Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine and Frank Thomas have been elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in their first year of eligibility by the Baseball Writers' Association of America. Craig Biggio finished with 74.8 percent, missing election by two votes and thus falling painfully shy of the 75 percent threshold needed for induction. Mike Piazza, like Biggio a second-year candidate, was fifth with 62 percent. Jack Morris got 61.5 percent in his 15th and final year on the BBWAA ballot.
Jeff Bagwell, a longtime Astros teammate of Biggio's, had 46.1 percent. Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds, arguably the greatest pitcher and hitter in baseball history but both linked to performance-enhancing drugs, each lost ground and are still a long way from gaining induction. Clemens, a seven-time Cy Young winner, got 35.4 percent while Bonds, a seven-time MVP, received 34.7 percent.
Maddux was a four-time National League Cy Young winner for the Cubs and Braves, winning the award every year from 1992-95. He was thought to have a chance to be the first candidate ever to get 100 percent of the vote until an MLB.com writer on Tuesday became the first to reveal a ballot that did not have the 18-time Gold Glover on it. Maddux ultimately didn't get 16 votes but still finished with 97.2 percent.
Glavine, who won 305 games and two NL Cy Young awards, got 91.9 percent of the vote.
This is the first time since 1999, when George Brett, Nolan Ryan and Robin Yount were elected, that the writers have voted in three first-timers on the same ballot.
Among other first-timers, Mike Mussina (20.3 percent) and Jeff Kent (15.2 percent) will hang around for next year's ballot.
As for players connected to PEDs, Mark McGwire dropped to 11.0 percent and Sammy Sosa fell to 7.2 percent. They will remain on the ballot. The same can't be said for Rafael Palmeiro, who garnered just 4.4 percent and will no longer be eligible by the BBWAA. Palmeiro was one of just four players with 500 home runs and 3,000 hits but also failed a test for performance-enhancing drugs late in 2005, his final season.
Managers Bobby Cox, Tony La Russa and Joe Torre were voted to the Hall of Fame by the Expansion Era committee at last month's winter meetings. Cox managed Maddux and Glavine for a decade in Atlanta during the heart of the Braves' dynasty that included their 1995 World Series triumph.
There were 571 voters on this year's BBWAA ballot. The ceremonies will take place on July 27 in Cooperstown, N.Y.
Here are the voting results for all 35 players on this year's ballot. Players needed 429 votes for election and 29 votes to avoid falling off the ballot altogether:
|Player||Votes||Pct.||Years on ballot|
|Paul Lo Duca||0||0.0||1|