It’s that time of the year again. The members of the BBWAA have cast their votes and Major League Baseball has welcomed several new players to the fraternity of the greatest to ever play the game. Three players got the call to be part of the 2017 class of inductees into the National Baseball Hall of Fame along with contributors former Atlanta Braves general manager John Schuerholz and former commissioner Bud Selig.
The inductees are: Tim Raines (Expos), Jeff Bagwell (Astros), and Ivan Rodriguez (Rangers).
Tim Raines– This was Raines’ 10th year on the ballot and he finally got in by receiving votes on 86 percent of ballots. Raines was a career .294/.385/.425 hitter over parts of 23 seasons in the majors. He’s widely considered to be the second-best leadoff hitter of his era behind the incomparable Rickey Henderson.
Jeff Bagwell- This was Bagwell’s seventh year of eligibility for the Hall, getting in by receiving votes on 86.2 percent of ballots. In 15 seasons with the Astros, Bagwell posted a .297/.408/.540 line with 449 homers 1,529 RBI and 202 stolen bases.
Ivan “Pudge” Rodriguez- Pudge earns induction in his first year on the ballot. The veteran of 21 major league seasons was a solid offensive catcher (.296/.334/.464 with 311 homers) but, was more well known for his defensive abilities and is considered among the best backstops in baseball history. He threw out 46 percent of base stealers over the course of his career and won the American League MVP award in 1999. Rodriguez just squeaked by as a first ballot selection receiving votes on 76 percent of ballots.
Just falling short of the 75 percent threshold for election this year were former Padres closer Trevor Hoffman (74%) and former Expos/Angels slugger Vladimir Guerrero (71%). Edgar Martinez (56.8%), Roger Clemens (54.1%), and Barry Bonds (53.8%) were the next three highest vote getters.
The Hall of Fame induction ceremony will be held on July 31st in Cooperstown, New York.