There is nothing like the voting for the Baseball Hall of Fame. There is intrigue around who has the right to vote, the standards which should be used to evaluate a player’s eligibility as well as their career, and then there is the reliving all of these great careers as we discuss the players’ merits. Make no mistake, while not all of the guys we talk about are Hall of Famers...playing long enough to warrant inclusion is no small task.
However, with the limit of ten votes per voter, the 75% threshold for induction, and the 5% threshold for even staying on the ballot, tough choices had to be made and the voters have cast their ballots. Here is the Class of 2017 for the Baseball Hall of Fame.
The 2017 @baseballhall class will include Jeff Bagwell, Ivan Rodriguez, Tim Raines, John Schuerholz and Bud Selig. Congrats gentleman.— Ben Ingram (@IngramRadio) January 18, 2017
There are going to be countless words written about each of these guys so I will not dwell. Raines was on his last year of eligibility before he fell off the ballot and had prominent supporters in sports journalism and on social media for the past several years for his candidacy. He was one of the best leadoff men to play the game, but his candidacy suffered partially because he played the game the same time Rickey Henderson did which is not a fair comparison. Voter tracking had his numbers way up this year and he made it in finally with 86% of the vote.
Jeff Bagwell had the Hall of Fame credentials, but speculation about whether or not he was a user of PEDs despite no real reports that he did anything wrong. Right or wrong, he was colored by the era he played in. He just missed out last year and voter tracking had him trending up this year before being the vote getter this year.
Ivan “Pudge” Rodriguez was on the ballot for the first time and under normal circumstances would have been a mortal lock as a first ballot HoFer. He was among the best all-time at catching opposing basestealers and ranked among the best offensive catchers of all-time. However, accusations that he used PEDs followed him from his time as a Texas Ranger including being named by Jose Canseco in his book (what legitimacy that has remains to be seen to put it lightly). Despite the questions, he made it in with 76% of the vote.
Vlad Guerrero and Trevor Hoffman both eclipsed 70% in the voting, but fell just short of the Hall.
As for former Braves, Fred McGriff (21.7%) and Billy Wagner (10.2%) both failed to make it in, although both achieved percentages high enough to keep them on the ballot in the future.