2015 HOF,

Happy New year!  A new year means a new HOF class will be announced shortly for indu
ction in Cooperstown this summer.  Having attended last years festivities gives me even more of a thrill to do my annual prognostication

In 2014 there were 36 players on the BBWAA (Baseball Writers Association of America) ballot. 3 of those players were elected to the Hall of fame for induction in 2014,  Frank Thomas, Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine.  1 player Jack Morris failed to receive 75% of the votes cast for the 15th year and fell off the ballot.  15 players were removed from the ballot after failing to appear on at least 5% of the ballots cast.  14 of these players were in their 1st year of eligibility as well as Rafael Palmeiro who was on the ballot for the 4th year.  This leaves 17 players who  are returning from the 2014 ballot.

In 2014 the Baseball Hall of fame amended their election rules.  Previously a player had 15 years to receive the 75% of the vote needed for election to the Hall,  The time period is now being shortened to 10 years with players who have appeared on the ballot for 10 of more years already being grandfathered in to get up to 15 years if needed.

 The 17 players returning from last years ballot listed from highest percentage of votes received to lowest are …

Craig Biggio  74.8% of vote in 2014  3rd year on ballot,  Additional time to be on ballot: 7  years.  Highest vote total 2014.

Mike Piazza 62.2% of vote in 2014.  3rd year on ballot,  Additional time to be on ballot: 7  years. Highest vote total 2014.

Jeff Bagwell 54.3% of vote in 2014. 5th year on ballot with 5 years remaining.  Highest vote total was 59.6% in 2013 his 3rd year of eligibility

Tim Raines 46.1%  of vote in 2014. 8th year on ballot  with 2 years remaining. Highest vote total  was 52.2% in 2013 in his 6th year of eligibility

Roger Clemens   35.4% of vote in 2014.  3rd year on ballot,  Additional time to be on ballot: 7  years. Clemens received his highest % (37.6)  in 2013 his first year on ballot.

Barry Bonds  34.7% of vote in 2014. 3rd year on ballot,   Additional time to be on ballot: 7  years.  Bonds received his highest % (36.2) in 2013 , his first year on ballot.

Lee Smith 29.9%  of vote in 2014. 13th year on ballot  with 2  years remaining.  Lee’s highest % 50.6  was in 2012, his 10th year on ballot.

Curt Schilling 29.2% of vote in 2014. 3rd year on ballot,  Additional time to be on ballot: 7.  Curt’s highest % of 38.8% was on his frst year on the ballot in 2013

Edgar Martinez 25.2% of vote in 2014. 6th year on ballot  with 4  years remaining. Edgar’s  highest %  of 36.5 came  in 2012 his 3rd year of HOF consideration.
Alan Trammell  20.8% of vote in 2014. 14th year on ballot. Next year would be his  last year on ballot.   His highest % , 36.8,  came in 11th year of eligibility (2012) 36.8 in 2012 (11th year)

Mike Mussina 20.3 %  of vote in 2014.  2nd year on ballot (8 additional years remaining)

Jeff Kent 15.2%  of vote in 2014. 2nd year on ballot (8 additional years remaining)

Fred McGriff  11.7% of vote in 2014.  6th year on ballot with 3  years remaining)  Highest % 23.9 in 2012 (3rd year)

Mark McGwire 11.0 % of vote  in 2014. 9th year on ballot, Next year would be his  last year on ballot.  His highest % 23.7 in 2010 (4th year)

Larry Walker 10.2% of vote in 2014. 5th year on ballot  with 5  years remaining. Larry’s highest  % 22.9  came in 2012, his 2nd year on the ballot

Don Mattingly 8.2%  of vote in 2014. 15th and final year on ballot. Mattingly’s  highest %  28.2 came in 2001 his 1st year on the ballot

Sammy Sosa only  received 7.2% of the vote in 2014.  This is 3rd year on the ballot and would have 7 more elections if he is able to continue to receive more than 5% of the vote.  In 2012 Sosa received 12.5%, his highest percentage so far.

Joining the 17 returnees are 17 players on the ballot for their first time.  They are listed alphabetically with each team that they played for.

Rich Aurilla (Giants, Reds Padres, Mariners)
Aaron Boone (Reds, Indians, Nationals, Yankees, Astros, Marlins)
Tony Clark (Tigers, Diamond Backs, Mets, Red Sox, Padres, Yankees)
Carlos Delgado (Blue Jays, Mets, Marlins)
Jermaine Dye (Royals, White Sox. A’s, Braves)
Darin Erstad (Angels, Astros, White Sox)
Cliff Floyd (Marlins, Expos, Mets, Rays, Red Sox, Padres, Cubs)
Nomar Garciaparra (Red Sox, Dodgers, Cubs, A’s)
Brian Giles (Pirates, Padres, Indians)
Tom Gordon (Royals, Red Sox, Phillies, Cubs, Yankees, Diamond Backs, Astros. White Sox)
Eddie Guardado (Twins, Mariners, Rangers, Reds)
Randy Johnson (Mariners, Diamondbacks, Expos, Yankees, Giants, Astros)
Pedro Martinez (Red Sox, Mets, Expos, Dodgers, Phillies)
Troy Percival (Angels, Rays, Cardinals, Tigers)
Jason Schmidt (Giants,Pirates, Braves Dodgers)
Gary Sheffield (Marlins, Dodgers, Brewers, Yankees, Braves, Padres, Tigers, Mets)
John Smoltz (Braves, Cardinals, Reds)

In the actual HOF voting process, each writer can  vote for up to 10 players on the ballot.  So each year, I state who I would vote if I had to vote for exactly 10 players and keep on lowering the amount until I state who I would vote for if I had only 1 vote.  I also state how many players I would vote for on my official ballot if I could vote for up to 10.

Here are my votes for this year …

If I could vote for 10 players, my 10th vote would go to Edgar Martinez.

If I could vote for only  9 players, my 9th vote would go to Mike Piazza.

Last year I voted for Piazza 8th, and revealed my actual ballot would have 7 players on it.  Again this year Piazza barely misses the mark.

My official ballot would have 8 players on it and  my 8th vote would go to Jermaine Dye.

Yes , Jermaine Dye.  I voted for JD, much for the same reason why I put Robin Ventura on my “official” ballot a few years back.  As I explained then, I feel people who watch local great players owe it to the nation to keep the great but not necessarily HOF players on the ballot a few years so others can come to appreciate their greatness.  I just could not bring myself to not vote for the 2005 World Series MVP,

Speaking of the 2005 World Series, my 7th vote would go to Jeff  Bagwell.

Just like last years my 6th and 5th votes are virtually a tie between a Cubs reliever and a Braves starter.  However, this year I will put the Braves starter, John Smoltz as my 6th vote.

Given only 5, my 5th vote would go to Lee Smith.

Just like last year, my 4th vote would go to Craig Biggio.

If I had just 3 votes, my 3rd vote would go to Pedro Martinez.

If I could only vote for 2 players on the 2015 ballot, my 2nd vote would go to Tim Raines.

If I could only vote for 1 player this year, that vote would go to the Big Unit, Randy Johnson.

That’s what I would do.

Here is what I think Will happen

4 of the following 5 players  will be inducted this summer:

Randy Johnson
Craig Biggio
John Smoltz
Jeff Bagwell
Pedro Martinez

Pedro and Johnson being mortal locks,  and either Smoltzy or Bagwell being the odd man out.  My money says Bagwell won’t make it, this time.

I will check in after the announcement to talk about what really happened.