I’m sure by now you’ve heard who’s in the Class of 2014 that will be inducted into Cooperstown later this year. If not, those players are pitchers Greg Maddox and Tom Glavine as well as The Big Hurt: Frank Thomas. Out of 571 voters, Maddox was on 97.2% (8th highest percentage all time) of ballots, Glavine was on 91.9%, and Thomas was 83.7%. Each member of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America can vote for up to 10 players, one ballot was left empty. Craig Biggio missed the the 75% minimum by .2%, or about two votes. There has been controversy about the fact that some writers left Maddox and Glavine off their ballots. Some writers claiming to leave any and all players that played during the Steroid Era off their ballots and others that believe that no player should get into the Hall on their first time on the ballot, which all three players were.
My opinion? Like most, I believe those are stupid reasons. If a player deserves to get in the hall, vote for him. Unless you’re going to vote for ten other guys whom you truly believe deserve to be enshrined in Cooperstown, you have no reason to leave him off your ballot. I not saying there should be ten guys getting in every year, that’d be crazy. But if you have an empty slot on your ballot, you’re going to reeeeeeeally have to justify your reasons. I know that no one’s ever been unanimously voted in and all. If you want to think of it that way, I guess you have a point. But a dumb point. Yes, it’s tough to compare players from different eras and to say Maddox should be unanimous while Nolan Ryan and Tom Seaver only got a little less than 99% doesn’t seem entirely right when you first hear it. But remember, they aren’t voting for Maddox or the guys already in. It’s Maddox or guys like J.T. Snow, who was on two ballots. WHAT!? I think at best, J.T. Snow was rated in the 70s in EA Sports’ MVP Baseball. You’re going to vote THAT guy in but not the 90s’ #1 pitcher in wins?
Thank you G.O.B. Nonetheless, I’m glad these guys got in. And Craig Biggio will get in eventually. I say “eventually” because here are two of the bigger names eligible for vote next year: Randy Johnson and John Smoltz among others. Oh boy, 2015’s vote is going to exciting. I’m saying Johnson and Smoltz are your BBWAA Class of 2015. Disagree? Leave a comment below.