It’s official: Ken Griffey Jr. and Mike Piazza were voted into Baseball’s Hall of Fame today. Griffey got in with 99.3% of the vote (who in the world voted against him?), while Piazza got 83%.
Hall candidates need at least 75% of the votes to get elected.
Just missing were Jeff Bagwell (71.3%) was just 15 votes short, and Tim Raines (69.8%) was 23 votes short. Both should have gotten in, but their totals this year put them in very strong position to get elected in 2017. Curt Schilling, who is in his fourth year of eligibility and should get in, got 52.3%.
To the pleasant surprise of Padre fans, longtime closer Trevor Hoffman was named on 67.3% of ballots in his first year of eligibility.
He will, however, face stiff competition since Ivan “Pudge” Rodriguez, Vladimir Guerrero, Manny Ramirez, and Jorge Posada will all be appearing on the ballot next year for the first time.
Much to my disappointment, former Padre Fred McGriff was only on 20.9% of ballots (I made my case for him being in the Hall here).
Piazza the Padre
Padre fans will recall that Piazza played for San Diego in 2006. Though he was toward the end of his career, he nonetheless had a solid season: in 126 games and 399 at-bats, he smashed 22 home runs with 68 RBI, to go with a .283/.342/.501 triple-slash, an .843 OPS, and 2.9 WAR.
Not bad considering he was a 37-year-old catcher who had missed lots of playing time in his previous seasons with the New York Mets.
Piazza was in his fourth year of eligibility. Even though he is one of the greatest hitting catchers in baseball history, he probably did not get in until now because it was believed by some that he used PEDs. However, he was not named in the Mitchell Report, and there has never been any actual evidence that he took them.
That being the case, his election is well deserved. Congratulations, Mike!
And Ken. With 630 career home runs for the former Mariner and Red, there never was any doubt.