Jeff Bagwell, Tim Raines and Ivan Rodriguez received more than the 75% threshold to earn induction. Bagwell and Raines have been on the ballot for quite awhile, but Pudge earned his election on his first time on the ballot.
There were plenty of players that fell short of the 75% threshold and one player surprised most people by falling short of receiving 5% of the vote to stay on the ballot.
Jeff Bagwell earned his election into Cooperstown on his seventh try. He spent his entire MLB career with the Houston Astros. He was a Rookie of the Year in 1991 and then went on to win the MVP in 1994. He was part of the ‘Killer B’s’ with Craig Biggio and a rotating cast of Derek Bell and Lance Berkman rounding out the third player. The reason it took this long to induct Bagwell was due to rumors of PED use during his career. He never failed a test or ever implicated in any major PED bust, but due to his jacked physique and power numbers, people assumed he was on something.
Tim Raines earned his spot in the Hall of Fame in his 10th and final year. Even though he hasn’t played in almost 15 years, his numbers just kept getting better. It’s due to the increased popularity in analytics. His ability to get on base, achieve a high success rate stealing bases and have a career WAR of 68.4, all helped his case. His induction is long overdue.
Pudge Rodriguez gets the distinction as a first-ballot Hall of Famer. He spent 20 season in the Majors and ranks high in many categories by a catcher. His glove and arm earned him praise early in his career. At the plate, he was first just great contact hitter with a career average of .296. His power numbers increased later in his career and so did his muscles. He was never implicated in the Mitchell Report or Biogenesis, but Jose Canseco did admit that he personally injected him with steroids and HGH in his book “Juiced”.
Let’s talk about the players who didn’t get in this year. Here’s a list of players that earned a spot on next year’s ballot, but didn’t get in this year.
- Trevor Hoffman – 74.00%
- Vladimir Guerrero – 71.70%
- Edgar Martinez – 58.60%
- Roger Clemens – 54.10%
- Barry Bonds – 53.80%
- Mike Mussina – 51.80%
- Curt Schilling – 45.00%
- Lee Smith* – 34.20%
- Manny Ramirez – 23.80%
- Larry Walker – 21.90%
- Fred McGriff – 21.70%
- Jeff Kent – 16.70%
- Gary Sheffield – 13.30%
- Billy Wagner – 10.20%
- Sammy Sosa – 8.60%
(* final year of eligibility)
Clemens and Bonds increased their percentage by over 10% this year, so they keep edging closer to induction even though they have been strongly-tied to PEDs.
There will be one glaring omission from next year’s ballot, Jorge Posada. He received less than 5% of the vote, which was a huge surprise. Voters are only able to vote for maximum of 10 players, so due to the backlog of ‘steroid era’ players, it hurt his shot at staying on the ballot.
Jim Thome, Chipper Jones and Omar Vizquel are the notable names among first-time candidates next year. You could make strong arguments for all three to be inducted next year. It will be an interesting to see if Bonds or Clemens also earn a spot.
Bobby Roberts (otherwise known as Sweetbob) is the creator of ‘America’s White Boy’ and contributor at Project Shanks. His writing has been featured on ESPN’s ‘SportsNation’, Sports Illustrated’s Hot Clicks, Guyspeed, and various other sites. You can follow him on Twitter at @Sweetbob