Tuesday, January 6, 2015

RANDY JOHNSON, PEDRO MARTINEZ, JOHN SMOLTZ, AND CRAIG BIGGIO ELECTED TO MLB HALL OF FAME

By: Connor Glowacki

     Four new players were elected today into the National Baseball Hall of Fame. Pitchers Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez, John Smoltz and infielder Craig Biggio were all elected. The Baseball Writer's Association of America has not given four separate players the necessary 75 percent threshold in a single year since 1955 when Joe Dimaggio, Gabby Hartnett, Ted Lyons, and Dazzy Vance were elected.

     Johnson, Martinez and Smoltz were all elected during their first year on the ballot and easily passed the minimum 75 percent threshold. Johnson was the most widely elected player by the Baseball Writer's Association of America with 97.3 pecent voting for his election.
     Martinez finished second with 91.1 percent and Smoltz with 82.9 percent. Biggio, who was just two votes short of being elected in 2013 finished this year with 82.2 percent of writers voting for his election.

Pitcher Randy Johnson
Photo Courtesy of sikids.com.
     Johnson is one of the last pitchers in the modern era to win over 300 games. He pitched for the New York Yankees, San Francisco Giants, Houston Astros, Seattle Mariners and Arizona Diamondbacks throughout his 22 year career.
     Johnson's career record stands at 303 wins to 166 losses, a career earned run average of 3.29 and 4,875 strikeouts and was also a five time Cy Young award winner.

Pitcher Pedro Martinez
Photo Courtesy of philly.com.
     Martinez led the Boston Red Sox to a World Series title back in 2004 and pitched for the Red Sox, Philadelphia Phllies, New York Mets, and Los Angeles Dodgers throughout his 18 year career.
     His career record stands at 219 wins to just 100 losses, a 2.93 career earned run average and 3,154 career strikeouts. Martinez is also a three time Cy Young Award winner.

Pitcher John Smoltz
Photo Courtesy of republicreport.org.
     Smoltz spent 19 years of his 21 year career with the Atlanta Braves and now joins his former teammates Tom Glavine and Greg Maddux into the National Baseball Hall of Fame. Smoltz finished with a career record of 213 wins to 155 losses and 3,084 strikeouts.
     Smoltz was also a relief pitcher during his career and is the only pitcher to ever win 200 games and save 150 games. He finished with 154 career saves and also won the Cy Young award in 1996.

     Biggio pulled off a rare feat in professional sports by spending the entirety of his 20 year career with the Houston Astros. Biggio's career stats include 3,060 hits, 291 home runs, 1,175 RBIs, and a bating average of .281.

Infielder Craig Biggio.
Photo Courtesy of bizjournals.com.
     Some of the notable players to miss the cut for being elected include catcher Mike Piazza, outfielders Tim Raines and Jeff Bagwell, pitchers Curt Schilling and Roger Clemens, and sluggers Barry Bonds, Sammy Sosa, and Mark McGwire.

     The quartet of Johnson, Martinez, Smoltz, and Biggio will be inducted into Cooperstown on July 26.

     Below is a partial list of players on the ballot, the percentage of votes they received and the number of years that each have been on the ballot:

1.) Randy Johnson, 97.3%,1st Year
2.) Pedro Martinez, 91.1%, 1st Year
3.) John Smoltz, 82.9%, 1st Year
4.) Craig Biggio, 82.7%, 2nd Year
5.) Mike Piazza, 69.9%, 3rd Year
6.) Jeff Bagwell, 55.7%, 5th Year
7.) Tim Raines, 55%, 8th Year
8.) Roger Clemens, 37.8%, 3rd Year
9.) Barry Bonds, 36.5%, 3rd Year
10.) Edgar Martinez, 27%, 6th Year

     Numbers are not yet available for Curt Schilling, Sammy Sosa, Mike Mussina, and Mark McGwire, among others.

What do you think of the new selections into the Baseball Hall of Fame? What do you think about the players that were snubbed this year? Leave a comment below or tweet me your comment on Twitter @ConnorGlowacki.


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