The Baseball Writers Association of America announced on Wednesday that Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, and Frank Thomas were all elected to the baseball Hall of Fame in their first year of eligibility. Because of the unusually crowded class, most players actually saw their votes drop significantly from 2013.
Of the 17 players that were on the ballot in both 2013 and 2014, 15 saw a drop in the percentage of ballots their name appeared on. Lee Smith had the biggest drop, going from 47.8% last year to just 29.9% this year, his 12th on the ballot. Edgar Martinez, Larry Walker, and Alan Trammell also saw drops of at least 10.0%.
Meanwhile, Craig Biggio, who missed election by just two votes, and Mike Piazza, whom some believe used steroids, were the only two players to appear on a higher percentage this year as compared to last year.
The biggest reason for the drop appears to be the unusually large number of shoe-ins and borderline players. In addition to the three player elected there were 16 other newly-eligible players. There were also six borderline players who remained eligible after their first year of eligibility. Another borderline player, Jack Morris, was in the final year of his eligibility.
With writers only able to vote for 10 players, it is likely that some writers left players off their ballots this year that they had voted for in years past. The result was a dip in voting that should rebound for some next year.
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