Tag: Baseball Hall of Fame

Ken Griffey Jr. Inducted into Baseball Hall of Fame With Highest Voting Percentage Ever

A star slugger of the Steroids Era never tainted by accusations of drug use, Griffey was on 437 of 440 votes in his first appearance on the Baseball Writers’ Association of America ballot. His 99.3 percentage topped the previous mark of 98.84, set when Tom Seaver appeared on 425 of 430 ballots in 1992.

“Happy and shocked,” Griffey said on MLB Network, “that I get to be in such an elite club.”

“In case you don’t know, I’m really superstitious. I’ve played in the Hall of Fame game three times and I’ve never set foot in the building. I’ve never even seen the front of it,” Griffey said. “The one time I wanted to go in there, I wanted to be a member.”

After falling 28 shy last year, Piazza received 365 votes in his fourth time on the ballot and will be inducted along with Griffey on July 24.

“Incredibly special. Wow,” Piazza said on a call with MLB Network.

“I sat here with my mouth on the floor,” he said.

A player needs 75 percent to gain election, and Jeff Bagwell missed by 15 votes and Tim Raines by 23. Trevor Hoffman, on the ballot for the first time, was 34 short.

The vote total dropped by 109 from last year because writers who have not been active for 10 years lost their votes under new rules.

There were significant increases for a pair of stars accused of steroids use. Roger Clemens rose to 45 percent and Barry Bonds to 44 percent, both up from about 37 percent last year.

Mark McGwire, who admitted using steroids, received 12 percent in his 10th and final ballot appearance.

Half of baseball’s top 10 home run hitters are not in the Hall: Bonds (762), Alex Rodriguez (654), Jim Thome (612), Sosa (609) and McGwire (583). Rodriguez, who served a yearlong drug suspension in 2014, remains active. Thome’s first appearance on the ballot will be in 2018.

Curt Schilling rose from 39 percent to 52, Edgar Martinez from 27 percent to 43 and Mike Mussina from 25 percent to 43.

Griffey was known simply as “Junior” by many as a contrast to his father, three-time All-Star outfielder Ken Griffey, who played alongside him in Seattle during 1990 and ’91. The younger Griffey became a 13-time All-Star outfielder and finished with 630 homers, which is sixth on the career list. After reaching the major leagues in 1989, he was selected for 11 consecutive All-Star Games in 1990.

Wanting to play closer to his home in Florida, he pushed for a trade to Cincinnati — his father’s old team and the area he grew up in— after the 1999 season. But slowed by injuries, he never reached 100 RBIs again after his first season with the Reds, and he moved on to the Chicago White Sox in 2008 before spending his last season-plus with the Mariners.

article by Ronald Blum, AP via blackamericaweb.com

 

Little League World Series Sensation Mo’ne Davis to Donate Her Jersey to Baseball Hall of Fame

COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. — Philadelphia Little League sensation Mo’ne Davis is headed to the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Mo'ne Davis
Mo’ne Davis will donate the jersey she wore in becoming the first girl to win a game at the Little League World Series. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

Davis, the first girl to win a game at the Little League Baseball World Series, will donate the jersey she wore during the game to the museum Thursday. The top-notch pitcher be accompanied by teammates from her World Series team and the travel team she’s played on since she was 7.

Mamie “Peanut” Johnson, a former pitcher and one of only three women to play in the Negro Leagues, will also attend Thursday’s event at the Hall of Fame. Afterward, Davis and her teammates will face a team from upstate New York in an exhibition game at Doubleday Field.

Davis pitched Taney Little League into the Little League World Series, becoming the fourth American girl to appear in the tournament. In her first game, she shut out a team from Nashville 4-0 over six innings while featuring a fastball that reached 70 mph.

Copyright 2014 by The Associated Press via espn.go.com

R.I.P. MLB Star Tony Gwynn: Six Things He Did Better Than Anyone Else In Modern Baseball

tony gwynn parade pointing - tony gwynn parade pointing

After a multi-year battle with oral cancer, MLB First-Ballot Hall Of Famer Tony Gwynn passed away recently. He is mourned by everyone in San Diego from the mayor on down and by all of Major League Baseball.  No one will debate the talent that Tony Gwynn’s amazing career displayed. But what few people know is just how thoroughly superlative his aptitude for baseball was.

Back when relief pitching was more of an aberration than the norm and drug testing was non-existing, Gwynn’s numbers would have been impressive. But you add these factors in and it starts to paint the portrait of wonder that was Gwynn’s outstanding career.

So let me grab that paint brush and show you just how beautiful his genius for baseball was.

1. Most Batting Titles – 8

tony gwynn swinging bat - tony gwynn swinging bat

Tony Gwynn had the highest batting average of every player in the Major Leagues in eight out his twenty seasons of professional baseball. He tied for second all time in the number of batting titles he’d earned. The guy ahead of him is Ty Cobb whose career ended in 1928. He’s tied with Honus Wagner whose career ended in 1917. And he’s the only one to have had near as many whose career stretched into the 2000’s.

2. Highest Overall Career Batting Average

 

Tony Gwynn retired in 2001. At that time, his career batting average was .338. There are 30 men to have finished their careers at an average of .330 or higher. Tony Gwynn is the only one whose career ended after 1963. He’s also one of the few to have faced consistent, talented relief pitching.

I think you’re starting to understand how in this Modern Era of baseball, Tony Gwynn was a monster at the plate.

3. (Almost) Finished a season batting .400

tony gwynn's career stats - tony gwynn's career stats

players strike ended the 1994 season while Tony Gwynn was batting .394 and charging towards .400. Hitting .400 over an entire season is the equivalent of hitting 65% of your 3-point in the NBA. The number is so insane there’s a reason no one has done it since Ted Williams in 1941.

4. Top 10 for highest Hall Of Fame induction rates ever

tony gwynn hall of fame - tony gwynn hall of fame

The MLB decides who goes into the Hall Of Fame by giving ballots to sportswriters and other affiliated media. When Gwynn’s name came up, he got in with 97.4% of the vote. He’s 7th overall with only Cal Ripken being the other post-90’s top-10 vote getter, ever.

5. Most All-Star Team Selections

tony gwynn drive - tony gwynn drive

At 15 All-Star selections, Tony Gwynn is tied, again, with Cal Ripken for having the most in a career that stretched into the 2000’s. Cal Ripken had 19, but that doesn’t take away from Gwynn’s accomplishment in the least. You know what did? The fact that his team sucked. As a matter of fact…

6. All twenty seasons in one city

tony gwynn statue - tony gwynn statue

Tony Gwynn was San Diego before LaDanian was even born. Impressive considering the fact that the San Diego Padres were a perennial loser. The closest they game to a championship were two National League Pennants, both earned while Gwynn was there. In fact, they struggled to finish above .500 for most of the Gwynn’s tenure there. Still yet, he stayed and flourished. If ever there was an MLB award for market loyalty, it should be named after Tony Gwynn.

article by Span via urbandaily.com

Frank Thomas Elected to Baseball Hall of Fame

Chicago White Sox slugger Frank Thomas smiles as he responds to a question during a news conference about his selection into the MLB Baseball Hall Of Fame Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2014, at U.S. Cellular Field in Chicago. Thomas joins Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine as first ballot inductees Wednesday, and will be inducted in Cooperstown on July 27 along with managers Bobby Cox, Joe Torre and Tony La Russa, elected last month by the expansion-era committee. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)
Chicago White Sox slugger Frank Thomas smiles as he responds to a question during a news conference about his selection into the MLB Baseball Hall Of Fame Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2014, at U.S. Cellular Field in Chicago. Thomas joins Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine as first ballot inductees Wednesday, and will be inducted in Cooperstown on July 27 along with managers Bobby Cox, Joe Torre and Tony La Russa, elected last month by the expansion-era committee. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

NEW YORK (AP) — A new generation of starting pitchers and a self-proclaimed Mr. Clean of the Steroids Era will be ushered into baseball’s Hall of Fame this summer.  Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine and Frank Thomas were elected on their first ballot appearances Wednesday, when Craig Biggio fell just two votes short.  Maddux and Glavine will join their former Atlanta Braves manager, Bobby Cox, at the July 27 induction along with Joe Torre and Tony La Russa, also elected last month by the expansion-era committee.

But Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens and other stars whose accomplishments were muddied by accusations of steroids use lost even more ground, dropping below 40 percent in an election where 75 percent is needed. And on his first day as a member of baseball’s elite, Thomas said the living members among the 306 Hall of Famers don’t want those with sullied reputations.

“Over the last year, doing a couple of charity events with Hall of Famers that are in, they’ve got a strong stance against anyone who’s taken steroids. They do not want them in. They don’t care when they started or when they did it, they do not want them in,” he said. “I’ve got to take the right stance, too. No, they shouldn’t get in. There shouldn’t be cheating allowed to get into the Hall of Fame.”

Making their second appearances on the ballot, Clemens dropped from 37.6 percent to 35.4 in voting by senior members of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America, Bonds from 36.2 to 34.7 and Sosa from 12.5 to 7.2.  Bonds, baseball’s career home run leader, is the only seven-time MVP in major league history. Clemens is the lone seven-time Cy Young Award winner.  “As for what they did, I don’t think any of us will ever really know,” Thomas said. “But I can just tell you, what I did was real and that’s why I’ve got this smile on my face right now because the writers, they definitely got it right.”

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Born On This Day in 1919: Baseball Legend Jackie Robinson

Legendary Baseball player Jackie Robinson
 
Jackie Robinson, the first African-American to play in Major League Baseball, was born in Cairo, Georgia, on Jan. 31, 1919.

Robinson had a litany of firsts in his career: He was the first Black television analyst in Major League Baseball, and the first Black vice president of a major American corporation. In the 1960s, he helped establish the Freedom National Bank, an African-American-owned financial institution based in Harlem. In the world of baseball, Robinson played a prominent role in ending racial segregation in professional baseball. Prior to Robinson playing with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947, African-American players were restricted to the Negro Leagues for 60 years.

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