Any hall of fame is about dominance, but especially the National Baseball Hall of Fame.
Look at the four players who were elected Wednesday, and that much is obvious.
Chipper Jones spent his entire 19-year career with the Atlanta Braves, and the former No. 1 pick became one of the game’s best switch-hitters of all-time.
Vladimir Guerrero has been retired for six years, and still hasn’t seen a pitch he doesn’t think he can hit — and he’s probably right. Arguably the best bad-ball hitter in baseball history, the 2004 A.L. MVP had a rifle arm, and a lethal bat that scared pitchers and baserunners alike.
Speaking of fear, was there any more intimidating sight than Jim Thome standing at the plate? The Bunyan-esque slugger crushed 612 home runs, did it clean, and always had a smile on his face.
We all know that Mariano Rivera is getting into the hall next January, but the first man to record 500 saves … and 600 saves, is going to Cooperstown this summer, as Trevor Hoffman gets in on his third attempt.
The four legends continue the trend of the BBWA writers opening the doors of the hall a little wider.
Consider that over the past five years, 17 players have been voted into Cooperstown.
In the four prior years, there were a total of four inductees — including a shutout in 2013, when nobody received enough votes.
Jones was considered a no-brainer, and receiving 97.2 percent of votes is the ninth-highest total in hall history. His former teammate, Freddie Freeman caught the moment Jones learned of his selection on video.
— Freddie Freeman (@FreddieFreeman5) January 24, 2018
Guerrero cruised in his second year of eligibility. Vlad scored 92.9 percent of votes, and the man of few words was understated but grateful in his reaction.
Vladimir Guerrero getting the call into the #MLBHOF
— Around The Bases POD (@AroundBasesPOD) January 24, 2018
Thome made it in easily in his first year with 89.8 percent. Even though his election was expected, the moment still seemed to get the best of perhaps the nicest guy in the game.
The moment Jim Thome got the call: pic.twitter.com/oPzwn9XS43
— Chicago White Sox (@whitesox) January 25, 2018
Hoffman was just four votes shy last year, which made today’s call all the sweeter.
— San Diego Padres (@Padres) January 24, 2018
In his second-to-last season on the ballot, Edgar Martinez was closest to the required 75 percent needed for election with 70 percent.
Three controversial players with Hall of Fame credentials fell short again of the votes needed for election. Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds, both of whom were suspected of — and strongly denied — using steroids, finished with 57 and 56 percent, respectively. Those represent only slight increases from their vote totals of a year ago.
Pitcher Curt Schilling, whose political statements cost him his job as an analyst with ESPN, received 51 percent of the vote, up from 45 percent a year ago.
Next year’s ballot will be headlined by Mariano Rivera and the late Roy Halladay. Martinez should have a strong push.
The Hall of Famers will be officially inducted in Cooperstown, New York on July 28.
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