Baseball Writers’ Association of America 2016 Hall of Fame Ballot Announced
A former American League Most Valuable Player Award winner, a pitcher for whom the National League’s annual outstanding reliever award is named and three recipients of the World Series MVP Award are among 15 new candidates on the 2016 Hall of Fame ballot that is being mailed this week to approximately 475 voting members of the BBWAA.
Outfielder Ken Griffey Jr.; right-hander Trevor Hoffman and infielders David Eckstein, Troy Glaus and Mike Lowell join 17 holdovers from the 2015 balloting in which pitchers Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez and John Smoltz and catcher-infielder-outfielder Craig Biggio were elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y., the first time in 60 years that as many as four players on the BBWAA ballot were elected in the same year.
Candidates must be named on 75 percent of ballots cast by BBWAA members with 10 or more consecutive years of Major League Baseball coverage to gain election. Catcher Mike Piazza polled 69.9 percent of the electorate in 2015 and fell 28 votes shy of the required amount for election. The only other players to be named on more than half the ballots were first baseman Jeff Bagwell (55.7) and outfielder Tim Raines (55.0). Players may remain on the ballot provided they receive at least five percent of the vote for up to 10 years. Prior to 2015, players remained on the ballot for up to 15 years if they received five percent of the vote. Two players remain of those that were grandfathered on the ballot: shortstop Alan Trammell (15th year) and relief pitcher Lee Smith (14th year).
Other players receiving sufficient support to remain on the BBWAA ballot for 2016 were pitchers Roger Clemens, Curt Schilling and Mike Mussina; first basemen Fred McGriff and Mark McGwire; second baseman Jeff Kent; third baseman-designated hitter Edgar Martinez; infielder Nomar Garciaparra and outfielders Barry Bonds, Larry Walker, Gary Sheffield and Sammy Sosa.
Griffey was the unanimous winner of the AL MVP Award in 1997 with the Seattle Mariners, the highlight of a 22-season career in which he lashed out 2,781 hits, including 630 home runs, the sixth-highest total in MLB history. A 13-time All-Star who was the game’s MVP in 1992 at San Diego, Griffey won 10 Gold Glove Awards and seven Silver Slugger Awards. He led the AL in home runs four times and in 2005 was named the NL’s Comeback Player of the Year with the Cincinnati Reds. Griffey, who also played for the Chicago White Sox, drove in 100 or more runs eight times and scored 100 or more runs six times. He belted five home runs in the inaugural, five-game AL Division Series against the New York Yankees in 1995 and scored the winning run in the clinching game.
Hoffman’s 601 career saves and 856 games finished are second only to Mariano Rivera’s respective totals of 652 and 952. Major League Baseball established relief pitcher awards in honor of Hoffman (NL) and Rivera (AL) in 2015. Hoffman was named the NL Fireman of the Year by The Sporting News in 1996 and 1998 and won the NL Rolaids Relief Awards in 1998 and 2006. Hoffman, whose career spanned 18 seasons with the Florida Marlins, San Diego Padres and Milwaukee Brewers, finished in the top 10 of NL Cy Young Award voting four times and was the runner-up twice, in 1998 and 2006. The seven-time All-Star had 30 or more saves in 14 of 15 seasons from 1995 through 2009 and converted 41 consecutive save opportunities, a record since surpassed.
Eckstein played for five clubs in 10 seasons in the majors and participated in nine postseason series, including World Series championships with the Anaheim Angels in 2002 and the St. Louis Cardinals in 2006. Eckstein, the MVP of the ’06 World Series, hit .333 with 17 hits and nine runs combined in his two World Series. Eckstein’s Angels teammate, Glaus, was the World Series MVP in 2002 when he hit .385 with three home runs and eight runs batted in as part of a postseason record of .321 with nine home runs and 16 RBI in 24 games. Of Glaus’ 320 career home runs, 47 came in 2000 when he led the AL.
Lowell, a .279 hitter with 223 home runs over 13 seasons, was the MVP of the Boston Red Sox’ sweep of the Colorado Rockies in the 2007 World Series and also earned rings with the Yankees in 1998 and the Marlins in 2003. The four-time All-Star won a Gold Glove Award and a Silver Slugger Award and ranks second all-time in fielding percentage for a third baseman with .974.
Other players new to the ballot brandishing World Series rings are outfielders Garret Anderson (2002 Angels), who was the 2003 All-Star Game MVP at Chicago’s U.S. Cellular Field, and Jim Edmonds (2006 Cardinals), an eight-time Gold Glove Award winner and four-time All-Star, and second baseman Luis Castillo (2003 Marlins), a three-time Gold Glove Award winner who led the NL in stolen bases twice.
Billy Wagner, whose 422 career saves rank second among left-handers, and fellow lefty Mike Hampton, the 2000 NLCS MVP, are also on the ballot for the first time along with catchers Brad Ausmus and Jason Kendall, catcher-first baseman Mike Sweeney, infielder Mark Grudzielanek and outfielder Randy Winn.
McGwire and Trammell are on the ballot for the last time.
Writers must return ballots by a Dec. 21 postmark. Votes are counted jointly by BBWAA secretary-treasurer Jack O’Connell and Ernst & Young partner Michael DiLecce. Results will be announced by Hall of Fame president Jeff Idelson at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2016, on MLB Network.
The ballot: Garret Anderson, Brad Ausmus, Jeff Bagwell, Barry Bonds, Luis Castillo, Roger Clemens, David Eckstein, Jim Edmonds, Nomar Garciaparra, Troy Glaus, Ken Griffey Jr., Mark Grudzielanek, Mike Hampton, Trevor Hoffman, Jason Kendall, Jeff Kent, Mike Lowell, Edgar Martinez, Fred McGriff, Mark McGwire, Mike Mussina, Mike Piazza, Tim Raines, Curt Schilling, Gary Sheffield, Lee Smith, Sammy Sosa, Mike Sweeney, Alan Trammell, Billy Wagner, Larry Walker, Randy Winn.