The Baseball Hall of Fame has elected its 2017 class. Three former players Ivan Rodriguez, Tim Raines and Jeff Bagwell made the cut, while two others came up just short.
Trevor Hoffman and Vladimir Guerrero were just a handful of votes away from qualifying for the Hall of Fame and will have to wait another season.
The threshold for entering the Baseball Hall of Fame is to appear on at least 75% of the ballots cast by the members of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America.
Bagwell led the way as he was on 86.2% of the ballots, while Raines was a close second at 86% and “Pudge” Rodriguez came in with 76%. Rodriguez was elected with just four votes to spare.
Hoffman was just five votes away from being elected while Guerrero was short by just 15.
Two big names that were part of the performance enhancing drugs’ and steroids era saw their percentages increase this year. Roger Clemens appeared on 54.1% of the ballots, while Barry Bonds appeared on 53.8%. Both were 9% to 10% higher this season than last.
The increases are a good sign for both players, as trajectories upward in voting each year tend to eventually land a player in the Hall.
It appears that the makeup of the BWAA has changed and that some of the new, younger voters have different opinions on the players that were involved or accused of being involved with PEDs or steroids.
Also falling short of entering the Hall was Edgar Martinez who received 58.6% of the vote. Mike Mussina was after Clemens and Bonds at 51.8%, while Curt Schilling received 45%, Lee Smith 34.1% and Manny Ramirez just 23.8%.
This year was just the seventh time in the past 62 years that the Hall is welcoming at least three new members. However, of those six previous times to this year, three have come in the last four years.
In 2015, the Hall of Fame welcomed Craig Biggio, John Smoltz, Pedro Martinez and Randy Johnson. In 2014, Frank Thomas, Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine were enshrined.
Jose Canseco a former slugger fired off tweets following the vote calling it a travesty that players like Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa, Rafael Palmeiro and Clemens were not in the Hall of Fame.
The induction ceremonies will be held on July 30 and will be inducted with Bud Selig the former commissioner and John Schuerholz the former executive with the Kansas City Royals and Atlanta Braves whom the veterans committee elected in December.