The 2014 Baseball Hall of Fame ballot, which was released Tuesday by the Baseball Writers' Association of America, includes former Orioles pitchers Mike Mussina, Armando Benitez and Mike Timlin among the 19 first-time candidates.
Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine and Frank Thomas headline the group of players who appear on the ballot for the first time, joining the 17 returning candidates from last year's class -- one that didn't produce any qualifying candidates for the first time since 1996.
In addition to those six players, the other newcomers this season are Moises Alou, Sean Casey, Ray Durham, Eric Gagne, Luis Gonzalez, Jacque Jones, Todd Jones, Jeff Kent, Paul Lo Duca, Hideo Nomo, Kenny Rogers, Richie Sexson and J.T. Snow.
Craig Biggio (68.2 percent), Jack Morris (67.7), Jeff Bagwell (59.6), Mike Piazza (57.8) and Tim Raines (52.2) were the leading vote-getters last year, but none received the 75 percent of the vote needed for induction.
The holdovers also include former Orioles first baseman Rafael Palmeiro, who received 8.8 percent of the vote last year and was the final eligible player to return this year (candidates must receive at least 5 percent to remain on the ballot). It is Palmeiro's fourth year on the ballot.
Former Orioles players Lee Smith (46.8), Curt Schilling (38.8), Sammy Sosa (12.5) and Raines also return to the ballot this year.
The results will be announced at 2 p.m. on Jan. 8 on the MLB Network and the websites of the Hall of Fame and the BBWAA.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun