BBWAA Elects Four To Hall of Fame

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The Baseball Writers Association of America has released the 2015 Hall of Fame Class. There has been much speculation over the class because of both the high degree of talent eligible and the number of players that played during the steroid era.

Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez, Craig Biggio, and John Smoltz were all elected today, making it the largest class since 1955. Johnson, Martinez, and Smoltz were all first timers on the ballot, while this was Biggio’s third year of eligibility.

Randy Johnson earned 97.3 percent of the vote. Pedro received 91.1 percent. Smoltz was at 82.9% and Biggio was at 82.7%. Mike Piazza fell short of the Hall at 69.9%.

Randy Johnson is one of the most intimidating pitchers of all time. His 10.6 strikeouts per nine innings rate is the highest in the history of baseball with at least 1,000 career innings pitched. He won 303 games over 22 years and amassed 4,875 strikeouts.

Martinez did not get in because on wins, as he only had 219, but he was one of the most dominant pitchers in one of the most difficult eras to pitch in ever. From 1992 to 2009 Martinez had a 2.93 ERA, including a 2.20 ERA from 1997-2003. In that time period he won 118 games in just 199 starts, had an ERA+ of 213, and a WHIP of 0.94.

Craig Biggio played 20 years in the big leagues, earning 3,060 hits. Biggio is a curious case because he had the magic number (3,000 hits) but little else to help him. He played his entire career in Houston which always gives a bit of a boost. He had a career slash line of .281/.363/.433. He had over 650 doubles, almost 300 home runs, nearly 1,200 RBI, and over 400 stolen bases. Each element alone is not Hall worthy, but his persistence to get to 3,000 hits put him over the top. In 2014, he finished just shy of making the HOF with 74.8% of the vote.

Smoltz had one of the most interesting careers of any pitcher in recent memory. In 21 years in the majors Smoltz both won 213 games and saved 154 games. Taking four years off starting to become one of the top closers of the early 2000s was simply par for the course for Smoltz. His 154 saves came in just four years. In 2003, he saved 45 games with an ERA of 1.12. He became a starting pitcher again in 2005 as a 38 year old. He went on to win 44 games in the next three years. Smoltz finished his unique career with a 3.33 ERA and a legendary story in Atlanta.

Former Yankees Tim Raines (55.0%), Roger Clemens (37.5%), Mike Mussina (24.6%), Gary Sheffield (11.7%), Don Mattingly (9.1%), and Aaron Boone (0.4%) received votes as well. Boone did not receive the minimum 5% needed to remain on the ballot next year.