2015 HOF Ballots in: Johnson, Martinez, Smoltz, and Biggio Elected!
Randy Johnson (97.3%), Pedro Martinez (91.1%), John Smoltz (82.9%), and Craig Biggio (82.7%) were all elected to the Hall of Fame today. Mike Piazza came up just a bit short with 69.9%.
This is the first time four players have been elected in one year since 1955 (Dimaggio, Lyons, Vance, and Hartnett) and only the third time ever, following 1947 (Hubbell, Frisch, Cochrane, Grove) and the inaugural 1936 class (Cobb, Ruth, Wagner, Mathewson, Johnson). Four were also elected in 1939, but Lou Gehrig was admitted on a special ballot, not the normal writer’s ballot.
Looking ahead at 2016, Ken Griffey Jr. is the only clear first-ballot Hall of Famer who will arrive on the ballot. Trevor Hoffman will certainly get some significant votes, but it is always difficult to predict how voters will treat closers. Beyond those two, the best of the rest include Billy Wagner, Garret Anderson, Jason Kendall, Troy Glaus, and Jim Edmonds. I think Edmonds deserves some serious discussion, but given the fate of Larry Walker and others, I doubt he will get much support. Given the gains made this year by Piazza, I would expect him to be in next year with Griffey. That would make at least 9 Hall of Famers elected in a 3-year span, something we haven't seen since 1956. Nine were elected from 1954-56 (9 total were also elected from 1953-55). The only other time more than 7 players were elected in a 3-year span was the first two years (1936 and 1937) where 3 more joined the inaugural 5.