Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Martinez, Johnson, Smoltz, Biggio elected to Hall of Fame


By PATRICK GORDON | Managing Editor
January 6 2015, 2:05 PM EST.
@PGordonPBR

For the first time in 60 years the Baseball Hall of Fame will welcome four players for enshrinement in Cooperstown come July.

In results announced Tuesday by the Baseball Writers' Association of America, Pedro Martinez, Randy Johnson, John Smoltz and Craig Biggio compose baseball's first four-man Hall of Fame class since 1955.

Martinez pitched 18 seasons in the majors and won three Cy Young Awards. He was an eight-time All-Star and won a World Series with the Red Sox in 2004. He ranks 13th in baseball history with 3,154 strikeouts and finished his career with the Phillies in 2009, helping the club to the World Series.

Johnson ranks second in baseball history in strikeouts and arguably is the best left-handed pitcher ever to step foot on the mound. In 22 seasons he won five Cy Young Awards, including four straight between 1999 to 2002. He also won a World Series with Arizona in 2001.

Smoltz was an eight-time All-Star over his 21-year career and was a pivotal piece of Atlanta's pitching staff during the club's run of 11 consecutive divisional titles. He collected 213 wins to go along with 154 saves and a 3.33 ERA during his regular season career, but was even more dominant in the postseason putting together a 2.67 ERA over 41 appearances, including 27 starts.

Biggio fell two votes short of enshrinement last year, but collected more than enough votes to surpass the needed 75% for enshrinement this time around. A member of the 3,000-hit club, he was a seven-time All-Star and ranks fifth all-time in baseball history with 668 doubles.

Johnson collected 97.3% of potential votes, Martinez received 91.1%, Smoltz received 82.9% and Biggio received 82.7%.

Mike Piazza was the closest player to enshrinement that missed the cut, receiving 69.9% of potential votes. 

Players become eligible five years after retirement and can remain on the ballot for 10 years – down from 15 years in changes made this year – as long as they show up on at least 5% of ballot.

Carlos Delgado was the most notable player to fall short, collecting just 3.8% of possible votes.

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