Jones, Thome among 4 elected to Baseball Hall of Fame
Chipper Jones, Jim Thome, Vladimir Guerrero and Trevor Hoffman will be joining the Baseball Hall of Fame this summer.
The four were selected in voting results from the Baseball Writers’ Association of America announced Wednesday night. Jones received the most support with his name appearing on 97.2 percent of the ballots, followed by Guerrero with 92.9 percent, Thome with 89.8 percent and Hoffman with 79.9 percent.
Players must appear on 75 percent of the ballots cast to become Hall of Famers. They can stay on the ballot for up to 10 voting cycles and must receive at least 5 percent of the votes to remain on the ballot for the following year.
Jones and Thome were elected in their first year of eligibility while Guerrero was in his second year and Hoffman in his third.
Just missing the cut was former Seattle Mariner Edgar Martinez, who fell just 19 votes short of being elected at 70.4 percent. Next closest was former New York Yankees and Baltimore Orioles pitcher Mike Mussina at 63.5 percent.
Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds, both in their sixth year on the ballot, continued to have their candidacies overshadowed by allegations of steroid use, receiving 57.3 percent and 56.4 percent, respectively.
A career-long Atlanta Brave, Jones trails only Mike Schmidt and Eddie Mathews in career home runs hit by a third baseman with 468. An eight-time All-Star, he helped Atlanta to a World Series title in 1995, earned National League MVP honors in 1999 and was the MLB batting champion in 2008. He hit for a career .303 batting average to go along with 2,726 hits, 1,623 RBIs and 150 stolen bases.
Thome began his career with 12 years with the Cleveland Indians before bouncing around the league. A five-time All-Star, he led the National League with 47 home runs in his first season with the Phillies in 2003, a mark that was actually down from the 49 and 52 homers he hit his last two seasons with the Indians. His 612 career home runs ranks as eighth-most in MLB history.
Guerrero, a nine-time All-Star, started his career in 1996 with the Montreal Expos before leaving for the Angels in 2004. He helped the Angels to to the AL West championship in five of his six seasons there, including his first year in Anaheim when he was voted the AL MVP. For his career he hit for a .318 batting average with 2,590 hits, 449 home runs and 1,496 RBIs.
Hoffman pitched for the Florida Marlins, San Diego Padres and Milwaukee Brewers in a career spanning 1993 to 2010. His 601 career saves and 856 games finished are second only to Mariano Rivera’s MLB-record totals of 652 and 952. A seven-time All-Star, he finished in the top 10 of NL Cy Young Award voting four times and was the runner-up twice, when he led the National League in saves in 1998 and 2006. He posted a career ERA of 2.87 to go along with 1,133 strikeouts.
The four will join Veterans Committee honorees Jack Morris and Alan Trammell at this summer’s induction ceremony in Cooperstown, New York.
A total of 33 players appeared on this year’s ballot, including 19 players in their first year of eligibility. Besides Chipper Jones and Thome, some of the other notable newcomers included Johnny Damon, Andruw Jones, Jamie Moyer, Scott Rolen, Johan Santana and Omar Vizquel.
Santana, Moyer and Damon didn’t garner enough support to stay on the ballot going forward, joining 11 other newcomers in not reaching the 5-percent level.