On Wednesday it was announced that four former Major League Baseball players were elected to Baseball’s Hall of Fame. The four are Chipper Jones, Trevor Hoffman, Jim Thome, and Vladimir Guerrero.
Both Jones and Thome enter the Hall in just their first year being eligible. This is the fourth time four players were elected the same year by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America. The other years that happened were 1947, 1955 and 2015.
Chipper Jones received 97.2% of the vote being selected on 410 of the 422 ballots.
The four join two inductees, Alan Trammell and Jack Morris, from the veterans committee with the six entering Cooperstown on July 29.
To be elected to the Hall of Fame 75% of the vote is needed or a total of 317 votes. Edgar Martinez, who is known for being a designated hitter most of his career, fell just 20 votes shy of being elected.
Clemens and Bonds Come Up Short
Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds, both tainted due to the steroids scandal inched closer with 57.3% and 56.4% of the vote respectively, but are still far short of being elected. Former pitcher Mike Mussina was on 63.75% of the ballots. He was sixth overall in the voting behind the four inducted and Martinez.
Jones was an eight-time All-Star and played 19 seasons with the Atlanta Braves. His 468 homers rank him third all time for a switch hitter. The former third baseman finished his career with a batting average of .303.
Jones is the only switch-hitter that has 1,000 or more at bats and at least a batting average of .300, on-base percentage of .400 and a slugging percentage of .500. Jones was one of the top players on a Braves team that won 14 consecutive division titles. He joins former teammates John Smoltz, Greg Maddux, and Tom Glavine, John Schuerholz, the Braves former general manager and manager Bobby Cox in the Hall.
Out of the four newly elected members of the Hall, Jones was the only one who won the Word Series.
Thome finished his career with 612 home runs ranking him eighth all time. He played 22 seasons for the Cleveland Indians, Philadelphia Phillies, Chicago White Sox, Minnesota Twins, Los Angeles Dodgers and Baltimore Orioles. He hit 13 walk-off homers which are the most all time.
Thome was informed by longtime hitting coach Charlie Manuel of his election to the Hall and became very emotional. Manuel said Thome was like a son and totally deserved to be elected to the Hall. He said Thome worked hard his entire career to become the player he was.
Thome will be remembered for the routine he went through following almost every pitch which included pointing his bat at the opposing pitcher.
Hoffman became the sixth reliever elected to the Hall. He finished his career with 601 saves. His total saves ranked second to former Yankees reliever Mariano Rivera and his nine seasons with 40 saves or more are tied for most all time with Rivera. In 18 seasons, Hoffman played for the Miami Marlins, San Diego Padres and Milwaukee Brewers.
Hoffman ended his career with 1,133 strikeouts. Hoffman’s changeup was considered one of the best in baseball when he was in his prime.
Guerrero received 92.9% of the vote in his second year of eligibility. During his 16 seasons, Guerrero played for the Montreal Expos, Los Angeles Angels, Texas Rangers and Baltimore Orioles finishing his career with a .318 batting average and a slugging percentage of .553. He becomes the first position player to make the Hall from the Dominican Republic.
Guerrero grew up in extreme poverty in the town of Don Gregorio. He was congratulated on Twitter by the President of the Dominican Republic Danilo Medina, who is in Switzerland.
The talented outfielder was known for hitting bad pitches, but that did not stop him from accumulating 449 homers and 1,496 RBIs. His .318 career batting average is the game’s sixth highest for players with 400 home runs or more.
Do you agree with the four players elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame? Will Bonds or Clemens ever be elected?