Four new Hall of Famers are headed to Cooperstown, including the first ever unanimous choice.
Mariano Rivera, Roy Halladay, Edgar Martinez and Mike Mussina were voted into the Baseball Hall of Fame, with Rivera becoming the first-ever player to get 100 percent of the vote.
The results of this year’s vote were announced Tuesday by the Baseball Writers Association of America. Seventy-five percent of the vote is needed for immortalization in Cooperstown, and this year’s electees zoomed past that total.
Mariano Rivera, the legendary ex-New York Yankees closer, reached the hallowed 100-percent mark, beating Ken Griffey Jr.’s record of 99.32 percent. Griffey missed just three ballots in 2016.
Edgar Martinez also earned 85.4 percent, ending a polarizing candidacy for the former Seattle Mariners designated hitter that took until his 10th and final year on the ballot.
Mike Mussina’s slow climb toward 75 percent finally reached the end, with 76.7 percent in his sixth year on the ballot. The ex-Yankees and Orioles pitcher had career stats that compared favorably to Halladay, so their inclusion together makes sense.
Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens and Curt Schilling, the three most controversial names on the ballot, didn’t get particularly close to Cooperstown, but did see a bump in support that could bode well for the future.
• Bonds finished at 59.1 percent after last year’s 56.4 percent.
• Clemens earned 59.5 percent after 57.3 percent last year.
• Schilling rebounded in a big way, jumping from 51.2 percent in 2017 to 60.9 percent in 2018.
Larry Walker, who will now enter his 10th and final year on the ballot, was the next highest vote-getter at 54.6 percent. He’ll be looking for an Edgar Martinez/Tim Raines-like final-year bump in 2020 to get into the Hall.
Five percent of the vote is needed to stay on the ballot, which inevitably means some big names fall off each year by those means or by their time running out. Among the notables now off the ballot: Fred McGriff (39.8 percent, final year), Lance Berkman (1.2, first year), Miguel Tejada (1.2, first year) and Roy Oswalt (0.9, first year).
The newly elected foursome will now join Lee Smith and Harold Baines, who were chosen in December by a Hall of Fame veterans committee. They’ll be inducted on July 22 in Cooperstown.
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