgers, to the San Diego Padres and back to the Dodgers. Maddux was a four-time Cy Young Award winner, eight-time All-Star and won a Gold Glove award a whopping 18 times. He also helped the Braves win the World Series in 1995.
Glavine is a fellow Atlanta Brave and will join Maddux in Cooperstown. In fact, Tom Glavine was also on that 1995 World Series championship team. He was named MVP of the World Series that year. He also won the Cy Young Award twice in his career along with being named to the All-Star team on 10 separate occasions. Glavine showed up on 91.9 percent of the Hall of Fame ballots, which was another convincing campaign.
Finally, Frank Thomas appeared on 83.7 percent of ballots after spending most of his fruitful career with the Chicago White Sox. Frank Thomas brought some serious “boom” to the designated hitter spot. He finished his career with a .301 batting average, 2,468 hits and 531 home runs. He won the batting title in 1997 and was a five-time All-Star. He put his home run-hitting prowess to good use in 1995, when he won the homerun derby.
PED-era players get little love
The big names tied to the original steroid controversy showed up on the ballot, but none of them got a lot of love from voters.
Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds finished pretty high up in voting, appearing on 35.4 and 34.7 percent of the ballots respectively. However, that mark was lower than the votes they received last year, meaning that no one seems like they’re going to side with them any time soon. Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa and Rafael Palmeiro were also in the mix. It turns out that Hall of Fame voters actually do have a conscience.
Jack Morris misses his chance
In his final year of eligibility, Detroit Tigers pitching great Jack Morris could not punch his ticket to Cooperstown. Morris has four World Series rings, winning the title with the Tigers, Toronto Blue Jays and Minnesota Twins. He was not a 300-win pitcher, but did rack up 254 wins, which is not too shabby.
And of course, with another year of Hall of Fame voting, debate sparked up as it always does about Pete Rose and his lifetime ban from baseball. It’s safe to say this is a conversation we will have every single year.
Time to change?
Are we at the point where the voting system needs a change? Should part of the decision be put in the hands of the fans? Something crazy happened this year when one Hall of Fame voter gave his ballot to the web site Deadspin.
Unhappy with the way the voting structure is today, Dan Le Batard gave his vote away for nothing in return. Le Batard fully expects to find the consequences for his actions to be that he will lose his voting privileges.
Are we at the point where Baseball Hall of Fame voters are willing to literally give their vote away for good?