Tag: Baseball Writers’ Association of America

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

 

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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Pittsburgh Pirate Andrew McCutchen Wins National League MVP Award

In this Aug. 29, 2013, file photo, Pittsburgh Pirates' Andrew McCutchen looks to the dugout after sliding into third with a triple off Milwaukee Brewers starting pitcher Yovani Gallardo during a baseball game in Pittsburgh. McCutchen won the National League honor Thursday, Nov. 14. McCutchen ranked among the NL leaders by hitting .317 with 21 home runs and 84 RBIs. He also scored 97 runs, stole 27 bases and had a .404 on-base percentage. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar, FIle)
Pittsburgh Pirates’ Andrew McCutchen ranked among the NL leaders by hitting .317 with 21 home runs and 84 RBIs. He also scored 97 runs, stole 27 bases and had a .404 on-base percentage. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar, File)

NEW YORK (AP) — M-V-P: Most Versatile Pirate.  Andrew McCutchen was all that and more.  One of the game’s most dynamic talents, McCutchen coasted to the National League Most Valuable Player award by a surprisingly wide margin Thursday after leading a baseball revival in Pittsburgh with his speed, power and defense.  The center fielder received 28 of 30 first-place votes from a Baseball Writers’ Association of America panel to finish far ahead of Arizona first baseman Paul Goldschmidt and St. Louis catcher Yadier Molina in a race that many thought would be tight.

“I’m floating right now,” McCutchen said in Pittsburgh. “But I definitely didn’t expect it to be a landslide with those other guys — Goldschmidt and Molina. They were great candidates and I didn’t know what to expect.”

Seated in a sweater and tie, a smiling McCutchen juked a sort of stationary shimmy when he was announced as the winner on MLB Network.  “If I could get up and dance right now I would, but I don’t have much room to do that,” he said. “When I get off camera, I probably will.”

Miguel Cabrera took the AL prize for the second straight year, once again winning by a comfortable gap over Angels outfielder Mike Trout.  A season after posting the majors’ first Triple Crown in 45 years, Cabrera came back to lead baseball in hitting at .348 and finish second with 44 home runs and 137 RBIs.

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