This summer’s induction ceremony at the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown will be quite a long one, as this year’s class will be one of the largest since the initial induction in 1936. In that year the Baseball Writers Association of America elected legends who defined the game in the early part of the 20th century: Ty Cobb, Honus Wagner, Babe Ruth, Christy Mathewson and Walter Johnson.
Wednesday, the BBWAA elected Chipper Jones, Jim Thome, Vladimir Guerrero and Trevor Hoffman to join the baseball immortals in the Hall.
422 ballots were submitted, 317 were needed to be inducted. Jones got 97.1 percent of the vote (named on 410 of the 422 ballots), Guerrero 92.9 percent, Thome 89.8 percent and Hoffman 79.9 percent. Just missing induction were Edgar Martinez with 70.4 percent and Mike Mussina with 63.5 percent.
Here are the votes for former Cubs. Sammy Sosa got 33 votes (7.8 percent). That’s down slightly from 8.6 percent last year. Kerry Wood got two votes and Carlos Zambrano received none.
In addition to the 2018 class being one of the largest since 1936, the 13 men inducted over the last four seasons by the BBWAA is tied for the most in any four-year span in history.
I am a member of the Internet Baseball Writers Association of America, which conducted its own Hall voting over the same time frame as the BBWAA.
Chipper Jones was the top vote-getter in IBWAA balloting, with 168 out of 170 ballots cast (98.82%). Jim Thome was the runner-up, with 154 votes (90.59%), followed by Mike Mussina (146 votes, 85.88%), Roger Clemens (133, 78.24%), Barry Bonds (130, 76.47%) and Trevor Hoffman (128, 75.29%). A 75% threshold is required for election.
Edgar Martinez (2016) and Vladimir Guerrero (2017) did not appear on the 2018 IBWAA Hall of Fame ballot because they have already been elected in previous years.
Based on the vote that Clemens and Bonds received from IBWAA voters, I’d think those two will be elected by BBWAA voters within the next year or two. Roger Clemens got 57.3 percent and Barry Bonds 56.4 percent from the BBWAA in this round of voting.
My IBWAA ballot comprise the following players, in alphabetical order, as noted in this article I posted last December: Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Trevor Hoffman, Chipper Jones, Jamie Moyer, Mike Mussina, Manny Ramirez, Curt Schilling, Sammy Sosa and Jim Thome.
In addition to the four men elected today, Alan Trammell and Jack Morris will be inducted this summer after their election last month by the Veterans Committee.
The Hall of Fame induction ceremony in Cooperstown will take place Sunday, July 29 at 12:30 p.m. CT and be televised live on MLB Network.