The Baseball Writers Association of America announced on Wednesday that Ivan Rodriguez, Tim Raines, and Jeff Bagwell were voted into the baseball Hall of Fame. But what was more interesting about the results is how the writers are now treating designated hitters, players associated with the steroid era, and cantankerous pitchers (see chart below).
Of the players who did not receive the 75% needed for enshrinement, Edgar Martinez had the biggest improvement from a year ago, jumping from 43.4% in 2016 to 58.6%, a strong sign that voters are warming up to players who were primarily designated hitters. It now looks like he has a good shot to get in, but it will be close as he only has two years of eligibility remaining.
Likewise, things are looking up for both Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds. Those two have seen their percentages increase nearly 20% over the last two years, a sign that voters are also warming up to players associated with steroids. With five years of eligibility remaining, they now look like locks to eventually get in.
The other interesting name on the ballot is that of Curt Schilling, who saw his chances for enshrinement take a big hit this year. After looking like a lock to eventually getting in, his voting went from 52.3% to 45.0%, a drop likely associated with his many controversial forays into social media in recent years.
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