📌 Join the BPCrew Chapter in your city and meet up with more Yankees fans! 👉 CLICK HERE

2014 Bronx Pinstripes Hall of Fame Class

Every year the Baseball Writers of America vote for the prestigious honor of placing the best baseball players into the hallowed halls of the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame. In order for a player to be inducted, they need to receive 75 percent of the writers’ votes. The first class in 1936 saw five members (Ty Cobb, Honus Wagner, Babe Ruth, Christy Mathewson, and Walter Johnson) introduced as the inaugural class. Last year, 2013, saw no players voted in by the panel as the Steroid Era had a major impact on voters. No player in voting history has received 100 percent of the votes as the closest two players, Tom Seaver and Nolan Ryan both were on 98.8 percent of the ballots.  (Fun fact: Ralph Kiner got elected with the lowest percentage of votes with only 75.4 percent).

Today the 2014 class gets announced as we expect some of the biggest stars of the 80s, 90s and early 2000s to get their number called and step into baseball immortality. The class is headlined by most of the Steroid Era superstars: Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa, Rafael Palmerio, Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens. Joining them on the nominee list were shutdown pitchers Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, Jack Morris, Mike Mussina and Curt Schilling.

The voters are given a ballot with all the players’ names who are eligible and they are allowed to vote for up to 10 names; or none if they so choose. Over the past few days, many of the voters have released their ballots stirring the pot of controversy on social media.  Ken Gurnick, a beat writer for the Dodgers released his ballot and revealed his sole vote for Jack Morris. This caused an uproar on Twitter and other social media sites as you can see from a few selected tweets:

Other voters posted their ballots on Twitter for the world to see such as Jack Curry, Pedro Gomez and Jon Heyman.

Each gave their reasons for the players they elected, but nonetheless, arguments and banter sparked over who, or who wasn’t voted for.

We here at BronxPinstripes wanted to get involved in the Hall of Fame voting fun (or headache-whichever you prefer) and decided to have our writers vote on the 2014 ballot. We didn’t nearly have as many voters as the actual Hall, but we followed the same guidelines and are only allowing players that received the 75 percent of votes into our Hall. These were the results:

Greg Maddux (100%)*

The Mad Dog is a shoe-in for the HOF

Mike Piazza (100%)*

Tom Glavine (85.7%)*

Frank Thomas (85.7%)*

Edgar Martinez (71.4%)

Craig Biggio (57.1%)

Mark McGwire (42.8%)

Sammy Sosa (42.8%)

Mike Mussina (42.8%)

Barry Bonds (28.6%)

Roger Clemens (28.6%)

Jack Morris (28.6%)

Don Mattingly (28.6%)

Tim Raines (28.6%)

Jeff Kent (28.6%)

Jeff Bagwell (28.6%)

Rafael Palmeiro (14.3%)

Lee Smith (14.3%)

Fred McGriff (14.3%)

Curt Schilling (14.3%)

So maybe the Hall has never seen a player get 100 percent of the votes, but us here at Bronxpinstripes all agree that Maddux and Piazza are no-brainers to make the Hall. Maddux’s Braves teammate, Tom Glavine also gets the nod and the final member of our 2014 class is The Big Hurt, Frank Thomas.

Maddux played 23 years for four teams in his career posting 355 wins, career winning percentage of .610, a 3.16 career ERA and 3371 strikeouts. He won four Cy Young Awards, appeared in 8 All-Star Games and won 18 Gold Gloves to go with his 1995 World Series win with the Atlanta Braves.

Mike Piazza made a stake at the claim as the best offensive catch in baseball history. His career average of .308, 427 home runs and 1,335 RBI go a long way to back that up. So do his 12 All-Star Game appearances, 10 Silver Slugger Awards and 1993 Rookie of the Year Award. The big question when Piazza gets the call will be if he goes in as a Dodger or a Met.

Tom Glavine made his case throughout his career with 305 wins, a 3.54 ERA and 2,607 strikeouts in his Braves career. Appearing in 10 All-Star games, two Cy Young wins, four Silver Sluggers and a World Series MVP in 1995, Glavine is on his way to the Hall.

Frank Thomas was literally a huge presence at the plate during his career for the Chicago White Sox as a First Baseman and DH. He amassed 2,468 hits, 521 home runs, 1,704 RBI with a .301 career average to led to his 5 All-Star Game appearances, 4 Silver Sluggers, 2 AL MVPs, the 1997 AL batting crown and the 1995 HR Derby Champion. The Big Hurt was the most appropriate name for this monster slugger.

It is always more fun to hear from the voters on why they voted for who they did; so let’s hear what the Bronxpinstripes writers had to say about their ballots.

Dan Pfeiffer: Bagwell, Biggio, Glavine, Kent, Maddux, Martinez, Mussina, Piazza, Raines and Thomas:

Piazza made the BP HOF, but rumors are he might miss out on the real thing again this year

With the exception of Tim Raines, no one on my ballot is in more than their 5th year. To me, if one was deserving of enshrinement, it would have happened in the first half of their candidacy. Far too many times, writers are voting players in who, though the numbers say one thing, may not have passed the “eye test” that Trenton Thunder manager Tony Franklin spoke to me so frequently about this past year.

To me, Maddux, Glavine, Raines, and Frank Thomas are the four “no-brainers” on this list…Raines should have been in already, having served as one of the most dominant players of the 1980s. Maddux and Glavine were the game’s elite 1-2 punch for nearly a decade, while Thomas was arguably one of the game’s best hitter for a good portion of his career. Craig Biggio also has a very good case with more than 3,000 hits.

Mike Mussina not only passed the “eye” test as one of baseball’s best pitchers for an extended period of time, but also produced some of the highest winning percentage numbers in history to go along with 270 career victories.

Mike Piazza, though never the greatest defensive catcher, revitalized the position from an offensive standpoint. The same goes for Edgar Martinez, who was the first truly notable full-time designated hitter. Despite never playing much defense, Martinez’s bat consistently served as a force in the middle of the Seattle Mariners’ line-up.

The two picks I’ll get some flack for are Jeff Bagwell and Jeff Kent. For some reason, people suspect Jeff Bagwell of using PEDs. Unlike Bonds, Palmeiro, and that crowd, Bagwell has never really been at the forefront of the debate, and I honestly don’t believe he was using. He won’t get in this year because of that suspicion, but he’s got my vote.

Jeff Kent is an interesting case. He never led the league in any offensive category. He didn’t reach the 3,000 hit plateau, nor the 500 home run list. But for the majority of his career, Jeff Kent was considered to be one of the best second baseman in baseball. I would hate to see Kent fall off the ballot in his first year, but the presence of Biggio might cause that to happen.

Rich Kaufman: Biggio, Glavine, Maddux, Mussina, Piazza, Raines, Schilling, Bagwell and Thomas

While there are probably only 2-3 guys who can make it to the Hall this year, the nine I voted for are all deserving to get in at one point. I think it’s too soon to vote for Clemens/Bonds, but eventually their vote totals will rise as we move further and further away from the steroid era.

Ryan Nakada: Biggio, Bonds, Clemens, Glavine, Kent, Maddux, Martinez, McGwire, Piazza and Thomas

Glavine might just accompany his Braves teammate Maddux in this year’s HOF class

Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine were two of the best pitchers of their era. They each proved to be talented pitchers during a time of tremendous batting statistics and home run races. Maddux is one of the best control pitchers and showed that you don’t have to throw hard to be successful. Craig Biggio’s 3,060 hits and consistent contribution while spending his career with the Houston Astros is a great accomplishment. He was a team leader and a well-respected veteran that deserves recognition. Mike Piazza and Jeff Kent were two of the strongest offensive contributors at their respective positions. Especially Kent, second base is known more for athleticism and defense with not much contribution at the plate. Frank Thomas and Edgar Martinez, while both were known more for being just hitters, were two of the best and were great pure hitters. Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens and Mark McGwire, while bring along heavy baggage tied to their resume, are three of the best at the game of baseball. They did put a dark cloud on the game but they need to be recognized for their contributions to the game, tainted or not.


The Big Hurt gets into the HOF in a BIG way

Gregory Scott: Maddux, Glavine, Martinez, Piazza and Thomas

First eye-ball test, then confirmed with stats. I know a lot will say no Edgar due to the DH – but, my opinion is that it should be treated as any other position, and should have the best at it in the HOF.

Brian Capozzi: Biggio, Glavine, Maddux, Martinez, Mattingly, Morris, Piazza, Raines and Thomas

The players I voted for were in my mind, the best at their job and epitomized what a baseball player should be. Guys who go out there every day, play hard AND succeed… no easy way out.

Suzanne Bange: Glavine, Maddux, Martinez, Mattingly, Morris, Piazza, Raines and Thomas

A bunch of Home Run Kings & dominating players I remember watching growing up.

Justin McElrath: Bonds, Clemens, Glavine, Maddux, McGwire, Morris, Palmeiro, Piazza, Smith and Sosa

I voted for a lot of the 90s “Steroid Era” players for a couple reasons: The game at that time was entrenched in the drug and guys were competing against other users. It is a part of the game’s history so we cannot ignore it. The home run race in 1998 between McGwire and Sosa saved the game of baseball from a viewer/rating perspective, so to ignore the impact these players had on the game would be a mistake. These guys are the best of the best and put up the stats to back it up (regardless of drug use- confirmed or accused).

There you have it, the 2014 Bronxpinstripes Hall of Fame Class. Let us know what you think and who you think should have their name enshrined in Cooperstown.