So it’s over, the BBWAA has seen fit to elect 3 new members into Baseball’s Hall of Fame; Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine and Frank Thomas. All three are deserving players and they sailed through the election process, comfortably topping the 75% threshold needed for induction.
Unfortunately they dropped the ball by failing to vote in an obvious HOF caliber player like Craig Biggio. I know this was a crowded ballot, and good arguments could be made for up to 16 different players, but to not make room for Biggio to be in your top 10 among those players is ridiculous.
What makes me more nervous for the short-term HOF prospects of certain players on the ballot this year is that only 4 of the other 27 players that received votes this year got over 50%. Think about that. Only Biggio, Mike Piazza, Jack Morris and Jeff Bagwell were able to get a simple majority of the writers to agree that they are Hall worthy, let alone 75%; and one of those players, Morris, will be off the ballot next year.
And it won’t be any easier next year. While five vote-worthy players (Maddux, Glavine, Thomas, Morris, Palmeiro) were removed from the ballot after this vote, they will be replaced by five new ones next year (R Johnson, P Martinez, J Smoltz, G Sheffield, N Garciaparra).
I would expect pitchers Randy Johnson and Pedro Martinez to be locks next year, and I would also think that Biggio will get elected with a percentage around what Thomas got this year (83.7). Holdover players on the ballot will have to wait…….again
Players like Jeff Bagwell, and Mike Piazza and Tim Raines and Mike Mussina will all eventually get into the HOF, it just won’t be in the next couple of years, which is a shame. These players are HOFers. Why must we make them wait.