One of the hallmarks of the baseball offseason would be the annual arguing over the Hall of Fame balloting. This season's version can now begin in earnest, because the BBWAA has released its Hall of Fame ballot.
BBWAA members who have served for 10 or more years and been selected to vote must hand in their ballots with a postmark no later than Dec. 31. They can vote for up to 10 players. Players receiving at least 75 percent of the vote will be inducted into the Hall of Fame next summer. The results will be revealed on MLB Network Jan. 24, 2018 on a show that begins at 6 p.m. ET.
Last year, Jeff Bagwell, Tim Raines and Ivan Rodriguez were enshrined. Expect them to be joined by at least three more players this time around.
Newcomer Chipper Jones is a cinch to be elected in first try. Jim Thome and his 600-plus home runs have a shot at getting in as well. Holdovers Trevor Hoffman and Vladimir Guerrero each received over 70 percent of the vote last year, so they also are likely to push over the 75 percent threshold this year.
Here's a look at the full ballot, including last year's vote percentage for those who aren't first-timers.
|Player||Year on ballot||Last vote %|
It's going to be interesting to see how much, if any, gain Edgar Martinez makes in his second-to-last effort to get in. Also, keep an eye on Bonds and Clemens. They are pretty much tied to each other for many reasons and made significant gains last year.
Among the first-timers, arguments about Rolen and Vizquel seem like they could get heated. I'll be interested to see if Johan gets any run as well.
In terms of getting in this time, though, Chipper, Hoffman and Vlad should make it while Thome probably has a shot.
The 2-4 man class here would join anyone from the. We'll know that result during the Winter Meetings next month while having to wait here until late January.