The Baseball Writers' Association of America has elected Ivan Rodriguez, Jeff Bagwell and Tim Raines into the 2017 Class of the Hall of Fame. Former Oriole, Yankee Mike Mussina didn't receive enough votes. (Kevin Richardson/Baltimore Sun video)
It seems likely that at least one former Orioles player will be elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame when the voting results are announced Wednesday.
Outfielder Tim Raines, who is on the ballot for the 10th and final year, was on 89.5 percent of the ballots collected on BBHOFTracker.com. The site has gathered the known ballots, accounting for 54.7 percent of all voters, and tabulated the results. Raines would still need to be named on 57.9 percent of the remaining ballots.
Claiming Raines might be a stretch. He only played four games for the Orioles, traded to Baltimore in part so he could play with his son, Tim Raines Jr., at the end of the 2001 season.
Raines had his best years with the Montreal Expos, with whom he was a seven-time All-Star, a four-time National League stolen-base champion and the 1986 NL batting champion. He also played with the Chicago White Sox, Oakland Athletics, New York Yankees and Miami Marlins. At age 42, he spent the last five games of the 2001 season with the Orioles, playing in four of those games and going 3-for-11 with one homer and five RBIs.
According to BBHOFTracker.com, Raines, first baseman Jeff Bagwell and catcher Ivan Rodriguez currently have more than the 75 percent needed for election. Again, that's with just more than half of the votes known, but it gives you an idea of who is close.
Outfielder Vladimir Guerrero, who spent the final season of an illustrious 16-year career with the Orioles in 2011, is also close, receiving 71.4 percent of the known votes in his first season on the ballot. Guerrero hit 30 doubles and 13 homers with 63 RBIs as the Orioles' full-time designated hitter in his final season.
Closer Trevor Hoffman, who is on the ballot for the second year, has received 72.7 percent of known votes, and designated hitter Edgar Martinez has received 65.5 percent.
Both Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds, whose candidacies have been tainted by being tied to performance-enhancing drugs, have received major spikes from last season. Bonds had received 63.4 percent so far compared to 44.3 percent last season, and Clemens is currently up to 62.6 percent from 45.2 last year.
Former Orioles ace Mike Mussina, who is in his fourth year on the ballot, will likely fall short of election this year. He has received 58.8 percent, up from 43 percent from last year, but he would need to be on 94.9 percent of the remaining ballots to be elected.
Mussina is third on the Orioles' all-time wins list (147), trailing only Jim Palmer (268) and Dave McNally (181). He trails only Palmer on the team's all-time strikeouts list with 1,535. After parts of 10 seasons with Baltimore, Mussina signed with the Yankees and spent his final eight years in New York, with his only 20-win season coming in his last year in 2008. Mussina won 19 games twice and 18 games two other times while posting a 3.53 ERA with the Orioles. He averaged 16 wins, 31 starts and 214 innings in his nine full seasons in Baltimore.
Right-hander Curt Schilling, whose major league career began with the Orioles, has received 50.8 percent of known votes, down from 52.3 percent last year after he made a number of controversial statements. He can't be elected this year.
Schilling put together a successful career with the Houston Astros, Philadelphia Phillies, Arizona Diamondbacks and Boston Red Sox, finishing a six-time All-Star, three-time 20-game winner, three-time World Series champion and three-time Cy Young Award runner-up. Before that, Schilling was mostly a reliever in his three years with the Orioles from 1988 to 1990, posting a 4.54 ERA before he was shipped to the Astros as part of the lopsided Glenn Davis trade in 1991. The Orioles acquired Schilling from the Red Sox with outfielder Brady Anderson before the 1988 trade deadline for starting pitcher Mike Boddicker.
This will also be the final year on the writers' ballot for reliever Lee Smith, who was grandfathered in to receive 15 years on the ballot. In his final year, he has received 30.3 percent of known votes. Smith led the majors with 33 saves as the Orioles closer in 1994.
Former Oriole Sammy Sosa currently has 9.2 percent of the vote, up from 7 percent last year, and enough to likely remain on the ballot. Players who receive less than 5 percent of the vote are removed.
Baltimore native John Schuerholz was voted for induction into the Hall of Fame this year by the Today's Game Era Committee along for former commissioner Bud Selig. Schuerholz was the general manager of World Series-winning teams with the Kansas City Royals and Atlanta Braves, making the Braves into one of the most successful franchises of the 1990s and 2000s.
Players are elected to the Hall of Fame by a vote of eligible Baseball Writers' Association of America members with at least 10 years of consecutive membership.
The Baltimore Sun's policy prohibits its staffers from voting for any awards, including the Hall of Fame, because of potential conflicts of interest.
NOTES: Individual tickets for all 17 of the Orioles' spring training games at Ed Smith Stadium will go on sale Saturdayat 10 a.m. It is recommended that fans purchase tickets online (www.orioles.com/spring). Fans interested in season tickets, five-game flex-plans, or group tickets, or those wishing to receive additional spring training ticket information may call the Orioles spring training office at 941-893-6300. ... In October, the website Stadium Journey ranked Camden Yards the best ballpark experience in the major leagues. This week, the same site named it the No. 1 stadium experience in all of sports. The site's staff reviewed 761 stadium experiences in 2016 and chose the Orioles' home park as the best.
Here's what the site had to say about Camden Yards:
The current Oriole Park at Camden Yards, opened in 1992, is a trendsetter in Major League Baseball. Prior to its opening, the landscape of professional baseball was littered with boring, multipurpose bowl stadiums. Now nearly every team in the league has a great baseball stadium. Out are lackluster parks and in are fan friendly stadiums designed for the optimum fan experience. If Baltimore had built a standard, boring facility, baseball may not look and feel the way it does now.