The Baseball Hall of Fame will be adding two new members this summer, as Ken Griffey Jr and Mike Piazza were elected to the Hall on Tuesday. Griffey was voted in on his first year of eligibility, while Piazza earned induction on year number four.
Griffey received votes on 437 of 440 ballots, earning a record 99.3% of the vote. Over his 22-year career with the Mariners, Reds, and White Sox, Griffey hit .284/.370/.538 with 630 home runs. Griffey made 13 All-Star teams over his career and won 10 Gold Gloves, also claiming the 1997 AL MVP award and seven Silver Slugger awards.
Piazza received votes on 365 of 440 ballots, earning 83.0% of the vote. Over his 16-year career with the Mets, Dodgers, A’s, Padres, and (ever so briefly) Marlins, Piazza hit .308/.377/.545 with 427 home runs. He was a 12-time All-Star, ten-time Silver Slugger winner, and the 1993 NL Rookie of the Year.
Jeff Bagwell and Tim Raines both turned in strong vote totals, with Bagwell earning 71.6% of the vote and Raines earning 69.8% of the vote in their sixth and ninth year on the ballot, respectively. Both are set up well for election next season, as is first-time candidate Trevor Hoffman, who earned 67.3% of the vote.
Curt Schilling crossed the 50% mark for the first time, receiving 52.3% of the vote in his fourth year on the ballot. Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds both crept above 40%, with Clemens earning 45.2% and Bonds earning 44.3%. Edgar Martinez also saw his percentage climb to 43.4% in year seven, while Mike Mussina’s total climbed nearly 20% to 43.0%.
Lee Smith remained stagnant, sitting at 34.1% in his 14th year on the ballot, while Fred McGriff climbed to 20.9%, Jeff Kent moved up to 16.6%, and Larry Walker rose to 15.5%. The bottom segment of the players returning on the ballot was rounded out by Gary Sheffield at 11.6% and Sammy Sosa at 7.0%. Billy Wagner also lives to fight another day in his first year on the ballot with 10.5%.
In his 15th and final year on the ballot, Alan Trammell received 40.9% of the vote, while Mark McGwire received 12.3% of the vote in his tenth and final year on the ballot. Other players falling off the ballot include holdover Nomar Garciaparra and first-time candidates Garret Anderson, Brad Ausmus, Luis Castillo, David Eckstein, Jim Edmonds, Troy Glaus, Mark Grudzielanek, Mike Hampton, Jason Kendall, Mike Lowell, Mike Sweeney, and Randy Winn.
Next year, the notable first-time candidates are Vladimir Guerrero, Manny Ramirez, and Ivan Rodriguez. It’ll also be the 15th and final year on the ballot for Lee Smith, and the tenth and final year on the ballot for Tim Raines.