Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine, a pair of 300-game winners renowned for a decade of excellence atop the Atlanta Braves’ starting rotation, and Chicago White Sox slugger Frank Thomas were elected to the Hall of Fame on Wednesday by the Baseball Writers Assn. of America.
Maddux got 97.2% of the vote, the eighth-highest total in history. Glavine got 91.9% and Thomas 83.7%.
Craig Biggio missed election by two votes, as he was named on 427 of 571 ballots. The 75% threshold for election required 429 votes.
The BBWAA elected three players for the first time since 1999. With managers Bobby Cox, Tony La Russa and Joe Torre previously elected by a Hall of Fame committee, the Cooperstown Class of 2014 will feature a record-tying six living inductees. The ceremony is set for July 27.
There were no living inductees last year. In an election widely considered a referendum on the steroid era, the BBWAA elected no one, including Barry Bonds, winner of a unprecedented seven most valuable player awards, and Roger Clemens, winner of an unprecedented seven Cy Young awards.
Clemens got 37.6% of the vote last year, Bonds 36.2%. Their numbers this year fell to 35.4% for Clemens and 34.7% for Bonds.
Jack Morris, in his 15th and final year on the ballot, got 61.5% of the vote. He is eligible for consideration by a veterans’ committee in three years.
Maddux won 355 games — the most of any pitcher to appear in the major leagues since 1965 — and started 740 games, more than any pitcher except Cy Young, Nolan Ryan and Don Sutton. Maddux also won four consecutive Cy Young awards, from 1992 to 1995, and finished among the top five in Cy Young voting nine times.
Glavine won 305 games and two Cy Young awards, with six finishes among the top five. The Los Angeles Kings selected Glavine in the fourth round of the 1984 NHL draft — five rounds ahead of future hockey Hall of Famer Luc Robitaille – but Glavine opted for baseball over hockey.
Of the 24 pitchers to win 300 games, all but two have been elected – Randy Johnson, who becomes eligible next year, and Clemens.
Although Maddux and Glavine each played with clubs besides the Braves — Maddux ended his career with the Dodgers in 2008 — Hall of Fame officials said they were the first “primary teammates” to be elected together since Whitey Ford and Mickey Mantle of the New York Yankees in 1974.
Thomas is one of eight players with 500 home runs and a career .300 batting average. He hit 521 home runs, tied with Hall-of-Famers Willie McCovey and Ted Williams for 18th on the all-time list. Of the top 17, six have been linked to steroid use – Bonds, Alex Rodriguez, Mark McGwire, Rafael Palmeiro, Manny Ramirez and Sammy Sosa.
McGwire got 11% of the vote, his lowest total in eight years on the ballot. He never has gotten more than 23.7% of the vote.
Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun