Hall of Fame Introduces Four New Members
By Sullivan Burgess ’20
On Sunday, July 29, 2018, Cooperstown, New York will welcome four new inductees into the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame. This marks the fourth time in history four players were voted into Cooperstown, compared to last year’s three players.
This year’s new members include third baseman Chipper Jones, rightfielder Vladimir Guerrero, designated hitter Jim Thome, and relief pitcher Trevor Hoffman.
To be entered into the Hall of Fame, a player must have first played in the MLB beginning 15 years before and ending 5 years prior to election. Second, the players must pass through a screening committee after five years of being retired. To be voted in, a player must take in 75 percent of the elector’s vote, which is 317 votes from the electors.
Jones lead this year’s ballot with 97.2 percent of the writers’ votes from the Baseball Writers’ Association of America, which is around 410 votes of the 422 ballots. Guerrero, Thome, and Hoffman respectively finished behind Jones with 392, 379, and 337 votes from the writers.
Jones told ESPN, “It was waterworks.” With an overall career batting average of .303 percent, 2,726 hits, 468 homeruns, 1,623 RBIs, the Atlanta Braves’ eighth time All-Star, National League MVP, and 1995 World Series Champion, more than qualified for his eligibility for the Hall of Fame. He now joins Ken Griffey Jr. as the only other No. 1 draft pick to enter the Hall of Fame.
As for Thome, who ranks eighth of all-time on the home run list in his 22 seasons for teams including the Indians, the Phillies, and the Dodgers, his career was another no-brainer for the writers. Thome was also emotional after receiving the phone call from his former hitting coach Charlie Manuel, who stated “This is totally deserving and, for me, ranks up there with anything I’ve ever seen happen in the game of baseball. For someone that I met as a 19-year-old and saw improve as much as anyone over time, it makes me smile to think that all that hard work, all those swings in the batting cage, is now paying off for him.”
Guerrero, a nine time All-Star, is a generational hitter who was only one of 13 players to have numbers over .315/.550. He is still in shock about his election, as he is the first position player from the Dominican Republic to make the Hall of Fame, and loves to represent his country in the best way possible.
Lastly, Trevor Hoffman, a seven-time All-Star relief pitcher who marked 1,133 career strikeouts and is second in saves behind Mariano Rivera, the Yankee relief pitcher who highlights his first year of eligibility next year, was elected as well.
Fans of the game have said nothing but positive remarks for the players elected, yet as the reports went out for the rest of the voted players from the league who were not elected, the media and fans took note.
The two most notable players this year that remain on the ballot are Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens. Their careers are both filled with historic moments and controversey involving alledged steriod use that has caused a divide amongst voters.
Fans of these players remain optimistic about their future as they seem to rise each year in ballot votes and hope new votes in the future will finally bring them to Cooperstown.