The Big Unit has finally reached baseball immortality! Jeff Idelson, the President of the National Baseball Hall of Fame announced on MLB Network and MLB.com an hour ago that Randy Johnson (97.3) along with Pedro Martinez (90.1), John Smoltz (82.9), and Craig Biggio (82.7) will represent of the Class of 2014 in Cooperstown on July 26th. It is the first time that four players were elected by the BBWAA in 60 years.
All four were locks to get in this year, and it is a great day for baseball, and fans of this great game. It’s also a great day to be a Diamondback. Johnson is the first player with Diamondbacks connections to be elected to the Hall of Fame, and his resume speaks for itself.
The big question with Johnson is which cap will he wear, if he decides to go in with a specific team. I hope that he goes in as a Dback, but I’m happy for him either way.
The Hall of Fame election results aren’t just about who got in, but who gained and lost traction. Despite gaining more support from 2014, it’s disappointing that another former Diamondback, Curt Schilling couldn’t even get 40% of the vote.
There is no doubt he is a hall of famer, and the writers just don’t see it. No matter what you look at whether it’s run prevention, WAR, and postseason performance, Schilling measures up.
Catcher Mike Piazza fell just short with 69.9% of the vote. He is considered the greatest offensive catcher of all time, but it’s hard to overlook his subpar defensive play. He will probably join Ken Griffey Jr, and possibly Trevor Hoffman in the class of 2016.
What amazes me the most is that accused PED users Barry Bonds (37.5%), and Rodger Clemens (37.5%) gained no traction and haven’t for quite some time. Both have seven years on the ballot left, but I’m convinced that they won’t get in.
It’s disappointing that Mike Mussina (24.6%), and Alan Trammell (25.1%) didn’t get more support. Trammell was on his last year, and evidentially writers don’t recognize that he was one of the best of his era.
Mussina is the most underrated player on the ballot. His run prevention numbers and strikeout numbers stack up with pitchers already in the Hall. He should benefit next year with Johnson, Smoltz, and Martinez off the ballot.
Lee Smith (30.2%) has seen his support dwindle, and is proving that it’s hard to get elected as a reliever. Edgar Martinez (27.0%) whose OPS+ of 153 which stacks up with Joe DiMaggio is proving that it’s hard to get a DH elected.
Jeff Kent, Fred McGriff, Larry Walker, and Gary Sheffield aren’t getting a fair look from the writers thanks to the current system and a stacked ballot. Don Mattingly finished his last year on the ballot with 9.1% of the vote.