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Five former Orioles are on 2015 Baseball Hall of Fame ballot

Former Orioles ace Mike Mussina is on the Hall of Fame ballot for the second year.
Former Orioles ace Mike Mussina is on the Hall of Fame ballot for the second year. (David Hobby,)

The 2015 Baseball Hall of Fame ballot was announced Monday, and five of the 34 candidates are former Orioles who were holdovers from last year.

The ballot includes 17 newcomers, headlined by likely first-ballot entrants Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez and John Smoltz, a trio that combined to win nine Cy Young Awards.

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Other notable first-time candidates are Gary Sheffield, Carlos Delgado, Nomar Garciaparra and Troy Percival.

Former Orioles Mike Mussina, Curt Schilling, Sammy Sosa, Tim Raines and Lee Smith are on the ballot again this year.

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Former Orioles first baseman Rafael Palmeiro fell off the ballot after he did not receive the mandatory five percent of the vote required to remain. Palmeiro received 4.4 percent of the vote last year.

Voting is conducted by eligible members of the Baseball Writers' Association of America, and the results will be announced Jan. 6.

Other first-time candidates this year are Rich Aurilia, Aaron Boone, Tony Clark, Jermaine Dye, Darin Erstad, Cliff Floyd, Brian Giles, Tom Gordon, Eddie Guardado and Jason Schmidt.

Last year, three first-ballot candidates were voted in when Tom Glavine, Greg Maddux and Frank Thomas all received the 75 percent needed to earn selected. That marked just the third time in 70 BBWAA elections that three first-ballot entrants were elected in one year.

It could happen again this year with Johnson, Martinez and Smoltz.

Johnson is a five-time Cy Young Award winner, including four straight NL awards from 1999 to 2002. During that span he averaged 20 wins and 354 strikeouts while pitching for the Arizona Diamondbacks. With a career record of 303-166, he is one of 24 pitchers to win 300 games.

Martinez is a three-time Cy Young winner and earned back-to-back AL awards in 1999 and 2000 with the Red Sox. He was also a member of Boston's 2004 World Series title team and compiled 219 career wins. He finished in the top four of Cy Young voting seven times.

Smoltz, who spent 20 seasons in his 21-year career with the Braves, won the 1996 NL Cy Young Award as a starter and later transitioned to becoming one of the games top closers before a return to the starting rotation. He is the only pitcher in major league history to record 200 wins and 150 saves.

Among former Orioles, Raines fared the best in last year's voting, receiving 46.1 percent of the vote in his seventh year on the ballot. Smith received 29.9 percent of the vote in his 12th season on the ballot and Schilling was just behind him with 29.2 percent.

Mussina received 20.3 percent of the vote in his first year on the ballot.

In his second year on the ballot, Sosa garnered just 7.2 percent of the vote, so he is in danger of falling off this season.

eencina@baltsun.com
twitter.com/EddieInTheYard

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