After electing only three players to the Hall of Fame over the last three years, the BBWAA announced the induction of three new members on Wednesday afternoon: Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine and Frank Thomas. Two 300 game winners and a 500 home run hitter. Pretty excellent group.
A total of 36 players were eligible for the Hall of Fame this year. They must appear on at least 75 percent of the 571 ballots for induction. Maddux, predictably, led the voting this year by appearing on 97.2 percent of the ballots cast. That is the seventh highest percentage in history, behind Tom Seaver (98.84 percent), Nolan Ryan (98.79 percent), Cal Ripken Jr. (98.53 percent), Ty Cobb (98.23 percent), George Brett (98.19 percent), Hank Aaron (97.83 percent) and Tony Gwynn (97.61 percent).
Glavine appeared on the second most ballots at 91.9 percent, a healthy rate in the grand scheme of things. That's the 24th highest voting percentage in history. Maddux and Glavine are the first starting pitchers who began their careers after 1970 to be elected into the Hall of Fame. The duo spent a decade as teammates with the Braves from 1993-2002.
Thomas (83.7 percent) appeared on a more modest number of ballots, but still enough for induction. Craig Biggio fell just short (as in two votes) of induction at 74.8 percent. This is the first time three players have been elected to the Hall of Fame in a single year since Nolan Ryan, George Brett and Robin Yount went in together in 1999.
In their second years on the ballot, Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens received 34.7 percent and 35.4 percent of the vote, respectively. They actually received less support this year than last. Performance-enhancing drug allegations have certainly hurt their cases for induction into Cooperstown and it doesn't appear they will be getting in anytime soon.
In his 15th and final year of eligibility, Jack Morris appeared on 61.5 percent of the ballots. He will be eligible for election through the Expansion Era Committee in three years.
The Expansion Era Committee unanimously elected former managers Bobby Cox, Tony La Russa and Joe Torre into the Hall of Fame last month. They'll be on the stage with Maddux, Glavine and Thomas in Cooperstown during Hall of Fame weekend this summer, which runs from July 25-28.
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