For the first time since 1996, the Baseball Writers’ Association of America did not elect anyone to the National Baseball Hall of Fame. Craig Biggio came closest, falling 39 votes shy of the 75% threshold necessary for election by the BBWAA.
The top 10 vote-getters were Biggio (388 votes/68.2%), Jack Morris (385 votes/67.7%), Jeff Bagwell (339 votes/59.6%), Mike Piazza (329 votes/57.8%), Tim Raines (297 votes/52.2%), Lee Smith (272 votes/47.8%), Curt Schilling (221 votes/38.8%), Roger Clemens (214 votes/37.6%), Barry Bonds (206 votes/36.2%) and Edgar Martinez (204 votes/35.9%).
A total of 569 ballots were cast. Of those, 102 were made public and can be viewed here.
Major League Baseball issued the following statement regarding the voting results:
Major League Baseball recognizes that election to the Hall of Fame is our game’s most extraordinary individual honor. Achieving enshrinement in Cooperstown is difficult, as it should be, and there have been seven other years when no one was elected by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America. While this year did not produce an electee, there are many worthy candidates who will merit consideration in the future. We respect both the longstanding process that the Hall of Fame has in place and the role of the BBWAA, whose members have voted in the Hall of Fame’s elections since 1936.
Umpire Hank O’Day, New York Yankees owner Jacob Ruppert and 19th century player Deacon White — all deceased — will be inducted this year after being elected by the Hall of Fame’s Pre-Integration Era Committee. Longtime Toronto Blue Jays broadcaster Tom Cheek (Ford C. Frick Award), who died in 2005, and baseball writer Paul Hagen of MLB.com (J.G. Taylor Spink Award) also will be honored during the July 28 ceremony.
Several notable players will be eligible for the first time in 2014: Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, Frank Thomas, Mike Mussina and Jeff Kent. Maddux is a slam-dunk first-ballot Hall-of-Famer, and my guess is that Glavine and Thomas will get in on their first try, too. There’s also a good chance that this year’s close calls, Biggio and Morris, get elected next year. If that’s the case, it will be only the second time (the first since 1955) that more than three players are elected by the BBWAA in a single year.