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Updated: January 25, 2018
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Chipper Jones, Vladimir Guerrero, Jim Thome, Trevor Hoffman elected into Hall of Fame

NEW YORK, New York (USA) - Four former Major League-players have been elected into the National Basebal Hall of Fame on Wednesday-evening (January 24). Chipper Jones, Vladimir Guerrero, Jim Thome and Trevor Hoffman all got the call that they were elected. Last month, the Modern Baseball Era Committee also elected two former players, pitcher Jack Morris and short stop Alan Trammell. All will be officially inducted into the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown on July 29, as will be broadcaster Bob Costas as the winner of the Ford C. Frick Award. Last year, three players were elected, Jeff Bagwell, Tim Raines and Iván Rodríguez.

In the previous days, there were reports that possibly five players could be elected, based on polls. Electing five players in one Hall of Fame-class would have been unique. It only happened once, which was during the very first election in 1936. Back then, legends Ty Cobb, Honus Wagner, Babe Ruth, Christy Mathewson and Walter Johnson were elected.

...The entrance of the National Baseball Hall of Fame...
(© Photo: Marco Stoovelaar)
The four players who were elected on Wednesday, brings the total to 16 players being elected by the BBWAA over a four-year span, which sets a new record for such a period. The previous record in a 4-year period was twelve, which was set in 1936-1939. In 2013, no players were elected.

To be elected, a player needed 75 percent of the votes cast by the more than 400 eligible writers, who are members of the Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA). On Wednesday, it was the 74th time that the members of the BBWAA made their choices for the Hall of Fame. Players can remain ten years on a ballot-list. This was changed a few years ago. Up to then, a player was eligible for election for 15 years as long as he gets more than five percent of the votes.

Curaçao-born outfielder Andruw Jones was on the list for the first time this year, as were third baseman Chipper Jones, first/third baseman/DH Jim Thome, short stop Omar Vizquel, third baseman Scott Rolen and pitcher Johan Santana, amongst others. In 2011, pitcher Bert Blyleven became the first Dutch-born player to be elected into the Hall of Fame.

Centerfielder Andruw Jones recorded 434 homeruns in his 17-year career, including 12 for Atlanta Braves, won ten Gold Gloves and played in five All Star Games. Omar Vizquel hit 2,877 basehits and won eleven Gold Gloves, Scott Rolen hit 316 homeruns and won eight Gold Gloves and Johan Santana won the Cy Young Award in 2004 and 2006.

Chipper Jones and Thome were elected, the other four ended up in the lower part of the election list, but three of them get another chance next year. Andruw Jones, a former teammate of Chipper, received 7.3 percent of the votes to make him eligible for election again next year. Vizquel (37%) and Rolen (10.2%) also will return on the ballot again. Santano receive 2.4 percent, ,meaning he dropped from the ballot for last year. Also not returning on the list next year will be players as Jamie Moyer (2.4%), Johnny Damon (1.9%) and Hideki Matsui (0.9%), who all also were nominated for the first time. There were 33 players on this years ballot.

Trevor Hoffman and Vladimir Guerrero came close a year ago. Hoffman then ended up only five votes short and got 74 percent. Guerrero finished with 71.7 percent of the votes. Edgar Martinez, who was frequently mentioned as the fifth player to be elected this year, had 58.6 percent last year.

Chipper Jones received 97.2 percent of the votes. Jones played in 19 Major League-seasons, al for Atlanta Braves. In 2,499 games, he hit 2,726 basehits, including 468 homeruns and closed with a .303 batting average. He had fourteen seasons in which he hit 20 or more homeruns. Jones was the Most Valuable Player in the National League in 1999 and played in eight All Star Games.

...Some of the plaques of the players elected into the Hall of Fame...
(© Photo: Marco Stoovelaar)
Vladimir Guerrero received 92.9 percent to become the first position-player from the Dominican Republic to be elected into the Hall of Fame. He is the third player overall from the Dominican Republic. The other two are pitchers Juan Marichal (1983) and Pedro Martinez (2015). The rightfielder played in 16 Major League-seasons, including eight with Montreal Expos. Guerrero also played for Los Angeles Angels for six years and one season each for Texas Rangers and Baltimore Orioles. In 2,147 games, he collected 2,590 basehits, including 449 homeruns. Guerrero had eight seasons with 30 or more homeruns and closed with a .318 average. Guerrero played in nine All Star Games and was the MVP in 2004.

Jim Thome received 89.8 percent. He played in 22 Major League-seasons for six teams, including 13 with Cleveland Indians. Thome also played for Philadelphia Phillies, Chicago White Sox, Minnesota Twins, Los Angeles Dodgers and Baltimore Orioles. He played in 2,543 games, hitting 2,328 basehits with 612 of them being homeruns. Thome had 17 seasons with 20 or more homeruns, including six with 40-plus, and played in five All Star Games.

Trevor Hoffman this time got 79.9 percent and became only the sixth reliever to be elected into the Hall of Fame. Hoffman earned 601 saves in his career, the second highest total behind record-holder Mariano Rivera, who is eligible for election for the first time next year. Hoffman played in 18 Major League-seasons, sixteen of them with San Diego Padres. The closer also pitched for Milwaukee Brewers and Florida Marlins and played in seven All Star Games. In 1,089 1/3 innings pitched, the righthander struckout 1,133 batters and closed with a 2.87 ERA.

Edgar Martinez finished fifth with 70.4 percent of the votes, getting close again, ending up only 19 votes short to be elected. Martinez played for 18 seasons for Seattle Mariners. Next year will be his final of the ballot.

Amongst other players who returned on the ballot were pitchers Roger Clemens, Mike Mussina and Curt Schilling and outfielder Barry Bonds. Clemens and Bonds, who is the all-time homerun-leader in the Majors with 762, had outstanding careers, but both are linked to performance enhancing drugs. The four followed the top-five, all getting over 50 percent of the votes.

Amongst the newcomers next year on the list will be Mariano Rivera, Andy Pettitte and the late Roy Halladay, who passed away in November last year.

Related Articles:
Jack Morris & Alan Trammell in Hall of Fame. (December 10, 2017)
Andruw Jones for first time on Hall of Fame-ballot. (November 20, 2017)
Former pitcher Roy Halladay dies in place-accident. (November 7, 2017)
Bagwell, Raines and Rodriguez elected into Baseball Hall of Fame. (January 18, 2017)
John Schuerholz & Bud Selig elected into Hall of Fame. (December 4, 2016)
Ken Griffey, Jr. & Mike Piazza elected into Hall of Fame. (January 6, 2016)

(January 24)

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