There were no surprises at the top of the list tonight, as the voters have elected Chipper Jones, Vladimir Guerrero, and Jim Thome to the Hall of Fame in their first year on the ballot. Each was among the best hitters in his era, and has long felt like a Hall of Famer.
The only questions were about the next few guys, and the only one who gets the call this time around is career saves leader Trevor Hoffman, rounding out the class.
— MLB (@MLB) January 24, 2018
Hoffman was a controversial candidate thanks to that very saves record. The “save” is not a great stat, and building a Hall case upon it is thin, so many more modern voters rebel against Hoffman. Look, I get all the arguments about Hoffman not being Hall-worthy when compared to very good starting pitchers who contributed “more” over “more” innings. But we can’t deny at this point that closing out the game is a slightly different animal than pitching in the other innings in a game – not ever pitcher is cut out for it. And if we accept that – that the closer role is its own thing – then I think we should enter into the Hall the guys who were the very best of the best in that group. Hoffman? In. Billy Wagner? In. Mariano Rivera? Duh.
Full Hall of Fame voting results. pic.twitter.com/gHegE7L0wU
— Bleacher Nation (@BleacherNation) January 24, 2018
Edgar Martinez gets closer and will have a serious shot next year. Ditto Mike Mussina, but it might take a couple more years (he’s deserving, in my view). From there, the biggest news involves the guys staying on the ballot, including Andruw Jones and Scott Rolen, which would have been a freaking travesty if they fell off. Sammy Sosa stays on, too, but his totals haven’t improved.
Kerry Wood and Carlos Zambrano did not get 5% of the vote, so they’re off the ballot. It’s fair, but it still gives me a moment of sadness. But Wood did get two votes! So it’s party time:
Kerry Wood on being on the HOF ballot: "If I get one vote, we’re having a blowout party. I’m going to call the guy who voted for me, whoever voted for me, and apologize. It they voted me they’re probably losing their credential.” From @_phil_thompson feature.
— Phil Rogers (@philgrogers) January 11, 2018